Monday, January 31, 2011

Hot in Cleveland and Golden Girls

I was sick today, and sick days always lead to a discovery of some new show that I will watch half the day. Last night I discovered "Hot in Cleveland," a sitcom on TV Land, and I've watched six episodes since last night.

The show is about three single middle aged women who moved to Cleveland from LA and still try to act like they're 30. (Sex and the City anyone?) The three of them are funny, but it's the 80 something-year-old quick-witted caretaker of the house played by Betty White. She was cast in the pilot of the show as a guest star and was not meant to be a regular, but her appearance received such enthusiastic reception that she was written in as a main character.

Betty White is adorable. She is 89 years old and still kicking. In the last couple years she's been on Saturday Night Live, the movie The Proposal, You Again ("I'm also on Facebook. And the Twitter!"), an episode of 30 Rock, and several other things including a major role on the show "Hot in Cleveland." She won a SAG Award last night for her role on the show.

She has been acting since 1945 and used to host the show Password in the 60s, but I know her from the show that kept her name alive in the last part of the 20th century, "The Golden Girls."

This show is about three old women who live together in Miami, and one's mother who hangs around their house and gets in the best sarcastic one-liners. Estelle Getty was to Golden Girls what Betty White is to Hot in Cleveland. They're all basically a family and have problems you would expect among a group of young women, made funny by the fact that they're in their 60s.

Betty is the last living Golden Girl, as of June last year. She played Rose, the dim-witted, clueless one of the group who would tell crazy stories like Kenneth from 30 Rock about living on a farm. Golden Girls is one of those shows that can put you in a better mood instantly. I love the theme song.

Love to these shows, Betty White, and you,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Parent Trap

There's a kind of magic to these movies. If you don't know what they're about, two estranged twin sisters meet for the first time at a summer camp and realize they were separated at birth by their parents who divorced and each took one child. The one who lives with her father in Napa, CA is more of a tomboy and the one who lives with her mother, a famous wedding dress designer, in England is more refined and feminine. Each girl wants to meet their missing parent, so they decide to switch places and get their parents back together so they can finally be the family they were meant to be.

Like any little kid, I went through phases of being totally obsessed with certain movies. In Kindergarten, these were my favorite. I remember watching both versions so many times at my grandma's house that to this day she still can't stand them. Sometimes I used to watch the Lindsay Lohan version twice in one day.

The original version came out in 1961 and starred Hayley Mills, my favorite actress when I was little. I loved old Hayley Mills movies like That Darn Cat, Pollyanna, and The Parent Trap. The mother here is played by Maureen O'Hara, the mother in Miracle of 34th street, which I'm sure means nothing to anyone but me.

I used to walk around singing this song. They nod to it in the 1998 remake where they have Lindsay Lohan sing it while waiting for an elevator.

This was Lindsay Lohan's break into acting, and it makes me sad to think of the drastic downward spiral her life has taken since then. Between the soundtrack and the charm of the awesome cast Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, and young Lindsay Lohan, this movie is an adorable remake of an adorable classic.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Desperately Seeking Susan

I saw this movie for the first time tonight, and when I pressed play I actually squealed. My sister said "What was that?" I said "I'm so excited!" She called me a nerd, and I deserve it, but it's Madonna in a movie!

The tagline for this movie is "Roberta is desperate to be Susan. Susan is wanted by the mob. The mob finds Roberta instead."

This movie is about a bored woman named Roberta, married to a nerdy hot tub salesman, who lives vicariously through some woman named Susan she has never met. She knows of Susan through the personal ads where her boyfriend leaves messages for her titled "Desperately Seeking Susan."

Susan is a drifter, so when her boyfriend can't find her, he leaves her a message in the personal ads detailing a time and place for them to meet. Roberta wants to know more about the elusive Susan with the kind of exciting life she will never have, so she stalks their meeting. When Susan sells her signature jacket, Roberta buys it to emulate her idol. She ends up hitting her head and gets amnesia, and everyone including herself believes that she really is Susan. Unknown to Susan, the mob is after her for her earrings, stolen artifacts, and they come after Roberta instead.

This movie is everything I love about the 80s. If I could be made into any character from any movie ever, I would want to be Madonna's character in this movie. This review calls it "a must see for anybody interested in 80's culture."


Friday, January 21, 2011

Todo Pasa

The best advice I ever received was from a story in my Spanish 3 reading workbook called Todo Pasa, or Everything Passes. Basically, the story is about a King whose servant offers him a piece of paper with a message on it and says to keep it in his ring and only read it when all else has failed. Later in the story, the kingdom is invaded and the king remembers the ring and reads the note that says "Esto también pasara" or "This too will pass." Everything gets better and his kingdom is like the best ever. The servant tells him to look at the message again to remind him that his success won't last either.

It means that time passes and things that seem really important or really horrible right now won't last forever. Things will get better, but it's the same with really good things. Those won't last either.

"Ninguna cosa y ninguna emoción son permanentes. Todo viene y va como el día y la noche. Habrá momentos de alegría y momentos de tristeza. Acéptalos como parte de la dualidad de la vida; es la naturaleza misma de la existencia."

Nothing and no emotion is permanent. Everything comes and goes like day and night. There will be moments of happiness and moments of sadness. Accept them as part of the duality of life; it is the nature of existence.


Monday, January 17, 2011

5 Things I'm sick of hearing about Twilight

Twilight is one of those topics on which everyone has an opinion. It is also one of those things you don't discuss in mixed company, like politics or religion. What I find more amusing and annoying than any obsessive Twilight fan is the ardent and vocal backlash from the Twilight haters. When you find someone who hates Twilight, chances are they *really* hate Twilight. Many times I can laugh at the awkward teenage boys who whine about Twilight while secretly resenting this fictional vampire for attracting girls in a way they never could, or the "intellectuals" who condemn shallow teen literature for insulting their intelligence while using the very intellectual work "Twitard." However, it does bother me that I hear more Twilight talk from the haters than anyone who likes it. Here are 5 things I'm sick of hearing about Twilight.

1. "Harry Potter is sooo much better!"

You can't compare apples to oranges. First of all, I would put Harry Potter in the category of literature and Twilight in entertainment. That's like saying Newsweek is so much better than Cosmo. They're not trying to compete. They cater to different audiences with different interests. They serve different purposes. Also, I could whine about Harry Potter fans just as these Harry Potter fans whine about Twilight. Twilight is overhyped, but I got sick of hearing about Harry Potter in 6th grade. Anything that's talked about too much becomes annoying. Everyone should just shut up, stop making it into a competition and leave the two alone.

2. "These kids think they like vampires but they don't know anything about vampires!"

It's kind of ridiculous to complain about the factually inaccurate portrayal of a fictional monster. If you feel like fighting for social justice, leave the sparkly vampires and take up gay rights or something. If you really care that much about Twilight tarnishing the good name of vampires, maybe it's time to reevaluate your life.

3. "Twilight is so stupid blah blah blah Twitards blah blah blah blah blah blah blah vampires suck blah blah blah..."

People who talk endlessly about how much they hate Twilight and roll their eyes at any mention of it. Shut up. The difference between pro-Twilight babble and anti-Twilight babble is that one is positive and one is negative. People would always rather hear positive babble than negative, so shut up and don't drag your personal rain cloud over the rest of us.

4. "They copied other books! There are other books like this! It's not original!" *points fingers*

So? There's a reason this one became popular and those didn't. You want to sell a book? Make the people like it. There's definitely something about Twilight that makes people like it. When they sue Stephanie Meyer for copyright infringement, you can picket outside the courthouse.

5. "Stephanie Meyer is a bad writer who doesn't deserve to be famous!"

She repeats the same adjectives and verbs endlessly, her ideas weren't original, and the whole thing is teenage fluff. But the combination of elements she threw together hit a serious chord with girls. I think she definitely deserves her fame. If you can throw together a book that is so frivolous and simple but pushes just the right buttons to make girls obsess, more power to you. You deserve fame. She pulled strings, pushed buttons, and hit chords with the simplest things. It won't win her any Pulitzers for literature, but it is the entire goal of the entertainment industry to bring people something that interests them to the level of obsession.

Basically, people would rather hear about how much you love something than how much you hate it. Compulsive negativity is annoying, more annoying than any teen obsession. I'm sure soon everyone will stop talking about Twilight and move onto their next target. Watch out Justin Bieber with your baby face and childlike smile. If you keep spreading sunshine to children, the world's former Twilight haters will beat you with copies of the newest Harry Potter.


Looks matter, but not in the way that you think

People (self-righteous holier-than-thou free love anarchists) like to say looks don't matter to them. It's just an inevitable fact of nature that they do. Things that are more aesthetically pleasing are more attractive, and this applies to art, nature, architecture, people, everything. Looks shouldn't dictate our judgments about people -- they're part of a genetic lottery not everyone can win, but that's not the whole story. There are aspects of appearance that people can control very easily, and it is by this more than anything that people are judged.

I used to argue about this with my dad endlessly when I was little. He would yell at me to take off my chipped nail polish and cut my gross nails, and I would yell back with "I don't care! No one ever looks at my nails!" He would say "If you look like you just don't care, why should anyone care about you?" When I was eight, I thought this was ridiculous. Now that I'm 18, I wish I could time warp 10 years and tell myself to listen to Dad.

Your genetics are out of your hands, but the way you present yourself is your choice. It's shallow and unfair to judge guys on a scale from 1 to Chace Crawford, but they just ask to be judged when they voluntarily choose to look like a hobo. If they have the means to cut their hair, shave, and wear clothes that match, and they don't do those things, that screams to the world "I don't care what you think, so don't bother to think about me."

It's a matter of respect for normal social customs, and those who defy them only ask for judgment. People like to criticize those who judge by looks and label them as shallow, but looks can tell you a lot about a person. Everyone makes a conscious decision about their appearance when they get dressed in the morning, and this choice can immediately tell you how lazy or apathetic they are. It doesn't mean spending an hour doing your hair or wearing pounds of makeup, but looking clean is just a little thing anyone can do to respect themselves and everyone who has to look at them.

Don't judge a book by it's cover? The cover is not the whole story, but we shouldn't ignore the choice that went into it. Someone chose that cover to represent the book.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Middle School Party Games

Middle school probably produces the most embarrassing and hilarious pictures of yourself that you will ever see. I had horrible teeth then braces, I dressed like a boy, and weighed 25 pounds more than I do now even though I was shorter. I'm still in an awkward stage, but middle school was the climax of it, and everyone looks back on middle school pictures and laughs. The party games we played reflected just how unfabulous it all was. Drugs, cigarettes, violence, and pre-teen pregnancy are pretty common in middle schools from what I hear, but my middle school years were more like a 90s sitcom. Doing makeup, talking about boys, and playing one of these games was our idea of a party.

1. Truth or Dare

I could make a whole post on this game, guaranteed at any party from 3rd grade on. It was actually more popular in elementary school and started to die around 7th grade. Players are asked to choose truth or dare. If they pick truth, they are asked a question which they have to answer. If they pick dare, they're dared to do something weird. Obvious popular truths were "who's your crush," "have you ever kissed a boy," "have you ever seen a guy naked," "have you ever slept in the same bed as a boy," etc. For whatever reason, daring people to hump things was always popular, even in 4th grade. I was dared to make out with a life-sized Barbie doll in 5th grade (forshadowing?). I've probably played this game 40 times.

Of course, it was more fun to play with guys. As sexual as 12-year-olds dared to make it, the co-ed version of this game involved taking off clothes, touching, kissing, whatever, but it was all generally innocent. Girls for some reason all thought they had to kiss someone before high school, and this game was their ticket in. Daring the guy to kiss the girl put the spotlight on him and made it less awkward for her because she was the "victim" of the dare. Victim, yeah right.

We never played spin the bottle or seven minutes in heaven, and I've never heard of anyone playing them in real life, although I'm sure they do. Kids have texting now. They skip the little games and sext each other instead. Wow did I just say sext?

2. Park Bench

In this game, one person pretends they are sitting on a park bench. The person whose turn it is pretends they are a stranger encroaching in the space of the park bencher. Their job is to say the most awkward things possible to make the park bencher surrender and get off the bench.

They can move into their space as much as they want, whisper in their ear, whatever, but it's generally no contact. There's a contact version where you touch the person until they're so uncomfortable that they surrender, but that one is more fun with boys. We used to play this game in P.E. instead of actually, you know, exercising like we were supposed to.

3. The Interview Game

My friends used to love to cause drama, and someone was always fighting with someone. At lunch, to keep a catfight at bay, we would play this game. One person is the interviewee, and everyone else is an interviewer.

The interviewers all discuss a job they want to assign the interviewee, but they never tell the person. Let's say lion tamer. The interviewers all agree on lion tamer, and they ask the interviewee questions about their job as a lion tamer, dropping subtle clues as to what that job is.

The interviewee has to answer the questions, pretending they know their job, and eventually, using the clues, guess what that job is. "You really seem to take a bite out of life. Is it hard to tame your passion for your line of work?"

4. Kiss, Cliff, Marry

I first played this in 7th grade and actually played the older version Kill, F*ck, or Marry in the past year. In this game, you're given a choice of three guys you know, and you have to decide which of the three you would kiss, throw off a cliff, and marry. It's an ice breaker in a group situation and less personal than truth or dare, which at times had a hangover effect when you did/said something you regret later.

5. Magic 8 Ball

Pass it around. Ask it questions. Who will kiss whom, who will marry whom, everyone laughs. Simple party fun that could last a long time, surprisingly. One of those truth or dare kissing schemes was hatched as a result of Magic 8 Ball results.

6. Ouija Board

This is an oracle game that contains just a board full of letters and a compass with a magnifier in it. What you're supposed to do is sit in a dark-ish room and have everyone put their hand on the compass. Then you ask the "spirits" a question, and they are supposed to guide the compass over the answer.

Like the Magic 8 Ball, it was supposed to be a fortune telling game, but it always turned into a séance. We would make the room as creepy as possible, and every little sound or movement we would look at as a sign of a ghost. Whenever the compass moved, someone was always moving it and swearing they weren't.

I played truth or dare at my sister's friend's party recently. They asked me if I liked my sister's 13-year-old guy friend. I very dramatically said yes, but I didn't want him to find out this way. I still pull out the interview game in boring situations and it always breaks the ice, and Magic 8 Balls are fun no matter how old you are.

I was thinking of posting on the hand clapping games we played in elementary school, but I don't remember enough of any of them to explain. I'm working on it.. ^_^