I’ve been doing this memory exercise that really works. I’ve been having that middle aged lady thing where you can’t remember anything, like even to the point where at least once a day I walk with purpose into some other room in my house and then just stand there mystified. Why did I come in here? Who am I?
I can hear Steve yelling at me that I am not middle aged yet, and he is right, but that memory thing is associated with older ladies so that’s why I called it that.
And I’m forgetting conversations almost immediately. Twenty times a day I say “was I talking to you about this?” and half the time the other person is like “I don’t know…” We’re all just fumbling around in an internet miasma or something.
Although, my face blindness is getting a bit better as I have set myself the task of making a really really big deal out of it whenever I meet someone. “Your name is Al, right? AL AL AL AL AL AL, you’re pretty, I’m looking at you right now, okay, AL, I got it.” It was a great triumph when next I saw Al and recognized her instantly. Unfortunately this tactic only works with someone good natured who you already have mutual friends with. You wouldn’t want to do it at like a job interview. “Okay you’re the Dean of Humanities, DEAN DEAN DEAN, you’re old, you’ve got rad earrings on, DEAN DEAN, okay, I think I got it.” After something like that they are totally not going to say “Kid, you got the goods.”
Anyway, I’ve been doing this memory exercise. I read about it somewhere. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHERE. Oh god. Anyway what you do is, when there’s something you want to remember–for example, you’re laying in bed reading the New Yorker and you read about some weird Robert Mitchum movie from 1958 that you’d like to see, but you know you’ll forget about it the instant you put the magazine down–you picture a room, or even a whole house. I picture an entryway going into a big kitchen. I don’t know why, that’s just what came up when I assigned my brain the task of envisioning a room. Then you put whatever you want to remember in a certain place in that room. This works well with grocery lists for example. In your mind, visualize cilantro in a collander in the sink, tomatoes on the cutting board, onions in the little hanging thing, etc. Picture each thing carefully. Then you just remember it later, it’s crazy. It works!
I would do sudoku if I understood even the most basic concept of what that even is.
All day yesterday I shopped for a bridesmaid dress. It was terrible! It was so hot and I had to eat beans and rice standing up by the Nordstrom. Nobody had a dress for me! Today I have to go to Macy’s and try on a bunch of different brands so I know what size I am and can just get something on ebay.
I also went to the American Apparel. Going into an American Apparel, for me, is literally never a good idea, and yet once every 3 years or so I talk myself into it. “Maybe I’ll find something I like!” Every 3 years I forget that I am not interested in wearing exclusively thongs, tube socks, and see-through tank tops. This time I had talked myself into believing there would be a swimsuit top for me in there. Oh ha ha ha!!! HA HA HA HA!
Hi mom and dad at our family get-together at the beach! What’s that? Why yes I did get a new swimsuit top. Oh really? You were not interested in seeing 100% of my nipples on full display? Well I’m sorry you’re so uptight, man.
When I told my mom I was shopping for a bridesmaid dress, and that I could get any dress I wanted so long as it was blue, she immediately excitedly goes, “oh! If it’s dark enough blue you could wear it to Paw Paw’s funeral!”
First of all, my grandfather is not dead yet. Second of all, what kind of funeral can you wear a bridesmaid dress to? Like a strapless mid-thigh-length cocktail dress made of chiffon or whatever? I don’t think so. Although, admit, I would truly be the belle of the funeral. Although everyone would probably think I was having mental issues.
I went to two nights in a row of comedy and it was great. Comedy Bang Bang was Thursday and Todd Glass was last night. Both delightful. It is such a true delight to see geniuses plying their craft. I sincerely call Paul F. Tompkins a genius. The man is unbelievable. He can just go onstage and do like 20 minutes of total improv and everyone is dying. He makes it seem effortless. And he has a very funny fancy man’s mustache, which is one of only two mustaches in history I have ever liked, besides Nietzsche’s (for unintentional comedic reasons). At Comedy Bang Bang I sat all the way to the right, with a crew of dudes. All the way to the left sat Katy and Nicole, who reported later that the extremely loud drunk girl who caused a ruckus during the beginning of the show and who was then very gently and reasonably shamed by Scott Aukerman (lifelong comics being by necessity very very good at dealing with hecklers and crazy people), then spent the rest of the 2 hour show SOBBING in her seat, right there in the front. But didn’t leave! Stayed for the whole thing but sobbed with heartbreak throughout. I do not feel bad for her, but that is amazing.
Fan energy is heavy. When you love something so much that you come to hate it. You love it so much that you want to interact with it even to the detriment of that thing, of everyone else’s enjoyment, and of your own dignity as a human being. That kind of crazy-eyed fan energy where even if Scott Aukerman is yelling at you to shut the fuck up, you’re thrilled because he’s noticing you. Creepy!! And this is the reason it’s so awkward for the rest of us to go talk to people we admire, because we know that they are all secretly worried that every person who approaches them is one of these people.
Remember when I was 7 and could have met Jimmy Stewart but chickened out and my dad told me I’d regret it for the rest of my life and I did?
Who is the most famous person you have met? Mine is George W. Bush, in infancy (mine, not his). But I have also met John Linnell, Philip Glass and Cab Calloway. And various less interesting ones. I was also touching someone who almost touched Bill Clinton, one time. And one time Clyde Drexler let me cut in front of him in line at the airport and I was like “thanks” and everyone else was like “WHAT A DELIGHTFUL MAN, DID YOU SEE THAT? WHAT MANNERS, WHAT A GENTLEMAN, TRULY WE ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS” and I was like “jesus christ, what’s the fuss?” and then somebody told me it was Clyde Drexler, and I didn’t know who that was until I asked Steve later. “He’s a basketball player.” “Oh.” “Couldn’t you tell?” “How would I know that?” “Because he’s a ten foot tall black man everyone’s trying to shake hands with?” “Oh.”
The aura of fame is weird. Even when you don’t particularly care about that person’s output, there’s still this weird glow around them. Seeing someone in person you’ve only seen on a screen is bizarre. I think the people who do best in these encounters are actually the people who DON’T find this weird. My brother has a friend who’s just some random carpenter but who was briefly dating some girl who worked on Curb Your Enthusiasm in some capacity, and somehow at some dinner he was seated across from Larry David, who FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM. I think because this guy didn’t care! He was just acting normal. Larry was so into his vibe that a week later the dude was walking down the street and he heard someone loudly yelling his name and he turned and it was Larry David, so stoked to see him. “Oh hey Larry.” I love that story.
Being famous must be sad, a lot of the time. Clooney talks a lot in that profile about how you just resign yourself to not going out and doing stuff. He says that’s why you buy such a big house, with a pool and bowling alley and personal chef and film screening room. Because you actually have to hang out there all the time. You can’t just go to the bowling alley like a normal person. On the one hand it’s like, oh cry me a fucking river, you assholes, right? But on the other hand it is kind of depressing. The bizarre distance created between humans, for a really arbitrary reason. They’re still just people. Like everyone’s so surprised when movie stars remember people they went to high school with. Why wouldn’t they?
I saw the new Batman. Full disclosure: I hated it!!!!! SO MUCH!!!!! Christopher Nolan must be the most insane egomaniac. That shit was so pretentious. Everyone’s like, oh it’s just a fun popcorn movie! No it’s not!!!!! That shit cost eleventy billion dollars to make and it was pretending to be all about Occupy! That’s not a fun popcorn movie! That is, like, more pretentious than Schindler’s List. Because “pretentious” means you BELIEVE you are weighty and important, BUT AREN’T. Daniel Day Lewis isn’t pretentious, he’s just a bizarre badass genius. If you really are that thing, you can’t be pretentious about it, you just are it. Christopher Nolan’s batman is like, ooooh social issues! The French Revolution! protest and stuff! I’ll take a billion dollars and just half-assedly show you some images that are reminiscent of things really going on in the world, and somehow I believe that’s the same thing as “exploring” or “interrogating” those things, and I believe this makes me look “deep.” Like, I’m sorry, but what exactly are you saying about democracy, with all this Reign of Terror imagery going on? And so, there’s the group symbolizing Occupy, and they take over wall street and it’s awesome, but then suddenly they start violently dispersing protesters, and now the protesters are the city’s cops? “We’re not gonna take it! Batman come down in your heli-bat-copter and scare this riff raff!” and then the protesters/now-oppressors are like “DISPERSE OR WE WILL SHOOT YOU” just like cops, and the actual cops are like “USA!!!!!!!!! WE SHALL DIE AS MARTYRS” and by then I was just like, what the fuck is going on here. Wait, who is doing the titular “rising?” Is it the citizenry, like it’s supposed to be in real life? No wait, it’s the richest man on earth–he’s the one who needs to rise, to save all the people, including the rich people who the revolutionaries threw out of their fancy apartments and they’re all inexplicably wearing full-length mink coats! I love that full-length mink coat is still all we need to indicate “fat cat rich person who shall be first upon the scaffold.” Like, where are the powdered wigs and the fake moles? Am I watching an 18th century political cartoon drawn by a secret royalist or WHAT. I guess for a time it could have been read as, like, oh yeah, revolution always ends up in just a different group of assholes being in charge, which, to be fair, is totally true, but then when the police became the protesters, and when the secret Actual Villain delivered the monologue about the desert warlord whose wife was kidnapped and put in secret underground prison and that’s why everyone on earth must now die in a nuclear holocaust I no longer understood what kind of allegory I was supposed to be trying to construct. Then I remembered that this is actually not an interesting social allegory, IT’S JUST PRETENDING TO BE ONE, and then I got super irritated.
The amount of money spent on creating that movie could have funded the American education system in its entirety for like a decade (probably not true). God. Imagine if people actually took that amount of money and made a real movie exploring the themes of Occupy. It would be so incredible. Instead we just get Christian Bale’s sick tongue-work and Commissioner Gordon finally realizing that Batman is Bruce Wayne (SPOILER ALERT), after 40 years of knowing both those dudes incredibly intimately.
Anne Hathaway was awesome though. If she had been in 90% more of the movie it would have been way more fun.
“[INSERT INCREDIBLY LONG AND COMPLEX VILLAIN DOUBLE-CROSS EXPOSITORY MONOLOGUE DURING FINAL 30 SECONDS OF NUCLEAR BOMB COUNT DOWN WHILE BATMAN JUST GOES "UGH!" EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE]”
Tom Hardy is such a babe. I liked his character but then by the end it was all just a big jumbled mish-mash. Like, is he a revolutionary hero or just a psychopath or what? He cries a single tear at the end but by then I no longer had any idea what was going on. Gordon-Levitt was really cute as Robin, credit where credit’s due. It’s been fun watching him become a man, like now he’s finally just a Man Babe instead of a cute boy. I’m so sick of Hans Zimmer I could literally barf my guts out all over the floor. Like, Hans Zimmer, please fund my purchase of an economy size jug of headache medicine if I must sit through another one of your Batman films, for truly I have suffered as a saint. After the movie my mom goes “there were hardly any music credits!” like she was all mad on Hans Zimmer’s behalf, like he didn’t get enough cred. I was like, mom, don’t worry about Hans Zimmer. If he got any more accolades he would explode and we’d all drown in endlessly crescendoing upward-moving harmonic textures and the sound of a million timpani being ceaselessly beaten by the world’s strongest men who are also all on meth. There, I said it.
I mean, it’s probably not his fault–I’m sure he just does what’s expected of him, like obviously the new Batman can’t have some rad sparse score comprised of excerpts from overlooked 20th century avant garde compositions (Shutter Island shout-out! Why can’t Robbie Robertson be in charge of the Batmans? CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW GOOD THAT WOULD BE). So, no offense to any of you who are Hans Zimmer fans (what? Is that a thing). Here is a bone I will throw you: I actually thought his Sherlock Holmes scores were, and I quote myself: “awesome.” Interesting and sprightly and fun and with a cool period flare that actually made sense contextually. Also that part in the second one where Holmes is like “TO THE OPERA!” and then the score flourishes all dramatically into the theme from Don Giovanni? Oh shit they’re going to Don Giovanni!!! IT’S ABOUT THE DEVIL! That’s good old-fashioned nerd stuff. I played that moment for my old man when he got home and he goes “it’s cute!” So yeah, dude obviously knows what he’s doing. I choose to blame Christopher Nolan.
Anyway, now I have to go to Macy’s. It’s going to be 99 degrees today and everyone’s terrified, it’s like the president just told us nukes are headed our way and god help us all. “I’m just gonna go home, draw all the curtains, and pray!”
Not me, I’m going to try on chiffon gowns.
Should I read Reamde? What if I was someone who loved Diamond Age and Snow Crash, and hated every single other thing Neal Stephenson had ever written, but I had spent the rest of my life wanting to read something as good as Diamond Age again just once before I pass. Should I read Reamde? DO NOT respond to this by explaining yet again how good Cryptonomicon or whatever is, because I seriously do not care.
“I’m sorry but I am PISSED!”