Four Aside

someecards.com - I love hockey except for the agonizing moments when no fight is happening

New York is not really a hockey town. The Rangers never make the back page and they don’t really get more than a passing mention on the nightly sportscasts.

Maybe it’s because the New York Rangers aren’t very good. The Mets don’t really make the back pages either and I can hardly claim New York doesn’t care about baseball.

I’ve recently been reading my rules of hockey book, so lately I’ve found myself in the midst of random conversations about the sport.

The other morning, a huge guy taps me on the shoulder. I take out my earbud and in the thickest Russian accent you ever did hear, he says:
“You cannot learn hockey from book! Hockey is on ice and skate! No book!”
“Oh, I don’t play. I just watch on TV.”
“You don’t need book for TV hockey then. You watch the TV.”
I laughed.
“What you want know? I tell you.”
I figure I’ll make Drizz happy.
“What’s icing?”
“Well, it’s when one guy, whooosh to the puck and it goes all the way on other side and other guy, no goalie, gets it. Then is icing. Or game is stupid without this rule. Just whoosh whoosh with puck.”
Uh huh.
Then he told me some other stuff about the lines dividing the ice, which I’m sure was right when he said it, but am equally sure I’d get it wrong in the retelling of it. They’re red and blue though… I assume the blue lines are best. You know, like for states. Oh, then it turned out he played in some Russian league and thinks the NHL is stupid. Then he got off the bus.

My Mets fan coworker, who Vinny says looks like a hippie, told me that he went to college with Chris Drury, but gave up hockey after the strike.

“But baseball went on strike too…”

“Well…you know, maybe it’s because all the hockey players have these crazy European names that I can’t pronounce.”

“Not the Rangers! They’re easy! Boyle, Callahan, Stepan… I guess Anisimov and Lundqvist are kinda hard, but you get used to it!”

He laughed. “I’m too ethnocentric.”

“Right. Cause all the baseball players are Joneses and Smiths!”

“No, I guess you’re right. I don’t know why I’m not into hockey anymore… I like Sidney Crosby though.”

I made a vomiting sound.

“What the hell kind of ethnocentric are you? He’s Canadian! Worse he’s THE Canadian who stole our gold medal last year! I hate that guy and want him deported!”

“You can’t hate a kid for winning a gold medal for his country like that.”

O_o I can and I will. #truestory

When I went to Madison Square Garden for game four of the Stephane Cup, I was surrounded by Sabres fans, but the boyfriend of one of the girls wearing Vanek jerseys (another black woman if you can believe that!) kept telling me that this is the most excited about hockey that he’s been in 20 years.
“We’re back!”
Well…sorta…this is my first time here.
And this book is 11 years old.
Let’s go Rangers!

Posted in Sports | 23 Comments

Some stuff I did with my free time

I’m so sorry, you guys, I won’t be able to do any movie reviews for April. I’ve been too busy working and socializing with people in…society? Ha! I got you! April Fool’s!

I totally got you! Admit it! Admit it! No? You weren’t fooled? Was it the socializing part? Like if I had just stopped at “busy working” would that have been more credible? Or was I fine right up until I wasn’t sure where exactly all the socializing takes place? *shakes fist*

Okay, let’s get on with the show:

Quarantine
My universe is a weird place sometimes. I start watching Dexter like a week ago, and then, this movie, which I probably put on my Blockbuster queue two years ago, comes and it stars the Dexter lady! Not the really annoying one with the lisp and blond hair, the mostly annoying one with the lisp and the black hair. The movie is good. Not a traditional horror movie, it’s more in the “Blair Witch Project” genre of we follow the “terror” through the cameraman’s lens. But it gets scary. There’s good gore and you’ll scream at the end cause you hella won’t see that shit coming.

The Tourist
This movie proves to me that Angelina Jolie ruins everything for everybody all the time! Her and her stupid face. There are two types of people in the world: people who think Angelina Jolie is beautiful and people who aren’t crazy and blind! And it’s not even like I hate her, sometimes she works, but literally she spends this entire movie with pouty lips and clothes that are too tight going “ blah blah blah.” And the worst part? She completely detracts from the awesomeness of Johnny Depp. Do you understand how difficult a thing that is? Whoa…actually, I saw lots of Johnny Depp movies this month and this is the only one where he can’t save a whack ass script and horrible plot failures. Boo. BOO. BOOOOO! I’m tempted to tell you the twist so you don’t bother. But I won’t, but seriously, don’t bother. Not worth it. Also, for an actor born in Kentucky, Johnny Depp does a terrible American accent.

How do you Know

So, I have developed certain movie truisms through these years of watching and writing about hundreds of movies. One of them is that no movie title with a question mark is ever good. How do you Know tries to trick you by leaving off the punctuation, but it can’t fool me. I hear the question a mile off and even though there are some good moments between Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon is cute as a button, this movie about a love triangle and “woe is me, where is my life going” thirty somethings, bit. Hard.

Children of the Corn (1984)

I thought this movie was going to be terrifying… in general vegetables, children, the Terminator lady COME ON… but nope. It was so tame and often lame. And complete and utter nonsense. I’m still not clear on what happens or why it happens or frankly how children take over a town and the feds don’t jump in. Bah.

One Missed Call

Again, I had high hopes for this horror movie about people who get a call and then die. To be honest, I was looking for scientific support for my perennial refusal to answer the telephone under any circumstances. Instead, I got sucked into this crapfest about poltergeists who kill people through the phone lines…even though cell phones don’t have lines. Eyeroll. And the calls aren’t even missed! The idiots pick up and hear the call and then they die. It should be called “And this is why Dawn doesn’t answer phone calls, idiots.”

The Fighter

Sigh. Every year after the Oscar’s, I grudgingly add the Oscar nominated movies to my queue and every year, as they trickle into my mailbox, the one following the other, I just know I’m in for two boring hours of “cinematography” crap. The Fighter starts off strong and ends strong, but there’s this 95 minutes or so in between where you just wish the movie were in 3D so one of the characters’ punches could hit you square on the jaw and knock you unconscious until it gets good again. Oh, the movie is about two Boston brothers who fight. One of them ends up a crackhead and the other one is Marky Mark.

Don Juan DeMarco

Johnny Depp! Good, beautiful, unspoiled Johnny Depp. Not exactly clear on what was happening in this movie, but Johnny Depp is beautiful and charming and has a lovely Spanish accent and um…*claps*!

Hereafter
Um… okay, this movie is about a psychic who quits psychicing because his whole life started to become about death. I thought I was going to hate it and then I did for a while, but the beginning of the end was so poignant and wonderful that I actually liked it, but then the end end was terrible and trite and predictably hackneyed that I didn’t like it anymore. So…all in all. I didn’t hate it.

The Switch

I thought I was going to hate this movie too, because, well “Starring Jennifer Aniston.” God, she’s so irritating that it makes me go “I’d leave you for Angelina Jolie too,” and you all know how I feel about her. Jason Bateman plays a stereotypical whiny hypochondriac. I hate the way movies portray hypochondriacs, like they’re crazy and paranoid. These are real people, with real feelings who may or may not have the only modern day case of leprosy. You don’t know! #rude Where was I? Oh, right. So he and Aniston are best friends, she decides to get a sperm donor to have a kid, he’s sad, gets drunk and switches the sample. Voila seven years later she is saddled with a whiny hypochondriatic kid and can’t for the life of her figure it all out. It’s not bad. Jeff Goldblum is gold, Jerry, gold.

Faster
This movie has a lot of the Rock. He is often shirtless. He doesn’t speak much and there is a lot of fast car driving and bad man killing. In short, Dawn gives this film 19 thumbs up and watched it twice. The Rock is puhrty. And he has muscles. Lots and lots of rocky muscles. And a face. *claps* Oh, I think it’s about a guy getting revenge on the bad men who killed his brother…or a dude that knows his way around a gym.

Morning Glory
This movie was great! I know I know…crazy right? It looks so dumb… wait, is Jeff Goldblum in this too…let me check? Yes! And he’s great in this too! Wow! Get that man a TV show…wait…they tried that, didn’t they? Anyway, it’s about a floundering thirty something who lives with her mom who gets a job on a dead end morning show that everyone wants to see fail (that’s why she’s hired to run it) but she turns it all around. Harrison Ford is a delightful curmudgeon and Diane Keaton plays that character she’s been playing since Annie Hall…except with menopause jokes.

Burlesque
This movie did not suck. And funny enough, though I usually love musicals, I didn’t like this movie for the music stuff, the music stuff was weak. I liked Christina for the… um…cough…acting. She plays a small town girl who moves to LA to make it as a whatever young girls try to make it as in LA, but she ends waitressing at a failing Burlesque bar and eventually gets her break on stage. She then uses her cunning to save the bar! You’ll laugh, you’ll cr…no, you won’t cry. But it’s not the worst movie in the world.

From Hell
Johnny Depp! My wonderful Johnny Depp, who cannot be brought down, not even by Heather Graham’s terrible terrible accent and acting. You see? Only Angelina Jolie can destroy him! So, this movie is about Jack the Ripper. Johnny Depp is the lead investigator trying to catch him. He would have too if it weren’t for those meddling kids! Or something.

Mallrats

Ben Affleck as a pedophile? Okay, I’ll bite. The My name is earl guy plays a slacker layabout who hangs out in malls all day. It’s okay. Some of the dialogue is good. But this is definitely a movie for people who live in suburbs and know who Stan Lee is. That’s not me. However, I totally empathize with the guy who keeps staring at the magic picture and can’t see the sailboat. That’s so me.

Nothing But the Truth

If there is anything more hilarious than a terrible movie populated by actors who think they are starring in the second coming of Citizen Kane, I don’t want to know about it. This movie is a dramatization of the Judith Miller goes to jail for her principles case. All the actors think they are making an “important film.” You can tell this by the way Kate Beckinsale dyes a single strand of her hair gray to demonstrate the gravitas of her character. Also by the way Ross from Friends crinkles his face to show his wife that principles are fine and good but he needs to have sex right away! Instead, the movie they made is not even fit for Lifetime. Every performance is laughable. The dialogue is laughable, the sets are a joke, oh man…terrible, but you can totally tell they were all practicing their Oscar speeches between takes!

Love and Other Drugs

Um. This movie wasn’t the worst. But I didn’t really know it was about a terminally ill woman getting into a relationship with a commitmentphobe drug rep going in…so…I dunno. It wasn’t what I expected, so I was thrown for a lot of it, but it wasn’t good enough to watch again.

Due Date

I’m probably not the first to opine that this is a modern day Planes, Trains and Automobiles, right? Cause if I am… dibs! You all owe me a dime for every time you’ll think that thought while watching Due Date. The premise is preposterous, execution is painful to watch most times, but I like Robert Downey Jr, so I watched the whole thing.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

You know who I do not like? Zach Galifianakis! I want to hold him down with a razor and figure out what he’s hiding under there. You know what’s not kind of a funny story? A movie about a suicidal 15 year old. Oh, and you know what else is not a funny story? How the black girl gets rejected for the psychotic blond. Eyeroll. Fucking Hollywood. #races


Personal Best (1982)

Don’t know how or when this got added to my queue. It’s a weird movie about two ladies in love but then they both want to compete in the Olympics and the coach makes them breakup and then they marry men. But they stay friends. I dunno. It’s weird and has that 70s movies look.

The Contender
This is another movie where you could tell the actors thought they were making this huge statement about women in politics and they thought they’d change the world. It’s about a lady Vice Presidential nominee who gets saddled with a sex scandal and she refuses to deny the accusations because “sex is private.” Eyeroll. Bullshit. Which pretty much accurately describes this whole movie.

Absolute Power

Clint Eastwood plays a 70-year-old cat burglar. I feel like I should stop there. But no, it gets better. He witnesses a crime. By the President of the United States! Eye fucking roll. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.

The Butcher Boy

Julius Goat
is evil. He writes up these “delayed Oscars” posts and makes you go all “hmmm…that sounds interesting, let me rent that,” and then you spend 80 minutes watching “The Wonder Years,” but with an Irish accent, a lot of yelling and no cute Winnie Cooper young love story. And then, just when you cants stand no more, there’s this awesome 12 minutes that almost makes the movie worthwhile. Almost. Sinead O’Connor is in this, didn’t recognize her though.

Lost Highway
Again, Julius Goat? Satan Incarnate. Why? WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WOULD HE RESCUE THIS HEAPING PILE OF DUNG BEETLE CRAP FROM THE DUMPSTER OF MOVIE HISTORY? David Lynch doesn’t even admit that he had anything to do with this awful awful awful…okay, I can’t tell you what the movie is about…no really, I can’t! I have no fucking clue. The main actress plays two characters that are exactly the same, but have different names and aren’t the same. The main actor changes into another actor halfway through the movie without explanation. I…I…no words. But then, because Butcher Boy was also terrible for 90 percent of it, I kept watching and watching and then when the car drives away down the dark highway and the credits roll, I kept watching. And then when my TV went into screen saver mode, I kept watching. And then I vowed bloody bloody vengeance upon the head of one Julius Goat.

Hamlet
I love David Tennant. He stars as Hamlet. So I rented it. I used to think Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet was the gold standard, but I haven’t seen it in 15 years, so I should probably rent it again before I change my mind about that. But I verily enjoyed Tennant’s performance.

Glorious 39
This movie was also billed as starring David Tennant. So I rented it. DAVID TENNANT HAS LIKE NINE LINES in the whole THREE HOUR movie! And some of those are repeats in memories after he’s killed in the first ten minutes. DIRTY FUCKING POOL Glorious 39! I swear, I couldn’t believe it. I kept waiting for his character to have a twin brother who comes to town or something. But no. This movie is dumb. Don’t bother. DIRTY POOL!


Skin

This movie is the fascinating story of a woman born in Apartheid South Africa to white parents, but she has dark skin and coarse hair, so she is deemed to be “colored” and shunned from white society. The parents sue and the government decrees that all children shall be designated the race of their parents. Leading to one of the greatest lines uttered in a movie ever: “Thank God! She’s white again!” LOL. Of course, she still looks the same and well, it’s interesting what happens to her being not quite white, but being an outsider to the black community. Definite rent.

Tangled

An update on the old children’s tale about the girl with impossibly long hair. This movie is cute, but the songs are terrible, it steals the ending of Shrek Forever, and I’m pretty sure it’s that Nerd Herd dude Chuck singing…which is just creeepy. But it hits the right chords and manipulates you into caring.

Posted in Movies | 11 Comments

For we walk by faith, not by sight

Lent seems like just the time to stop overreaching, or underreaching or reaching at all. And hopefully, we’ll come out safe on the other side. –Clareified, February 2010

I’ve been struggling with the upcoming Lenten season for a few weeks. A couple of days ago, I settled on my Lenten sacrifice. This morning, I opened up my facebook page and stupid Ken Wheaton totally stoleded it. But his post is funnier and better sourced than mine would’ve been, so I’m not holding a grudge.

Plus, reading his post also made me realize… that stuff sounds hard. And when Easter comes, well, those floodgates seem overwhelming. No, my spirit isn’t tending in the eat better direction. Though, my splitting pants and aching back would probably like a say.

What do I want to do? What do I need to do?

I don’t know.

It’s been a long, cold winter. I’ve mostly just been waiting for a thaw – figuratively and literally. In some ways, my indecision is telling. I’ve drifted, further than I care to admit, away from my faith. I haven’t been to mass since November, when I was seeking solace in the face of my friend’s suicide. I didn’t find any.

I do pray daily, but lately it’s been rote, distant. The other day, one of the women I follow on twitter, posted a vivid dream she had in which she had a conversation with God. At the end, God poses a question to her “Where would you be without your faith in me?” The exchange has stuck with me. That last question, in particular, nags.

Where or who would I be without my faith?

Do I still even have faith? Perhaps this cold nothingness is me without faith.

Perhaps, my Lent this year shouldn’t be about a giving up, but a rediscovering, an adding to my life of the fire necessary to bring about that thaw.

Sigh. Do those new Scintolgy commercials come with a phone number you can call?

*whistles*

Posted in Personal | 4 Comments

I’d like to see Rodgers pull this off

Yesterday, I wore my first piece of Patriots clothing, without ripping it off in anger and tears. It’s been months. Let the healing begin.

His wife’s still a dirty whore though. *whistles*

Posted in Sports | 8 Comments

Hockey, football and alien assasins

It seems hard to believe that, just a month ago, I was sleeping fourteen hours a day in my childhood bedroom, craving Simply Raspberry lemonade and my DVR.

(Oh, and can I rant about how Cablevision can’t figure out how to provide me with access to 16 Patriots games during football season, despite the fact that I pay $250 a month for its stupid Gold package, but now they’ve pulled the Game Show Network from my programming unless I pay $8 a month to upgrade to some BS sports package?! I called and threatened the lady on the phone with canceling my service, but I think she could hear my voice cracking with panic at the mere thought. No? I can’t rant about that? Okay, back to the story.)

I stayed at my mom’s house for four or five days after my surgery. Then, hour five into a comedy central marathon, I just couldn’t take anymore. I put on my boots and walked the mile and a half home. I bought my lemonade at a store along the way. Of course, two days of couch surfing caught me up on my DVR and exhausted my blockbuster and Netflix movies. I was bored.
“I’m bored.”
“Not me,” Vinnay texts back. “I’m planning an awesome superbowl party with nine courses and a million inch TV screen and lots of alcohol. It’s going to be the best Superbowl party ever!”
“Are the Patriots playing in it?”
“No! I said the BEST!”
#Rude
“Aren’t you scared your dish might go out or something?”
“Pfft. This is Buffalo, snow storms don’t knock out our TV.”
So the needling torment continues with descriptions of the great wings and pizza and sandwiches and fancy sauce that I couldn’t have and ends with “and Astin is coming down for the Sabres/Leafs game!”
“Duuuudddee! Weren’t you JUST in Toronto going to a hockey game with Astin?!”
“Um…”
The. Hell??!
Last year, I e-mailed them BOTH and said “I wanna come to Toronto and see a hockey game. And collect my caramel cake!”
Astin was all “oh, Toronto’s full and we don’t have a hockey team.”
And Vinnay was all “I don’t have time to go to Canada. I have a wedding to go to every day.”
RAY-CIST! And sexist. And not the least bit Stephanist, which is the worst ist of all.
“Whaaat? You can come if you want. I mean, there’s going be a snow storm and you should probably rest from your surgery, but yeah, you’re *totally* invited.”
O_O
Well, let it not be said that I wasn’t going to strike a blow for equality of all black women Stephanes everywhere!
“I will meet you at the Buffalo airport at 6. Do. Not. Be. Late!”
He was totally late.
And he was sporting the evil Cartman beardstache:

Plus, he was wearing a Yankees jersey, smoking three cigarettes and eating peanut butter out of a jar.
“Why do you hate me?”
“Welcome to Buffalo.”
“I’m hungry, where are all the courses?!”
“That’s not till Sunday and we’re in a car.”
Pout.
Vinnay lives with a vicious, giant attack dog. She sensed my weakened, starving condition and tried to eat my face right away.
I put my foot down and in no uncertain terms made it clear that I am a person, not food.
“You can eat her face later, River, when she’s sleeping.”
Dude. I kill you.
Okay, so on a lark I decided to order the volcano buffalo hot sauce wings…just cause…I’m tough!
We had to go out to pick them up because they only deliver to Canada now.
Buffalo is weird.
We picked up lemonade for me at the store. The wings were good, but I totally kicked that volcano sauce’s ass.
I laugh in the face of its so-called “heat.”
The bestest thing about visiting Vinny is that Buffalo has this awesome comedy show called Tosh.0 and I can watch it on the million inch TV screen all day, whilst eating my wings and drinking my…
“My friend’s gonna meet us at the Coz in ten minutes. Let’s go!”
“But…Tosh…and TV…lemonade…”
“No. Outside. People. Socializing.”
I do not understand this language which you speak. Is that Navi or Vulcan or some other one of your nerd languages?
Against my will, I was marched out into the cold, harsh Buffalo night. Seriously, can I tell you how never I would leave my house if I lived there? I’d sit at a desk writing angry letters to government officials all day.
A few minutes later, we were at my favorite bar in the city, Cozumel. It’s my favorite because it’s always empty except for Vinnay and his friends, so I totally get credit for going out without the annoyance of having to deal with strangers!
Plus, I had an agenda.
“Oh, hey, I’m so and so.”
“I’m Stephane.”
“Yeah, you’re Vinnay’s friend who went to Yale, right?”
“Uh huh…yeah, that’s me. More importantly, can you tell him to shave his face? Like right now? Say something about not being willing to be seen in public with him looking like that. I would do it, but he knows I don’t ever go out in public.”
She laughed. “Aww, I think it looks cute.”
“Ha! I told you the ladies love it.”
“You have just made a very powerless enemy, so and so.”
I spied a jukebox on the back wall of the bar.
Have I ever told you how much I love jukeboxes??? They’re like your ipod but you can play ’em out loud so everyone can hear! I used to go to diners with this girl I knew in high school, but she would never let me sit on the side with the jukebox, never give me money for the jukebox and never let the waitress give me change for the jukebox!
#Hater
Of course, I had no cash on me, as I had been forcibly dragged from the apartment. I offered to pay for drinks with my credit card to be less of a deadbeat, but I was refused.
So…
“Give me a dollar.”
He gave me one.
I went to the jukebox ready to play my favorite songs du jour. Alas:
$1… 1 song.
It took all I had not to go into a “in my day…” speech.
I requested Pink’s “Raise your glass.”
But when it ended I wanted to hear other songs.
“Give me $5.”
“So you can play more awful songs?!”
“Umm…no…I need it…to buy books. For school.”
“No!”
I went back to the jukebox to just stare at it when I noticed it had a mastercard/visa logo!
OMG!
I have a mastercard!!
“Suck it, Vinnay!”
And just to spite him I played Justin Bieber. Well, spite and cause Justin Bieber’s awesome.
Vinnay and his friends were doing shots at the bar and I was dancing around singing Beyonce.
“You have a terrible voice,” Vinnay says suddenly.
#Ruude
An hour later, he and the bartender are having one of those conversations people only have at three in the morning in a deserted bar after doing shots.
“Okay, but seriously, do you know why they have poor neighborhoods in New York City? Because they need people to work in McDonald’s.”
I felt two pairs of eyes on me.
“Hell are you looking at me for? I don’t work in McDonald’s! I’m unemployed!”
#races
I moved away. When I returned, the conversation had turned to why he didn’t vaccinate his toddlers.
We went home shortly after that.
“Hey, can you get my burka out of my room? I’m cold.”
Yes. I have a burka! And a room!
“It’s not your room, it’s my office!”
“Oh, you’re just drunk. Gimmee my burka!”
The next day we had to run errands for the party, well, to be fair, I was given the option to go run errands or “stay with River” the face eating dog.
First stop: gourmet shop. I picked out cheeses.
Then we went to Wegmen’s which was supposedly so awesome Alec Baldwin’s mom won’t leave New Jersey. Meh. That store in Harlem with the walk-in freezer is WAY awesomer. Let me google… Fairway! Yum!
The best part of Wegmen’s was picking out fresh bread, but then finding packaged bread for less. So we hid the bags of fresh bread discreetly throughout the store. And by “We,” I mean…er…other people? Yes. We saw some other people doing that. We gave them hard, disapproving looks.
Astin was driving down from Toronto for the Sabres game that night, but texted to say he was running late. Then Vinnay’s phone died. It was snowing (as usual). Although, snow in Buffalo isn’t annoying like New York snow. It covers everything in a cozy white blanket and the whole town looks like a Christmas card! Plus, my mother doesn’t let me drive in the snow, so I never get to see it freshly fallen like that.) I think the wine errand took longer than it was supposed to, because instead of getting my promised “Gabriel’s Gate” lunch, I was getting a burrito from a taco drive through.
“Will we go to Gabriel’s Gate for dinner then?”
*mumbles*
“I will take that as a yes.”
“Remind me to take the meat out of the freezer when we get back.”
*mumbles*
“I will take that as a yes.”
We met Astin and Mark at The Coz before the game. Astin was not at all surprised to see me. When Vinnay’s phone died, I decided to text Astin just to find out his progress from Canadia — although I did it very covertly! Just, evidently, not covertly enough. Sneaky Canadians always two steps ahead. What’s that in meters?
Mark drove to the stadium. We parked in this lot and walked through four hundred feet of snow to the arena.
“DUDE! When I was up here in October, the arena was on this BLOCK! Why’d they move it over there??”
“Job creation.”
And then they laughed at me.
#Rude
Vinnay has season tickets behind the dugout. Or something hockeyier. He and Astin sat there. Mark and I got last minute tickets from stubhub. We were in the “Colored” section. I could not look down for fear of falling.
Buffalo was wailing on Toronto throughout the first period. I was tweeting the game until Mark was all “stop tweeting and watch the game! This is why you think there’s a dugout in hockey!”
#Truestory.
He served as my personal Dumbledore for the rest of the game telling me why people were cheering even though no one scored.
“My favorite sound is the puck hitting the goal post.”
“But then doesn’t that mean they missed?”
“Yes. But you know how close they got? Ping!”
The man loves his hockey.
He also promised he would bring his special wings for me at Vinnay’s party the next day.
“Cool! I think we’re all going to Gabriel’s Gate tonight!”
Mark looked away and whistled.
The Sabres destroyed the Raptors by a million touchdowns to 2 runs and all the Canadians in attendance were sad.
“Do we have to be nice and sympathetic to Astin?” Mark asked
I laughed.
“No. hahahahahahahahaha”
After the game we’re walking back to the car, I am DYING. The snow mounds are just about thigh high on me. The guys kept having to wait for me to catch up. Finally, we get to the car and I’m all “Gabriel’s Gate!”
How did we end up in the Cozumel parking lot? HOOOWWWWW???
We’re all standing around the entrance waiting for the cool kids to finish their cigarettes when the snow started calling me. I balled up a fistful and threw it with alarming accuracy. It hit Vinnay right in the face.
Whoops.
“It was an accident! I was aiming for the guy behind you…You can’t prove it was me! Astin did it! You wouldn’t hit a girl!”
Oh, he so would.
We ended up in Coz again and this time it was packed!
Night. Mare.
I put $20 in the jukebox and drowned my sorrows in tap water.
Then I watched Astin bash the monkey. #noporno
Vinnay mercifully put me out of my misery at midnight and we all went home. As soon as Astin stepped through the door, River starts barking like a crazy person. Face eating vicious dog descriptions aside, I have never heard her so much as growl before! Now, she was finna bite Astin’s leg and chew on it for fun!
Vinnay scolds her: “River! Stop that!”
“Heey, not so fast! Maybe she’s warning us of the danger posed to our lives by Astin!”
No one has hair that perfect! It’s not human! He’s here to kill us!!!
“Good dog! Get the alien! Get him!”
But nooo…Astin pulls out a few links of sausage from his overnight bag and she’s all “Yum. You may take the humans.”
“Heeeeeyyy….what kind of attack dog are you? You try to eat the face of innocent human Americans, but you sell us out to the alien from Canada for meat?”
We spent the rest of the night “watching” Casino, which Astin has never seen (go on, gasp away) and playing poker.
The next morning, Vinnay was supposed to be up “early” to ready his apartment for the Superbowl party. By noon, Astin and I were still the only ones awake. I put on the Penguins game.
“Do you play hockey?”
“No. I don’t know how to skate.”
O_O
“Aren’t you Canadian?? How do you not know how to ice skate??”
“Aren’t you American? How do you not have a gun?”
“Huh. What?! Of course, I have a gun!”
(I don’t really have a gun, but I figured just in case Astin is an alien assassin, it’s best that he thinks I do.)
Vinnay finally emerged in the middle of the second period.
I left them to go shower. When I returned, the hockey game was gone and instead, cartoons were on.
“Let me get this straight…the girl leaves the room and Western New York/Canadian boys turn off hockey and put on cartoons?”
What is the sound of two giant beer cans crashing through the roof and crushing them both to death?
“Ugghhh…you didn’t remind me to take the meat out!”
“Oops. Quit glaring at me!”
Vinnay cleaned up a bit, but then we all went back to Wegman’s to pick up more things.
Like cake for Stephane.
Vinnay went looking for ice, but couldn’t find any.
“Just ask someone.”
“Nah, don’t worry about it.”
I followed him toward the other end of the store, but then I spotted an employee and asked her where the ice was.
She pointed me to the back of store.
So I went to get it.
And that’s the story of how Stephane got lost at Wegman’s on Superbowl Sunday. Also, I had left my cellphone charging on the kitchen counter, soo….
This store was packed, like four thousand people. I had NO idea where Vinnay was and no clue how to get back to his house. I had a vague idea of where he lived, but not exactly.
I looked for Astin, but it was like looking for a needle in a store full of white people.
I cry.

Only children don’t get lost in stores! Our mothers have one job, keep an eye on us. I have no experience with this. I run through all of my best options and settle on walking back to the car. I’m going to leave that there. No one needs to know what other options I thought were equal to simply walking back to the car. *Whistles*
Vinnay was there. Totally not about to drive away and leave me because he had guests coming over in 2 hours!
“Stop glaring! I was getting ice!”
Vinnay’s friend Jeremy came over to help him cook stuff. I offered to help, but they declined. Or I thought about offering to help and then decided to drink wine and watch TV instead.
Um…


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“VINNNNNAAAAYYYY. The TV is broken.”
“What?”
“There’s no picture.”
“What did you DO?!” More glaring.
“This has never happened ever! I blame you!”
See, how Stephane always get blamed? Post racial America my ass!
He did some computery stuff, but nothing changed. I suggested he call the Dish people. This was apparently the dumbest idea ever. Instead…
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He climbs out onto the roof himself to clear the snow off.
I poured myself another glass of wine.
Another one of his friends came early.
“Oh, hey. You’re the New York girl.”
“I like that! Yes, yes I am.”
And then I drank more wine and sorta remember waking up on the couch at the start of game surrounded by people. I was in a sitting position though, so I don’t think anyone noticed that I was asleep. It was fun. Everyone was rooting for the Packers and Jeremy starts taunting me:
“Aaron Rodgers is so great. He really is the best #12 QB. He’s even handsomer than Tom Brady.”
And then they were all talking about how happy they were when the Giants won Superbowl 42. “It was like Buffalo had won a Superbowl!”
Then Mark shows up to the party, sees me and goes “Oh no! I left your wings under the warmer at Cozumel.”
And I’m all “well, what are you doing here telling me about it, instead of walking stealthily back to your car, driving over there and getting them”?
I. Hate. Everybody.
Oh My gosh! Except for Vinnay’s youngest sister! First of all, she is as cute as a button, PLUS SHE HAS A BLACK FRIEND! Unlike her #races brother.
The three of us spent the whole second half of the game chatting, (she’s making me a mix CD of something called the Black Keys, which I pretended I had heard of cause I didn’t want her to think I wasn’t cool! ) And then we set about seeing how much white wine we could drink. A lot it turns out. In unrelated news, that night I totally had a nightmare that I was suffering from wine madness. It was so tragic! There was no cure. The doctors did that final, sad head shake thing. #nobueno
During the game, I didn’t want to get up because I would miss the commercials or the game, so I told Vinnay I wanted a sandwich and he was all “cool. Go get one.” And then I was sad and told twitter on him, so then he got me one. And then my friend on twitter was all “where did you find these boys who cook while you’re on the couch drinking wine and who bring you sandwiches during the game?”
“Buffalo!”
And then I offered to sell them to her. Which is a transaction of dubious legality, but if you don’t tell, I won’t tell.
Obama ’12. Change you can spend after selling your white friends to your black friends.
Um…I feel like some other stuff happened…but now I don’t remember. Oh yeah, I totally made Vinnay watch Glee after the Superbowl and now he loves it and has joined Glee chat groups.

And he’s a fan on facebook.

Posted in Personal | 12 Comments

The more things change

I was an expert mimic when I was a kid.

This talent often led to awkward moments when I would deliver, verbatim, whole sections of Eddie Murphy’s “Raw,” because I watched whatever my mother watched, adult content ratings be damned. Or the nervous laughter at the 1985 company picnic when I flung my bat to the ground and  charged the pitcher on the mound when he hit me with the softball; it’s what Keith Hernandez would do.

My ability obviously served me well in school, particularly in French and social studies where I could fairly accurately repeat my teachers’ lessons in class and on exams. It was less useful in math because the numbers kept changing. Well, except for multiplication. Oh, how I loved the multiplication tables weeks!

Anyway, to the extent that I am a writer today, I credit the hours a day spent in the public library reading. I read everything from Beverley Cleary to Aldous Huxley. To quote my obnoxious second grade teacher, I was a “latch-key kid.” I lived with my mother, who worked at a hospital in Manhattan from 8:30 – 4:45 five days a week. I had school in Brooklyn from 9-3. I’ve had my own set of keys since I was seven years old.

I received them without much ceremony. “Here. If you lose them, I will beat your ass. If you let anyone in, I will beat your ass. Do not turn on the stove or…”

“You will beat my ass.”

“Good, you understand.”

I didn’t get to use them right away, though. In elementary school, I’d wake up every morning at 6:30, get dropped off at Mrs. Brown’s house by 7:15 and watch cartoons till the school bus collected me.

In the afternoon, I got dropped off at Mrs. Hall’s house, because Ms. Brown had dialysis most afternoons. I would wait there until my mother came home at 6.

The thing about staying at Mrs. Hall’s in the afternoon, though, is that I hated it. She babysat seven kids from the neighborhood from babies to kids about twelve. Everyone called her “Grandma” because her grandson lived with her, that’s what he called her and he was the oldest of us. Of course, if that’s what everyone called her, I would call her that over my cold dead body. I had my own wretched grandma, thank you very much.

Plus, Mrs. Hall would constantly call me Steph.
“How would she like it if I call her Mrs. Ha?”
My mother’s glare indicated that I shouldn’t attempt to find out.

The other kids my age, her grandson included, went to the local public school; I went to the school for gifted kids – information which was awesomely stamped on the inside cover of all my textbooks. So, you can imagine my popularity.

I was never bullied about it, though, because the only thing faster than my mouth, in those days, was my fist. Plus, the girls were very conscious of their hairdos and dresses and I was a hair puller.

So, come 3:30, I’d get off the bus, trudge to Ms. Hall’s, sit at the kitchen table doing my homework and wonder why my real mom, Diana Ross, had consigned me to this existence.

However, the best thing about Mrs. Hall’s was that it was across the street from my house and the public library a few doors down the block from me.

One day, I had a flash of sheer brilliance.

“Mrs. Hall. I have to get a book from the library.”

“Okay, pull in the door tight behind you.”

Apparently, $20 a week doesn’t get you much in terms of adult supervision.

I sat in the library and read until it closed at 5.

Then, I went back and sat at Mrs. Hall’s till six.

Genius.

Eventually, I’d get off the bus and head straight to the library and only go to Mrs. Hall’s in time to meet my mother.

And now we come to the dreaded Scooby Doo ending. The one where I would have gotten away with it too…except for… on Tuesdays the library stayed open till 8 pm and I lost track of time.

When I realized my mistake, I ran, literally ranacross the reading room floor, down the two flights of stairs and broke into a dead sprint for Mrs. Hall’s building.

I was too late. I could hear my mother’s voice. I have no idea how long she’d been there. I was a chubby asthmatic girl, so I also couldn’t breathe by this point. Of course, given the tone of my mother’s voice, death seemed like my best option.

“Where the fuck have you been?”

“The…li…bra…ry. For…school…I needed…a…book…for school.”

“Where is it?”

Um.

“I finished it there. That’s why I took so long. It’s a reference book…they have a chain on it so you can’t take it out.”

I am a genius! Children everywhere will sing songs of the girl who came home late, yet escaped an ass whupping. I would pose for statues and sign autographs!

“Mrs. Hall says you go to the library everyday. For months. They don’t give you any books in school?”

“No. It’s the same book. It took a long time to read cause it’s long. And I had to ask the librarian questions and I only finished it tonight.” (This was the day I learned that bad lies have lots of “ands” in them.)

“Well, we’re going over to the library right now and you can show me.”

Oh no. My Stephane statue crumbled before my eyes. My adoring fans faded into oblivion. We put death back on the table.

Then she turned to Mrs. Hall. “What am I paying you for if my child is staying in the street all night?”

Here, I should note that Mrs. Hall was a billion years old, 4’9 and maybe 90 pounds soaking wet. My mom was 5’10 and about 270. The old woman wisely held her tongue.

“Get your things.”

I grabbed my knapsack from the kitchen and spied Mrs. Hall’s grandson snickering at me from the bedroom.

I glared at him.

“Hurry up!”

We walked in silence to the library. There was only one chained book in the place. A dictionary. Still, if I pointed at it from afar, I might…

“Which librarian was helping you?”

Oh balls.

“Um. She’s not here. She doesn’t stay late.”

Dear Mr. Death,

My name is Stephane Clare. I am 8 and a half years old and live in Brooklyn, New York. I am in very big trouble and if you could possibly come get me right now, I would be eternally grateful. Sincerely, Stephane

What? Rich kids write to Santa, poor kids write to Death.

My mother walked up to the reference librarian and asked her if she had seen me.

“Yes, she just ran out of here like a bat out of hell and left a big mess out of the Encyclopedias.”

(I was working on this project where I would learn all the knowledge in the world, leave school and go on tour with Michael Jackson. Also, I started with ‘A’ but it was too thick, so I skipped to J. Go on, ask me anything about jade, juicing or Jupiter! Go on!)

My mother looked down at me and sent me to put all the Encyclopedias back. And then she asked the librarian if any other books needed to be put away. I was given a cart to load them on.

Then they made me put away the newspapers.

“Apologize for being a slob.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Oh, that’s quite alright, sweetheart. You have been very helpful.”

To my mother, she added “your daughter is always in here reading. She must be a very smart girl.”

You. Are. NOT. HELPING. My increasingly panicky eyes flashed at her.

We walked home in silence. When my mom was really mad she threatened to a) Drop me off at the police station where they would take me to juvy for children who don’t know how to behave b) make me join the army so I could learn discipline or c) send me to live with my grandmother in Panama where I could learn to appreciate what I have. I wasn’t sure what kind of transgression going to the library was, but I was hoping it was the “don’t know how to behave kind,” cause I didn’t like doing jumping jacks and I couldn’t speak Spanish.

The cord of my TV got wrapped around the rabbit ears, I was beaten within an inch of my life and I was forbidden from leaving Mrs. Hall’s kitchen table once the bus dropped me off.

No jumping jacks or Spanish! All in all, not too shabby for Stephane. The weeks after that were spent doing homework and writing stories at Mrs. Hall’s kitchen table. I invented child detective “Brittanica Brittany.” Every day she solved the mystery of grandmama’s boy who got punched in the face. Now, see you think Brittany did it, right? WRONG! Turns out he had annoyed another girl years before, who grew up and came back to Mrs. Hall’s to punch him in the face! It was was a twist ending! I also made up historical events and countries and wrote pretend entries about them. I swear almost my whole life I thought I made up “President Harding,” until I got to Prep school and found out he was real. The real one didn’t have any of my awesome adventures though like liberating all the children and giving them candy. I was very big on children’s rights and candy.

Anyway, I’m currently working in a white collar factory downtown. The floors are open 12 hours a day, but we can only bill for a maximum of ten hours and the company mandates a one hour break for a total of 11 hours “at work.” My method of coping with working in these factories is to put on the most uplifting music I can, choreograph lip sync numbers in my head until I can’t bear to be seated anymore. My breaking point is usually around five or six in the evening, which is good because when I get back, it’s almost quitting time.

I used to roam around the streets of lower Manhattan, near Ground Zero and the big Wall Street bull or sit down in T.G.I. Friday’s and have a delicious french onion soup, but then my friend, Alceste, pointed out the Borders bookstore a few blocks away from my office. For the last few days, I’ve spent my mandatory hour break reading books in their cracked faux leather chairs. Today, as I took the escalator up pass my usual spot on the floor with the movies, a wave of de ja vu struck me looking around at all the books. Here I was again killing time with fine literature. I went back downstairs, to my usual chair and started writing.

Dear Death…

Posted in Memoir | 11 Comments

March movie reviews

Why is everything madness all the time? What has happened to us as a people?

Let Me In [Blu-ray] (2010)
This is a creepy vampire movie. Creepy because it’s about little kids. And it’s supposed to be about first love, but one of the first love people is a hundred year old vampire who looks 12. And of course, a boy who gets bullied at school. You know what’s awesome when you’re a 12 year old boy who gets bullied at school? Vampire girlfriend.

Jack Goes Boating (2010)

Bleech. Seymour Hoffman changes himself to impress that weird woman who plays Michael Scott’s girlfriend on The Office. She’s weird too and thinks everyone is trying to rape her. Or she does get raped a lot, the movie leaves that ambiguous. I dunno. It’s strange and too “indie.”

Stone (2010)

Um… the guy who plays Worm in Rounders is in this…with Robert Dinero. It should have been better than it was. As it is, it was NOT good. Worm is in prison, applying for parole. Deniro is his parole officer who is like a super religious guy who doesn’t believe in second chances, but he also beats his wife. Worm sends his own wife to plead his case with Deniro. They end up having an affair. So now of course, Deniro has to approve Worm’s parole. Blah.

A Handful of Dust (1988)

Adaptation of an Evelyn Waugh novel. Can I just say the movie is all Victorian and la di da and Paddington Estates and then she leaves her husband for lover… but THEN it has the bestest ending ever! Not worth renting the movie and it’s over 20 years old and based on a book, so I’ll just tell you: the husband goes on safari “to clear his head,” and ends up being kidnapped by a madman in the jungle who keeps him prisoner to read books! DUUUDE! If more movies ended with people who go “to find themselves” being kidnapped by illiterate madmen, more people would stay their damn asses home and take care of their responsibilities.

Life As We Know It [Blu-ray] (2010)

It’s the blond girl from Grey’s Anatomy and Fergie’s husband. They hate each other, but their best friends are married. Then their best friends die and leave them joint custody of their one year old daughter. And they move in together to raise the child. Awww. It’s just like Romeo and Juliet!

Abandoned [Blu-ray] (2010)

I rented this because it was Brittany Murphy’s last film. She died so young. SO SO SO YOUNG! Oh, this movie is awful though. If she weren’t dead, I would now be threatening to kill her. Alas. R.I.P.


For Colored Girls [Blu-ray] (2010)

I didn’t hate this movie. It’s dramatic. Real real bad things happen to the characters, but there’s no preachy message and they sort of triumph in the end. You know, as much as you can triumph after your family has been murdered, you’ve been raped by your date and gotten HIV from your closeted husband.

Superheroes (2006)

It’s a movie but it looks like a documentary. It’s about a group therapy…um…group for injured war veterans. We see it through the eyes of the weird 20-year-old volunteer who is videotaping the sessions. He befriends one of the vets. They go on a camping trip together. Raise your hands if you think this ends well.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles [Those Aren’t Pillows Edition] (1987)

This is movie was okay. I’d heard so much about it through the years, I thought it would be awesome. Instead, it was a series of inane problems followed by even more inane solutions. You’re snowed in at an airport? Sleep at the airport until the flights head out in the morning. There. I’ve made this movie 10 minutes long and more interesting. I did laugh at the wrong way down the highway part.

Welcome to the Rileys (2010)

Man goes on a business trip to New Orleans. Goes to a strip club. Meets a stripper about the age of his dead daughter. Decides to move in with her to take care of her. His wife in Chicago decides to come down to help. O_O. Um. How come it’s always the white hooker girls who find salvation through the sex industry?


Never Let Me Go (2010)

You don’t know what this movie is about at first…so I’m not sure I should say. I liked it, think you should see it. It elicits interesting moral questions. But the characters aren’t annoying.

Conviction (2010)

You know where all the characters are annoying? In this movie. It’s based on the true story of a high school drop out who gets her GED, goes to college, graduates law school and passes the bar after her brother is convicted of murder.

Megamind

This movie wasn’t awful…though there’s about forty minutes sorta right in the middle where you will sigh and say “this movie is awful.” I really don’t think it’s for kids…unless you’ve got some twisted kids over there…in which case I don’t think they should watch this movie either…they might get ideas. Overlordy ideas. The premise is that there is a good superhero and a bad supervillain and one day the bad guy wins. What now?

You Again

Now THIS is an awful movie. I just don’t get it. The cast: Kristen Bell, Betty White, Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Curtis should have been able to do better with this premise of two generations of high school rivalries facing the prospect of becoming family via marriage. But nope. It’s terrible from the first “oh look Kristen Bell is the ugly girl” scene to the “look now everybody is dancing the Macarena together” final scene.

Dark Victory

I must have been in a Bette Davis mood one day, cause Netflix keeps sending me these old Davis movies. In this one she is a pants wearing, scotch drinking horse rider from a wealthy family. She gets diagnosed with an incurable glioma, but her family and friends decide to lie and say the surgery was successful. She finds out the truth. Dun dun dun. It’s okay.

Persepolis

This is an animated motion picture version of the autobiographical graphic novel of this Iranian ex patriot’s life. It’s excellent. You love her as a little girl, love her family and are sad about what happens to them and their country. Yep, I feel sorry for Iran. That’s some good storytelling right there.

CJ7

This is another movie from the Ku-Fu Hustle people. It’s about a single dad struggling to send his kid to a fancy prep school even though they are so poor the kid wears hand me downs from the dump to school. He is teased mercilessly and one day throws a tantrum in the toy store cause he wants the hot new toy all the other kids have. His dad goes rummaging around the dump and finds something quite special. CJ7! It’s cute.

Shaolin Soccer

Again, same people as Kung Fu hustle, but nowhere as good. It’s weird and doesn’t really make any sense.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The new one. I’ve never seen the original (I have enough problems sleeping without Freddy nightmares.) But I had a hunch the remake would be lame enough for me to handle. I was right. Meh. One cool fight scene toward the end, but the lines were your hackneyed C list movie level.

Friday the 13th

Ditto. The new version is lame. (I did see the original of this one.) It stars Rory’s doofus first love from Gilmore Girls. Everybody dies by variations of getting stabbed in the head… after a while it loses the gore factor. Ooh, there is a whole Lagavulin scene in it though, just for @astinto.

Case 39

Oh. My. God. I picked up this Renee Zwellwegger flick and expected the utter worst. She plays a social worker who has 38 cases of neglected kids on her plate when her boss comes over and hands her a new one. Yeah, lame right? Uh uh. Thirty minutes later, I’m screaming my head off, swearing off having further contact with any children anywhere and trying to hide. Good lord it scared the crap out of me!

Not Easily Broken

Er… I don’t know why Blockbuster sent me this tale of a marriage on the rocks. There’s a lot of baptist church scenes and crazy, neck snapping black women emasculating their poor black husbands until they run straight into the arms of a white woman, so naturally I blamed Tyler Perry. But no, tis reverend TJ Jakes what was to blame. Awful.

Ace Ventura: when nature calls

No clue why, of all the Jim Carrey comedies, Blockbuster would send the *sequel* to Ace Ventura. I mean, how am I to understand what’s happening without the benefit of the original?! I half watched it while falling asleep. Wretched.

Middle Men

Owen Wilson’s brother plays a straight man who gets mixed up with the inventors of online p*rn. He sees the dollar signs and spirals into a world of mobsters and kiddie p*rnographers. It’s decent.

My Soul to Take

Is in the boogie man genre of horror. There are some gruesome deaths, you aren’t quite sure who the killer is until the end, so it serves it’s purpose. And it’s got a black kid!

I am love

This movie is in Italian. It’s set in Italy. The cinematography is simply breathtaking. Did I do that right? That’s the classy way of saying an arty movie sucks, yes? It’s about a redheaded Russian housewife who is a whore. O_o

You will meet a tall dark stranger

Ugh. Yet another in what I’m calling the “Viagra Genre,” of films. Basically, Anthony Hopkins is 400 years old, leaves his 300 year old wife and marries a 20-year-old hooker. Then his daughter’s husband leaves her for the across the hall neighbor who changes without drawing her window blinds and he steals a novel from a guy in a coma. Ugh. Retarded. The whole thing is retarded. #NoSarahPalin

Posted in Movies | 7 Comments

February movie reviews

The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest
This movie was crap. For the same reasons I hated the last one. But now that they’ve finished the trilogy, the Americans can remake these properly. They really especially butchered the third book.

I’m Still Here

I was fine with this movie until I started to get bored about three quarters of the way through and googled it and found out it was a “mockumentary.” Fuck is that?! So this was supposed to chronicle Joaquin Phoenix’s meltdown and retirement from acting and foray into rapping. That was fine. It was compelling even. Douchey and self involved, but, hey I have eleven fifty blogs, so who am I to judge. BUT ALL MY DAMN HELL ASS BLOGS ARE REAL! Although a fiction blog has been…wait…where was I… yeah… so I thought I was watching reality, then found out I wasn’t and then I was annoyed.

Buried

So in keeping up with my main man Ryan “totally NOT Canadian” Reynolds. I rented this flick. It’s called Buried. The box cover is a dude in a coffin. That’s the plot. Dude kidnapped and buried alive in Iraq for ransom. So here’s the thing. If you’re claustrophobic at all stay away. Cause really, the whole movie takes place in a box. I liked it, it was scary…there are some contrived moments that made me roll my eyes because DUDE there’s already a guy buried alive, do you need extra drama here? No. But your heart will race. It ends well.

The Old Maid

Old timey movie starring Bette Davis. She plays an old maid. Well, and a whore. Her cousin dumps this dude to marry another dude, Bette Davis feels all bad for the first dude and shags him. Gets knocked up. Has to fake an illness and “move out West” to have the kid. Then she has to take in thirty war orphans to hide the kid. It’s weird. And for the record, Bette Davis’ eyes? Also weird.


Guess Who

Totally thought I was going to hate this movie. I didn’t. I’ve never seen the original though, so I get the feeling the cavalier way that Bernie Mac is irritated that Ashton Kutcher is white doesn’t quite capture the impact of the original. Bernie Mac’s wife annoyed the hell out of me though. No idea why he married her. Certainly don’t get why he’d want to renew vows to her. This may be part of my ongoing irritation with the way black women are portrayed in movies, especially comedies. Oh, um, plot? Bernie Mac’s daughter is getting married. Guy is white. Hijinx.

The Oxford Murders

DUUUDE! This movie is sooo good! Not the least of all because Owen from Torchwood is in it and I’m kinda in an obsessed with Dr. Who stuff moment in my life. Torchwood is an anagram for Doctor Who! Wait…where was I…oh yeah, so the Oxford Murders is a murder mystery (duh) but you SO WON’T figure it out! But not in an annoying way where they pick some random dude you see one time and make him the killer annoying… SO GOOD! AANNNDDD the movie convinced me that I am not bad at math. In fact, I’m a brilliant mathematician! TOO BRILLIANT for you not-as-brilliant-as-me math people to understand my brilliance. There is only one flaw in the movie, but I assume I only spotted it because I’m so brilliant.


Bride and Prejudice

Look. I absolutely loved the first two hours of this movie. Why on earth was this movie longer than two hours. I dunno. It’s a Bollywood romance. Starring Sayid from Lost! And the new lady from that Fox series starring Chance and the big black guy from Pushing Daisies. But no one watches that…so Sayid! It’s an Indian Pride and Prejudice thing with a white American named mister Darcy and an Indian girl. They are proud and prejudiced. But mostly there is singing and dancing. And brightly colored costumes! Oh, that life were a musical! I would say “my life” but I know my character would die early in the second half.


Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

OMG! It’s another Pride and Prejudice themed movie. I so didn’t plan that! This movie is awful. But Colin Firth… nope, not even worth it to see him fighting in a fountain with Hugh Grant. Well…um…okay, so how about you rent the movie, skip all the way to like the third to last chapter and watch him fighting in the fountain with Hugh Grant.

Cyrus

This movie stinks. It stars that stupid Knocked up guy. Not the main one, the other one. It’s HORRIBLE. It’s just 90 minutes of footage of socially awkward people with undiagnosed mental disorders and we’re supposed to laugh. Wretched.

Cry-Baby

Every now and then I find a Johnny Depp movie I’ve missed. This is the first time I’ve regretted my due diligence. Ugh. Why would he do this to us? WHHYYY??? WHYYY? Okay, it’s a very old movie and maybe he was just young and starving… What’s it about? He’s a bad to the bone teenager in a rockband called the cry babies. He’s sweet on a good girl square. Will she cross over to the wrong side of the tracks to be with him or stay on the straight and narrow with her grandmother? Yawn. It maybe is also supposed to be a spoof of Grease cause there’s singing and dancing and a car race thingy.

Takers (2010)

Vomitous. I had to, unfortunately, watch the first half twice cause I had no fracking clue what was happening and then the second time through, I discovered this was intentional cause it was supposed to be a clever double reverse double triple reverse double cross. It’s idiotic is what it is. Everybody dies. Everybody is in on everything. IT’S STUPID. Ooh, but they do shoot Zoe Saldana in the face! Almost worth renting…


Easy A [Blu-ray] (2010)

This movie was GENIUS! I avoided it at the video store for a long time cause it looked like just another raunchy high school movie for me to hate. But instead, it’s a raunchy high school movie to love! Very funny. Great script. Brilliantly acted! Yay! Hooray! Definite renter!

Plenty (1985)

Every now and then, I come across a movie that forces me to ask google one very important question. That question is “what the fuck was (insert title) about?” Plenty is that movie. Google didn’t know either. Meryl Streep was lovely in it though. O_o *scratches head*


Yours, Mine & Ours (2005)

Awww, this movie is like the Brady Bunch, if the Brady Bunch involved 18 children and forty-five pets and the dad from the Sound of Music. It’s cute.

Phoenix & Griffin
Total bummer terminal illness movie. I’m writing this review before the end cause, well, I’m sleepy. But so far, it’s pretty standard tearjerker fare with a not awesome twist about 30 minutes in. Best lines: Griffin: What is it you always used to want? Phoenix: George Clooney Griffin: I’m being serious Phoenix: SO AM I. GEORGE CLOONEY and if you really love me, you’ll get him for me.

Twelve (2010)

This movie is about rich, promiscuous Upper East side prep school kids who do drugs all the time. It’s told vignette story style and shows how their worlds collide. It wasn’t totally awful.

Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)

THIS MOVIE WAS GREAT! Okay, it was probably just good, but I was expecting such sucky sucktacularness that the coherency of the story floored me! This movie actually made sense! I KNOW, right?! If I wrote those little quotes on DVD boxes the one for this would read “An ending finally worthy of the franchise’s beginning.” It’s a nice gruesome wild ride, right from the gory opening scene to the kickass finale! Yay! Saw is back just in time to not make anymore.

The Social Network [Blu-ray] (2010)

This movie was brilliant! I was riveted from start to finish. Though, I did come away feeling like all the parties involved are douchey assholes. But hey, they did go to Harvard. I am not exactly surprised. That Jesse Eisenberg may have just vaulted himself up from being the poor man’s Michael Cera to being someone whose name I might remember. Justin Timberlake finally finds a role I can believe him in. Brava. Slow clap.


Machete

Okay, seriously, this movie is just pure bloody fun. Like. Really. Don’t look for a plot… though there is something about a drug kingpin lord killing his family or trying to take over the world, I dunno. The dude that plays Machete kills people. With a machete. Enough said. Oh and he has sex with Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez… oh and there is lesbianism. Between Lindsay Lohan and her mother, if you’re into that sort of thing. And a guy gets crucified. So to recap: Things die and people have sex. You’re welcome.

The Hills Have Eyes [WS] [Unrated] (2006)

I was in the mood to be scared. So I rented this. I was not scared. I was annoyed. This movie is stupid. The bad guys are really disabled people. How am I supposed to be all rooting against the disabled? COME ON! Eyeroll.


Devil [Blu-ray] (2010)

I had such low expectations for this movie once I saw that it was brought to us by M. Night Shyamalan that I actually ended up enjoying this movie. It’s about five strangers trapped in an elevator when they start dying off. The superstitious guard starts to think the devil is near and is behind it. Knowing that it was M. Night Shyamalan, I expected it to turn out to be something else, something dumb like…food poisoning. But it wasn’t. It’s formulaic and if you are as avid a consumer of popular television and film, as I am, you will figure it out before the end. But at least it wasn’t a dumb bullshit ending like all his other movies except Unbreakable and the Sixth Sense.

Dinner for Schmucks (2010)

I am going to copy and paste a previous review now: This movie stinks. It stars that stupid Knocked up guy. Not the main one, the other one. It’s HORRIBLE. It’s just 90 minutes of footage of socially awkward people with undiagnosed mental disorders and we’re supposed to laugh. Wretched. Except insert the names of that guy from the office and the dude who played Cher’s stepbrother in Clueless. I really hope this isn’t the future of all comedy now. Blech.

The American [Blu-ray] (2010)

This movie wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t great. But I was interested. I kept waiting for stuff to happen though…it creeps. And then when stuff really starts to happen, it’s over. Oh, Clooney plays an assassin who tries to quit. Yeah…lemon.

Red (2010)

This is starting to become a bona fide movie genre. Old men wanting to keep playing the action heroes. This stars Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman as ex CIA guys who come out of retirement when their compatriots start getting picked off one by one. There is a ridiculous romance story tacked on. But for the most part, things get blown up and bad guys get shot. We should not be encouraging old men to run around shirtless with weapons though. Action movies are the domain of the young dammit. Get me Zac Efron’s agent on the line.

Secretariat

Red followed by Secretariat! See what I did there? This movie was FANTASTIC! Disney just knows how to make you love a movie even when you know how it ends. Yes, you will be on the edge of your seat, holding your breath until the final photo finish! Go, Secretariat, Go! Weird to see Lafayette all normified though.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole [Blu-ray] (2010)

DUDE. DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE. This movie is terrible. Awful. God awful terrible. It’s my own fault though. I rented a movie about talking samauri owls. I did that. Like, on purpose. I deserved what I got.


Mother and Child (2009)

This movie is told vignette style about women and the children they adopt or gave up for adoption or are living as an adopted child. It is designed to make sure you start crying the minute you put it in the player all the way to when you take it back to Blockbuster. Evil manipulative bastards. I need a tissue. Or a box.

Along Came Polly

It’s when a movie like this arrives in my mailbox that I realize that I must truly hate myself. What else would possess me to ask someone to send me a movie starring Ben Stiller AND Jennifer Aniston? WHY? This movie looked awful, I thought it was gonna be awful and VOILA It totally delivered!

Babies

Speaking of delivering. This movie just looked cute. Then it came. The previews are longer than the movie, which follows women on four continents through the last weeks of pregnancy through the first year of their babies’ lives. It totally reminded me that WYGANT TURNED ONE YESTERDAY! I was too hopped up on painkillers to remember yesterday. Bad Aunt Stephane. Anyway, the movie is basically like watching strangers’ home movies. There is lots of boob action. Oh, and you will hang your head when the Chinese baby is driven home from the hospital on a moped and the African baby is biting it’s way to dominance, but the San Francisco baby is bolted down in a car seat with a helmet on its head at the grocery store. Oy.

The Client

This is a super old movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon that I remember wanting to see when I was a kid because the commercial shows the kid hiring a lawyer for a dollar and I thought that was so awesome. And yeah, that was pretty much the best part of this Grisham story about a boy on the run from the mob after the mob lawyer tells him the mob secrets before killing himself. It’s not good.

Nowhere Boy

This movie is about teenaged John Lennon. He is living with his aunt and uncle when his uncle dies and his mother comes to the funeral. They rekindle their relationship, much to the chagrin of his aunt. They sneak around behind Aunt Mimi’s back. She teaches him to play the banjo and he decides to become like Elvis and recruits all his schoolmates into his band called the Quarryman. Or something. The actor who plays John is compelling and the woman who plays Aunt Mimi, is very famous and wonderful…can’t remember her name just now. She’s got like three of them…she was in Four Weddings and a Funeral….damn. Anyway, the movie is good.

Jump

Brought to you by the same people responsible for Kung Fu Hustle. About 1/3 as good. But it’s cute. It’s basically the same as ever other movie to feature the phrase “I just want to dance.” So…you know, there’s a dance off and someone sprains an ankle during the final showdown.

Posted in Movies | 9 Comments

Happy 2011!

New Year, same old insane movie consumption rate:

The Girl Who Played with Fire
This movie was crap. Which is too bad because I loved the book. I’m glad they are remaking these movies because these Swedish versions are terrible. The girl who plays Lisbeth is all wrong. And the actor who plays Mickey is too old and flabby. There is a graphic lesbian sex scene in this one for those who are interested in that sort of thing. (“There is nothing gay about lesbians.” – VinNay)

Hollywood Shuffle

I liked the message of this movie (i.e. that black actors should reject stereotypical roles in Hollywood films) but the fact that it employs those very stereotypical prototypes to make the point AND that most of the actors in it have gone on to be some of the most egregious offenders… well, I raise my eyebrow.

Special

This movie is weird. Gracie recommended it. It stars one of those actors you recognize but can’t name, as a guy who signs up for a drug trial and starts to experience supernatural powers. He’s dropped from the drug trial and then finds himself on the run from “The Man” who wants to make sure he never tells his story. That… or he’s a delusional nutcase.

Carolina
This is a campy feel good eighties type movie. Sassy straight shooting grandma is raising her ne’er do well son’s three daughters. But she’s tough and controlling and then one of the daughters wants to break free or something. And there’s a love story involved.

Across the Universe
This movie is not at all what I thought it was gonna be. I thought it was the story of how the Beatles were formed. It’s not. It’s about hippies in 1960s New York. And there’s singing and weird psychedelic special effects. I liked it though. But the last scene kept skipping on my DVD player, so I can’t tell you how it ends. But it’s one of those movies where you get the feeling that even if you saw the last scene it wouldn’t really make a difference. You know, like in The Usual Suspects.

The Good Guy
Oy. I don’t know what it is about the former stars of the WB, in this case Rory from Gilmore Girls, that causes them to star in these horrible horrible romantic comedies. This piece of crap is neither romantic nor comedic and the whole time you’re watching it, you wonder how Alexis Bledel sleeps at night knowing that she has subjected her fans to this.

You Don’t Know Jack
I thought I was pro euthanasia and so I thought this biopic of Dr. Kevorkian’s life would be interesting. Turns out…wrong on both counts. Al Pacino is so dreary (and yes, I know this dude is Dr. Death, but still. Kevorkian was hilarious on that Michael Moore TV show!) The story is poorly plotted AND ultimately turned me against his cause. Epic fail.

Shrek Forever After

I LOVED THIS MOVIE! I also loved the first Shrek, but hated the second Shrek and then wanted to murder people after the third Shrek, so I almost skipped the fourth Shrek altogether…but I’m so glad I didn’t! It was terrific and empowering, but sweet and hilarious! The villain is great, Fiona’s great, even donkey isn’t as annoying as usual! Definite rent! DEFINITE!

Youngblood
Drizz is officially no longer allowed to recommend movies to me. Or Hollywood is officially no longer allowed to make movies about hockey. I’m not sure which. Blech. Rob Lowe is young and cute though. But the story is so predictable and all the actors are horrible. Blech. Did I say blech? Cause blech. Oh…um it’s about a country kid who gets a shot to make it in the hockey big leagues, but he falls for the coach’s daughter instead. And then he quits, but then he realizes he’s not a quitter and goes back. Or something. BLECH.

I’m Gonna Git You Sucka

O_O I guess this movie was funny in parts, but it’s a satire of black buffoonery that just isn’t satiric enough, so it’s pretty much just black buffoonery. And as Townsend points out in Hollywood Shuffle, there are jobs at the post office. Well, actually, I don’t know. We’re still in a recession… are there jobs at the post office?

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
I thought this movie was FANTASTIC! It’s about a little boy who finds a water horse and tries to raise it in his bathtub. He’s a sad little boy because his father has gone to war and his mom is running a boarding house for soldiers. Turns out his father was killed, but his mom keeps lying to him about it, but he figures it out sorta. It’s cute. Triumphant!

Princess Kaiulani (2009)

This movie is AWFUL! DRECK! I rented it cause the previews make it look like Mulan – with the defiant Asian princess girl all fighting for her country, but THEN it turns out she’s fighting MY country! What?! But not even really fighting. And the accents are terrible and there are no good looking people anywhere. And then she dies of a broken heart and Bill Clinton apologizes to the people of Hawaii for what we did to them in the 19th century. Whoops. Did I just ruin it for everybody? YOU’RE WELCOME.

Midnight Run (1988)
BLECH. This movie sucked. I fell asleep four times. I hated everybody in this movie. EVERYBODY. None of it made sense and…ugh…I can’t remember who told me to rent it, but I want to fight them. It’s about a bounty hunter who has a week to transport a criminal from New York to California to get a 100K payday. But the feds are chasing him, and a drug lord and competing bounty hunters. Dumb dumb dumb.

Tetro (2009)
This is one of those Vincent Gallo arty black and white movies. I didn’t like it, but Vincent Gallo also reminds me of people I generally hate, so that may have colored my view of it. It’s kind of a weird film and you guess the “shocking surprise” ending about 15 minutes in, and then you spend the next 2 hours of the movie rolling your eyes. No bueno.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
VOMITOUS. UGH. Would prefer oral surgery. It’s terrible. Run RUN AWAY. It has a promising opening 15 minutes and then it’s an avalanche of diarrhea down a mountain AND IT’S LIKE THREE HOURS LONG! RUN.

The Town [Blu-ray] (2010)
This movie got such great reviews I was excited to watch it. Even though I am no Ben Affleck fan. It was wretched. Okay, maybe not Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps bad, but bad enough. There are some exciting chase scenes, but the conclusion doesn’t make any sense. The plot doesn’t really make any sense. You never for one second believe anything any of the characters say or do. BLAH. And there are no zombie nuns, so double blah. #RUDE #MISLEADING

Salt [Unrated] [Blu-ray] [Deluxe Edition] (2010)
No lie, I loved this movie! Angelina KICKS SO MUCH ASS! See, unlike The Town, this movie is well written and acted, so as implausible as the plot may be, you believe it because the actors are great and it’s action packed and you are willing to suspend reason because you are having such a good time. And the movie doesn’t promise zombie nuns only to give you Ben Affleck doing an annoying Boston accent. #Stillbitter

The Winning Season (2009)
Feel good tale of a hapless girls basketball team and their alcoholic coach who persevere and end up having…wait for it… a winning season. Meh.

12 Men of Christmas (2009)

AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. Please note: I LOVE KRISTIN CHENOWETH. LOVE. I watched that weird Pushing Daisies show because of her. I gave Glee a third chance because she was guest starring a lot. Saw her on Broadway, listen to her songs everyday on my Droid X. And yet. Every second she was on screen in this movie I wanted to shove something sharp into my face. Oh, it’s the romantic comedy of a big city girl moving to Montana. And there she finds the love of a mountain man. Something sharp. Real real sharp.

Shrek Forever After (2010)

Yeah, I rented this movie twice. And watched it like six times. Get it.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
Blech. This movie is like animated, but not. Like that Polar Express movie. It’s not very good. I recommend you just reread the book. Or watch the Dr. Who episode with Dickens.

The Other Guys [Blu-ray] (2010)
WRETCHED. I swear, if I ever meet Marky Mark, I’m punching him in the face for this. Again, a promising first 20 minutes followed by sheer utter complete nonsense. I don’t even remember how this ends, or I would tell you and ruin it for you so you don’t make the mistake of renting it. They don’t die though, cause I feel that might’ve made me warm up to this movie a bit.

Despicable Me (2010)
THIS MOVIE WAS GRRREEEAAATTTT!! Oh my gosh! The kids are ADORABLE, Steve Carrell is PERFECT! The story is hilarious, but warm. Perfect PERFECT PERFECT! Even though the plot device makes little to no sense. But oh my gosh it’s so cute, you die.

Flipped (2010)

This is one of those coming of age tales that Macauley Culkin and Anna Chumsky would have starred in if this were 1991. I dunno, it’s about a 8 year old girl who decides she loves her 8 year old boy next door neighbor, but he thinks she’s weird and runs away, but then when they’re 16, he realizes she is the only one for him. Yawn.

Amor, Dolor y Vica Versa (2008)
This movie is creepy and weird. But ultimately, I think good. I think. It’s weird and hard to explain. There are many dream sequences and the lines between reality and those dreams are blurred. I told you. Weird.

Elf [WS] (2003)
I think I was probably the last person on earth not to have seen this movie. It was great though! Very funny and sweet and YAY Christmas is saved. Whoops…eh, I didn’t ruin anything, everyone else has already seen it. Oh, who wants to see a picture?

You’re welcome.

Inception [Blu-ray] (2010)

This was the first movie I saw on my new 100 inch home entertainment center. Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me and I was afraid to be alone in my living room for two weeks. This movie is totally like Shutter Island, but hey, I loved Shutter Island, so more power to Leo.

Going the Distance (2010)
So, you totally think this movie is gonna suck, but then… IT TOTALLY DOESN’T! Hooray! Drew Barrymore and Justin Long have real chemistry. Their relationship makes sense, it’s almost as good as that Boston Red Sox maniacal fan movie! Loved it. And the ending is perfectly unexpected.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)
I had given up on Nicolas Cage, but he comes back strong in this one! He co-stars with the guy from She’s out of my league, a movie I hated by the way, and it’s fun and magical, though the love story makes no sense for all the reasons the love story in She’s out of my league made no sense… that dude is patently unattractive.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
I dunno why I keep renting these movies. I find all the characters excruciatingly boring. This installment is no exception. Oh, but now she loves the werewolf boy too. So, there’s that. Some of the fight scenes were cool.

Eat Pray Love [Theatrical Version/Extended Cut] (2010)
This movie is pretty much as bad as you’d expect. Rich lady divorces her husband to have sex with a Spaniard in India. Or something, I dunno. It was boring, but the food looked good.

The Expendables (2010)
LOL. This movie is exactly as advertised. Things blow up. Girls are kissed hard on the mouth and things blow up.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)
DUDE! This movie is FANTASTIC. It’s a mystery suspense thriller with crazy twists. I was surprised at least twice! EXCELLENTLY acted and written and directed. Brava.

The White Ribbon (2009)
This is another arty black and white movie. I dunno. It’s about mysterious tragedies that happens in a small town shortly before World War I breaks out. I KNOW there was some message about the human existence that I was supposed to get…but…er… Also, it was in German.

Posted in Movies | 23 Comments

The big baby conspiracy

“Have you ever changed a diaper?”

“Nope,” I answered sipping my water.

“Me either,” Pi replied with a creeping tone of panic. I guess when you’re pregnant that’s the stuff you start to think about.

We were at brunch to plan Pi’s baby shower. Well, Amanda was there to plan the baby shower; I was there to make sure Amanda didn’t bad mouth me to the fetus. Ever since she lost the role of head bridesmaid at Pi’s wedding two years ago, she’s been out to get me.

The planning brunch was very funny. Pi would suggest something she’d like for the shower, Amanda would say “I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying no.” Then they would ask me and I would say “whichever thing ensures that the baby likes me better than he likes Amanda.”

But that was sheer bravado.

Babies don’t like me.

It’s a fact. In the 26 years that I’ve sort of been paying attention to these things, there’s only one person under the age of 12 months who hasn’t screamed and cried his or her head off within moments of me getting within three inches of them.

For this, I blame my cousin Janelle.

She was two months old, I was nine years old. I had asked if I could play with the baby. No, my mother said. She was too little to play with me, but I could fetch her bathtub which was under the bed and help get her ready for bed. This task was not as awesome as the elaborate kidnapping my Skeletor doll was planning, but I guess it would do.

My mother and Janelle’s mom left the room. I crawled under the bed and pushed the tub out with my head. I stood up, lifted the plastic container and put it down on the bed.

Sorta.

The whole tub landed on top of Janelle’s body. Oh crap oh crap oh craaapp.
But she didn’t cry. She didn’t even wake up.

In fact, if I hadn’t heard it crash against her head, I might have thought it didn’t touch her at all.

I pushed the tub off her, made sure she was still breathing and got the hell out of the room.

And I never spoke of this incident again; though, whenever I see her, to this day, I check her forehead for signs of trauma.

But instead of just crying like a normal person, she sent out the word to all other babies on the baby hotline: “Beware! Stephane hits babies in the head with bathtubs!”

“Dude! That was one time! I was nine!”

But babies are notoriously difficult to reason with.

It wasn’t much of an issue until the last ten or so years when my friends started having kids. They’re all “come meet the baby, Stephane!”

And I’m all “how about when it turns two? Toddlers LOVE me!”

“NO! Meet the baby! Right now! Or I will stab you.”

New mothers? Also notoriously difficult to reason with.

And so. I meet them, they scream. I buy them things. They say leave the toys and go about your way, bathtub basher.

“ONE TIME! ARRGGHHH.” Stupid babies.

A couple of weeks ago I flew out to Arizona to meet my friend’s ten-month-old. Jetblue was having an insane one day sale on domestic flights, so I thought I’d surprise her for her birthday. Her husband is a surprise executing genius and managed to get his wife and son to actually meet me at the airport without having any idea that I was coming! Seriously, I bow.

Of course, baby Wygant screamed and cried, but then I gave him a toy (with no ulterior brainwashing motives whatsoever.) and he was totally cool.

“What’s that on his face?”

“My mom was watching him and he fell on a tree stump and cut his forehead.”
“Um…so your mom was not so much with the watching him?”

Pearatty laughed.

We had dinner at the airport before going back to her house. She was getting Wygant ready for bed and he and I were sitting on his daybed when she stood up to get his bed clothes.

“Can you watch him?”
“Sure.”
She walked half way across the room, thought better of it and came back.

“Here. Let me put him on the floor. Mr. Pearatty’s nephew was watching him the other day and he fell off the bed.”

“Heey, isn’t that kid seven? I am a grown adult! I can watch a baby! Sheesh.”

She put him on the floor anyway.

Just. In. Case. (I think he told her about the bathtub.)

The next morning, the three of us went out to brunch at this fancy brunch place in downtown Phoenix. All the restaurant staff were oohing and aahing over Wygant, who was smartly dressed in his Patriots outfit. Which he totally picked out for himself, because he’s a genius and loves only good things. Our waitress was not at all interested in him, this annoyed me. I MEAN HONESTLY! Just look at that widdy biddy face:

(A really nice man cut up an apple and drizzled chocolate syrup on it for him… that’s what he’s eating in the picture. Adorable, right?) (His mom is so about to take out a restraining order on me right now.)

Anyway, so we’re eating brunch. I ordered the bananas foster French toast. However, as I don’t like bananas and I’m not too fond of French toast… well, bust all around for me. But the mimosas were delicious. So, we’re at the end of brunch and Pearatty leaves me with Wygant while she goes to the bathroom.

Everything was FINE! I was teaching him to say Tom Brady and he was playing with his toy keys and then he dropped the keys.

Before I could finish my “Uh oh…did you drop your keys”? sentence, he was diving after them.

I had a firm grip on him all the way down. Right up until I was sharing custody of him with the ground.

He started screaming. The host came over to see if he was alright and everyone was staring at us. It was horrible! His whole forehead turned bright red. Pearatty came back and took him. Once he stopped crying, he totally gave me the evil eye and was all “just wait till I tell the baby network about THIS!”

(I am not kidding. He gave me the stare of DEATH! Like “sleep with one eye open, lady!”)

I googled “signs of a concussion in babies” and we gave him checklist test.

“Are you having trouble with coordination?”
Stare.
“Vomiting? Do you feel like vomiting?”
Yawn.
“Oh no. Are you excessively tired?”
Closes eyes.

“We should go to the emergency room!”

Pearatty laughed. Though I don’t see how “Mrs. Called the Fire Department when he fell and hit his head in the house” is in any position to judge me! #RUDE

When we got home, Wygant’s dad was hanging the Christmas lights on the house.
“How was brunch?”

“I’m so so sooooo sorry. I dropped the baby on his head. He may have to go to Harvard now. Honest to goodness HARVARD!” And then I burst into tears.

“Don’t worry. We’re moving to Canada. He’ll probably be going to McGill.”

Wait. What?

And that’s when I discovered that my good friend Pearatty, on whose couch I spent many a weekend during my awful Connecticut clerkship, whose baked goods I have consumed for almost ten years is ACTUALLY CANADIAN! Well, her mom was born in Canada, so she can be a Canadian citizen. Same with Wygant’s dad, his mom was also born in Canada. I don’t know how exactly, but Astin is to blame for this.

I called Pearatty’s sister and she drove down from Flagstaff.

“Have you heard this madness! They are trying to take our Wygant to Canadia! CANADIA! He’s going to talk funny, spell words wrong and think football has three downs!”

She had heard. We set about designing “Operation Wygant Repatriation.”

Step 1: Teach Wygant to bite mommy.

We went out to lunch at this awesome Chinese food place I can’t remember the name of, and afterward we went to the Circle K to buy butter for the cake I was promised.

“Hey, little man, what happened to your head?” the clerk said to Wygant.

“Oh, some irresponsible adult dropped him on his head at brunch,” Pearatty said. Oh wait, that’s what I heard, she may have said “he fell.”

But then the clerk guy was all looking at the other bruise on his head and started eyeing us suspiciously.
“Look, Judgey McJudgerton, that boy is one squirmy baby! Why don’t you just sell us our butter and we’ll be on our way!” #RUDE

That night, we made delicious brownies (not the cake I was promised, but still good.) and then went to a local performance of Hairspray at the Phoenix place where they stage off off off off Braodway shows. It was really good, though not as awesome as this version:

(Me: You guys are invited to my Zac Efron wedding! Amanda: You really like ’em gay, don’t you? #COTD)

“See? Aren’t you glad you came to Phoenix? You got Chinese food and a Broadway show… you can’t do that in New York!”

Indeed.

The next day, we did the more Arizony activity of chicken and waffles and watching football with Wygant. He learned the all important “even if the Lions look like they’re gonna win, they’re not gonna win” lesson. He seemed to have forgotten all of the unpleasantness of being dropped on his head and was content to beat me in the face with the remote control until my flight home. Hmm…hold up…

This baby is not to be trifled with! None of them are! They’re a dangerous menace!!

A dangerous, adorable menace.

Posted in Personal, Travel | 18 Comments