Very exciting news! & The Imitation Game review

art, humor, miscellaneous, writing

I lied. I have nothing exciting to tell you.

I finally got a new car, suffice it to say it’s fancier than i deserve. Few shortcomings in design have really stupefied me. Cup holders, completely unusable, retractable, flimsy appendages that are a sneaky scourge of coffee cups and their drinkers. Hot liquid everywhere. Another weird feature is a push button style ignition, fashioned though like a regular key which turns like a regular key, but does not come out. Instead there is another key that you always have with you. This make no sense at all. I have tried to pull out the mock key dozens of times only to remember that it is in fact a “mock” and to feel like an idiot. Well played germans, well played.

Recently I decided to be a little shameless and take up someone i just barely know on his offer to get me tickets to a sporting event. Yesterday, we picked said tickets up at will-call and there we were sitting in the very worst seats in the house up by the roof of arena, flanked on both sides by fat little kids throwing nachos at one another. I made the grievous error of assuming seats would be half decent and taking with me my very polished, fancy model friend and her fiancee. To her credit she didn’t complain once, sitting there in her loubotins with her armani clad fiancee amidst the unwashed masses. (Sorry, not sorry, I am a snob and a misanthrope by own admittance) I couldn’t handle it, we left early. She opted to finish watching the game. In this way i realized she is a better woman than i, and if nothing else, i came out of the ordeal with an added measure of respect for her and her man.

I had high hopes for The Imitation Game. Here is a summary of how i feel about it.

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There were many glaring shortcomings here. The central problem for me is that this is a movie about a genius which treats its audience like grade schoolers. The lead was not relatable because he never seemed like a real person. I think it’s equal part bad writing/bad acting, but his autism played out so exaggeratedly, that the idea of him being aware of his homosexuality or having had sexual relations at all and worse with multiple men was not believable. Then there is the notion that everyone around suspects him to be a homosexual so it’s hardly ever a revelation, but what are these suspicions based on? We are simply told that it’s obvious, while the man we see presents with no sexual nuance at all. In fact the character is completely devoid of nuance of any kind. His relationship with the girl is also not believable, two misunderstood geniuses, underdogs connecting, an unlikely friendship, it’s the very stuff of emotional engagement, but not here, here it’s flat and dry, at best they always seem like acquaintances joined only by the common goal of decoding the Enigma.

Parts of the writing seemed exceedingly trite, like a bad TV movie. When he tells her he didn’t ever love her in an effort to push her away for her own good? Is this Nickolodean? It’s plain stupid, and somehow she believes him, slaps him and stomps off in a despondent rage. Come on, these people spent years together, they would know better. When his team finally stands up for him? But what’s this fierce, newfound allegiance based on? Apples? I think the key problem is that none of the climactic moments read real, and neither did the chAracters. When the most pivotal scenes come off as counterfeit, the entire film feels like a runner with no legs.
A scene that i thought was exceedingly sophomoric was in the end when he had finally told his story to the investigator and asks “so judge me am i a hero or a criminal” Fish much? And the investigator, astounded by what he had just heard, responds “i can’t judge you” etc. No duh, you can’t. Again it’s like a lifetime movie, what goes unsaid gets said, and whatever little bit of finesse or emotional restraint yet expressed through the writing is thrown out with the cheesy dialogue and one dimensional character development. Keira Knightly, whom i don’t usually like, is actually quite cute in this role, so there is that tiny redemptive morsel.
One day a really good film will be made about Turing, god knows he deserves it. The story of his life and works offers ample inspiration for something as brilliant, inspiring and heartbreaking as he was. This flick just isn’t it.

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Saw another movie-Inherent Vice. The title alone seemed like something right up my alley. But this film has no alley, no purpose, no reason to be made. Unwatchable is the only word i can think of to describe it. Its singular redeeming scene was Josh Brollin sensually consuming a chocolate covered banana, i won’t lie, i enjoyed that.

On Las Vegas & getting old-er-ish or Tutus forever

writing

It’s 2 am in Vegas. After an epic weekend of hanging and partying with my besties, I’ve spent most of my last day here alone, marooned in my hotel room, binge watching Ally McBeal on Netflix and eating junk food. It’s what I call regrouping. Anyways, I am well primed for a depressing, esoteric sort of rant. I promise I will in the end have a point.

Being the neurotic, deep-&-over-thinking type I’ve always struggled with just about every aspect of the human condition. I think I had my first existential crisis as a tottering, slobbering toddler with many more to follow in its wake. I envy people who can glide through life largely unaffected by or unaware of the preposterousness of the entire ordeal, and I don’t say this disparagingly. Don’t they recognize that we are all literally born to hazard; the human experience, though punctuated by some occasional variant joys, is really one of perennial exigency and loss. Still, most just mosey on; they grow, grow up, they find joy, have sex, make love, squeeze themselves into various conventions of living (some with more ease than others), they grasp at satisfaction (however slippery it might be), search for meaning (or invent it), bury their loved ones, make or birth new ones, and, after brief quarter and midlife crises, they finally settle into old age. Seamlessly, living becomes about mitigating the pains and indignities of aging, bouncing grandchildren on knees, reminiscing about days long gone, afternoon naps and weekly games of bridge. Those are actually the lucky people. The unlucky ones might not even get to grow old, or they do, but alone, perhaps ailing beyond the assuaging powers of medicine or without the attentions of loved one. Yes, this is the price of living, it is at best a lottery, and in a way we’re always loosing, even when we are winning.

To many it just is what it is, and I envy the “is what it is” lot. They are the lucky ones. I guess they can also be seen as the “glass half full” people or maybe even just “full”. Though I do not possess their optimistic take on life, I bask in its warm glow like a cold blooded reptile sprawled out beneath the sun. I married such a sun, and every day he gives me the warmth and the stability I need to remain earthbound. In his infinite wisdom he lets me be me, do me, whining, sinking, grappling and struggling, all side-effects of my coping ineptitudes and my free spiritedness.

Although I am mostly just baffled by time’s passing…I, more precisely, don’t do well with what it means for me, the limitations it puts on me, and so I am always looking for answers in an answerless void, trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. I’ll probably go through life feeling forever like I’m missing something important but intangible, like wings or a unicorn; or maybe answers, or a time machine, a dead person, a path not taken, a thrill not had, a youth not fully realized and all too quickly gone. That last one, the one about youth waning, is at the center of all my current grumblings.

A couple of nights ago, while here in Vegas, I had occasion to not only feel 16 (as I always do) but act 16 too. I wore a rainbow tutu, took Molly with my friends (which I hadn’t done in well over a decade), made it rain at a co-ed strip joint, danced all night with a sweet, truly beautiful (inside and out) much younger boy and ate a mountain of French Fries on my bed before finally passing out, fully dressed, on a pile of ketchup packets and just in time for the sunrise. It was an indisputably fun, unforgettable sort of night, but in the end it left me feeling sad and dispossessed.

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It was a wrinkle in time, which, for the sake of all things right and orderly, had to be quickly ironed out. I resurfaced from it sorely aware of how little it belonged to me, and how soon there’ll come a time when It won’t belong to me at all. It’s not that I want to be 16 again, or experience any dissatisfaction with my life, really, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world just about most of the time. For all the things I have, most can only hope for. My family is my amazing everything, my husband is my rock & my best friend, my few good friends are more than just “good”, I have fun hair and even a pony 😛 etc. etc.; It isn’t that I want to be 16, it is simply that I never again will be 16, ever. NEVER. The gap is set to steadily widen, and widen it does. Simple enough, pathetic even, I know.

I am suddenly facing the looming limitations and expectations, which come with being fortunate enough to enter that wretched fourth decade of life, the one that marks indisputably the onset of adulthood. It has left me grateful, sure, but even more so, for a time, perturbed and kind of robbed. For most women who face their 30’s with uncertainty it is an experience which is something like a midlife crisis; for a woman like me, one stuck in perpetual childhood, it is worse. It feels like a merciless suffocation (not the fun kind), in most dramatic terms it feels like a dying of the light. I even had a nightmare last night about turning 31, a full on nightmare, I was relieved to wake up and remember that in reality there was a handful of months left before the event….but then I realized it’s ONLY a handful of months.

When I turned 30 this year, I did so with pronounced bravado, much more so actually than any of my previous birthdays, but I can honestly say that I am now having a painfully delayed reaction to it. I’ve had a good run of my 20’s, I like who I was and how I grew. I wasn’t a perfect human, but I learned life’s lessons dutifully, I strived for self-betterment, I sought quality and depth in most things. I can say that I am an ethical person, my integrity means everything to me, I am uniquely committed to living honestly, I mostly do the right thing, I say what I mean and more than I should…. but still, inside, inside I often just feel so little and so 16. And the further away I move from 16, chronologically speaking, the more I feel like a panic. Like something is moving in on me, grimly, and I cannot quell it. Neither can I properly incorporate it into my own-personal-human experience. I am lost in time, and time is no less lost in me.

Although the rainbow tutu belongs to me, I worry that I won’t belong to it much longer, and there in lies the crux of it all. Having cried into my ketchup stained pillow for a good part of the hour while typing this up, I feel slightly relieved, which leads me to believe that this whole rant might have been partially hormonal. Anyways, there is always Botox and lying about my age I suppose, that should buy me a few extra years. Tutus forever for me and mine. Tootle-loo.

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Steven Bauer 57 and his 18 year old girlfriend, the world is aghast

writing

It’s all over the news that a 57 year old is doing it with an 18 year old. That rascal Steven Bauer. Their 39 year age gap got the world in a bona fide tizzy. I might be the only person to, in a way, advocate for this relationship. Oh well. Here goes. It starts with the fact that the audacity of anyone getting involved in the personal affairs of someone else has always baffled me. I know the parallel I am about to draw might seem radical, but this smacks to my mind of the kind of judgment received by mixed race couples or gays or whomever else society deems inappropriate at the time. Why are we still trying to wrangle “Love”.

They have many reasons, all noble of course, to justify their vitriol and their blatant intrusion into these people’s lives. Mostly though they say it’s because they worry for the well being of that impressionable 18 years old, then of course there is the status quo and the impropriety. What’s the world coming to..blah blah bladi blah.

An old man dating a young girl is stomach turning, it is an affront and a perversion? Ah, well the good news is that scenario is as old as time and at least so biologically/anthropologically correct that even Darwin would first approve then blush. Why? Because Steven Bauer has stability, experience, machismo and his 18 year old love has loveliness, some form of purity I imagine, fertility and possibly daddy issues. All that negative blather is just an excuse to judge, to gossip, to make a scandal out of an oddity. The fact that people still think they have a right to comment, to create intrusive, bigoted narratives filled with disdain and suspicion on the subject of others people’s love lives, is outrageous to me. And you wonder why I dislike my species. It is being said, in not so few words, that this couple is basically disgusting, well I heard that said about gay people too, so what’s really disgusting here? People are people, they lust, connect, spend time, learn, nurture and break away…whatever their ages, races, religions, or sexual proclivities. Will there ever be a time, we climb out from under that puritan rock that’s still smashing us into primordial goop? Maybe then I’ll rename my blog “Misanthropist On The Mend”.

There is lots of talking about how they have no common ground, which is why it’s sick or exploitative even.…Well then perhaps it’s just sexual, and how many people in “conventional” relationships have common ground anyways, in fact how many people do in marriages? This is 2014, is having just a sexual relationship suddenly wrong? Are we continuing the antiquated tradition of condemning people for their sexual interests? Whatever the reason for their compatibility, they are both, quite obviously, getting something they want/need out of it. She might just be kinky like that, or damaged like that, whatever it is, she has a right to vote and bang whomever she likes. And though he is old, his attraction to her is not so much perverse as it is honest, sorry, but most 30 year olds and 40 year olds and 50 year olds and 90 years olds are wanking off to videos of “Barely legal” girls, that’s just how it goes. The man is merely living the dream. Not that it matters, but he is not exactly decrepit either.

Then there is the whole age is just a number deal. Isn’t that the mostly popular platitude of all time? Well is it just a number or isn’t it? Are 60 year olds allowed to feel like they are 25 or aren’t they? Say she is mature and he is stunted, that’s how these things usually go between men and women anyways :P. Say they feel like he is a sprightly 40 year old and she is a precocious 25 year old at their hearts, the gap has just lessened, hasn’t it.

 He is corrupting her and taking advantage of a near child? Let’s stop deluding ourselves, most 18 year olds these days are as sexually mature as we’ll never be. The internet alone has made sure of that. So I’ll wager she is not being defiled. Is the healthy alternative for her to be banging college boys her own age, hanging out at keggers, having her heart stomped all over by horny juvenile imbeciles, maybe snapping up a venereal disease or two as a special bonus. Why is that somehow better or healthier? Oh because both parties involved are equally clueless about life and love? Sound logic that is.

The other thing they say to malign this unholy union, to make a story out of it, is that surely it won’t last. News flash, most things don’t, most relationships don’t, most marriages even don’t. Doesn’t make their “relationship” any more contemptible, any less legitimate or real, certainly not to them. Doesn’t mean he isn’t gentle or loving, or that she isn’t feeling loved or appreciated. Essentially it doesn’t mean anything. The fact that we would rather think the worst of them than anything else, tells more about us than it does them.

The truth is this is all about human nature. Humans, as a species are uncomfortable with that which they cannot understand. That which deviates they view as deviant. Deviancy is bad, the word itself denotes evil. Through the ages we have tried our darnest to eradicate it. Deviants break the rules that we have worked so hard to uphold, the rules which guide us through life, and qualify our goodness, our choices, our sacrifices and our morals. In other words when something doesn’t fit into our worldview or disrupts our cozy sense of social order, we feel threatened and respond by attacking it like agitated locusts.

The men who are whining about this situation are Just Jealous, sorry it’s such a cliche, but J.J. can be blamed for about 75% of human negativity. They don’t get to live out their pervy fantasies and neither should anyone else, plus they can feel superior while bashing the guy who does. The women who complain about this situation are simply scared, because if 57 year old men could successfully carry out relationships with 18 years old girls (sexual or otherwise) then what would that mean for woman kind’s already disadvantaged lot in life. Both genders can relax, this romance is not a harbinger of things to come, it is, like I mentioned earlier, a mere oddity. Most 18 year olds wouldn’t touch a 57 year old with a 10 foot poll, except maybe to check if he is dead. Most 57 year olds wouldn’t have the gull to mix it up with an 18 year old either. So all is well in the universe, but do try not to stare.

On Blogging for unblocking

writing

I don’t know yet how I feel about blogging. I certainly find myself having lots and lots of thoughts, I consider myself almost afflicted with too much thinking. Many a nights excess of thinking keeps me up well past my body’s preference, and to the detriment of my ability to function in the following day. There is no real unifying theme to this annoying, unruly thinking surplus. Furthermore, the thoughts are not even cohesive, there is hardly ever a story told, an idea fleshed out or a resolution found. The mind has become increasingly lazy, unwilling to build anything of value. It feels like fishing for say salmon, a nice fat fish that a jolly fat chef will pay handsomely for at the market, but instead all that burdens the fishnets is by-catch. Random, small, unappetizing underwater creatures of not much substance or consequence. My thoughts have lately become mostly by-catch. I have theorized that the sluggish fisherman that is my brain is so because I have failed to exercise him, to nourish him, to love him even. I’ll confess I have stopped reading. Having spent most of my life an avid reader, I now feel quite paralyzed about it. I bought a book at the airport last week, but I can’t bring myself to start reading it. I don’t know what this obdurate resistance is about. It is as if my brain is afraid to be stirred, having settled into a slumber. Is the hibernation so sweet that it won’t allow itself to be roused. I think in some way blogging is perhaps the first step to finding out what has been blocking me. Whatever it is, it feels like an unwinding of a yarn, like an undoing of some kind. If all cells in the body are renewed every seven years, then I think this current version of me is quite different from the other four. I feel like I am evolving and devolving in this 5th cycle, simultaneously.

But I don’t know that I should be quite so candid on a public blog, this is the other thing which has always stopped me from writing in one, I am almost terminally honest, honest about myself. My flaws & weaknesses have never bothered me, and I never cared if they were seen. I am proud to say that I have seldom been governed by my ego. Most people have a shell, it is formed of a survival instinct, which instructs us that it is beneficial to be perceived a certain way. I know the ways I ought to be perceived, the ways which would be most beneficial to me; erudite, educated, sharp, keen, informed, charming, witty. I am not most of those things in my current self assessment, maybe just half of some of them.  I could fake it, although increasingly I find it harder and less rewarding. But if I want to commit to a blog, for the purpose of understanding, exploring and most importantly unblocking, then I have to give in to the potentially dangerous impulse of being even more honest than usual. Expose the by-catch. Radical honesty, although claimed by many, is not at all common or easy, because it’s counter intuitive to that most primal of instincts i.e. survival. Even as I write this, I wonder who comes through between my words, whom would a random person reading this blog see in it, can I be honest and still seem impressive or interesting? I’ll confess, I always found myself interesting, but do less so now, still I have the urge to write with at least that one superfluous consideration, to seem interesting. I’ll be trying not to. My only consideration should be the truth. Although that might be dishonesty already. I can’t self examine this thoroughly just yet. I know however, that I don’t want to construct some careful reflection of who I want people to think I am. If there is any pleasure to be found in this blogging experiment, then it has to be about the truth of things.

I might not be able to start reading again yet…… I think the death of my grandmother has something to do with this by the way, but I can confess that the reading had tapered off long before this earth shattering event. I digressed. I might not be able to start reading again, yet, but I can start writing, start working on that fisherman, on the salmon….or even just the by-catch. I read recently in some article, I still read those on occasion, that there is an increasing trend in fine cuisine to actually use the by-catch as apposed to waste it. Chefs are becoming hip to creating delicious nightly specials out of these random, previously unwanted sea offerings. It’s respectable and trendy, it aligns with the apparent necessity for conservation. The planet can only take so much abuse from its most heinous parasite, the human. Again I digressed. Perhaps I don’t need to catch the salmon to put a good meal on the table, perhaps I can just work my way through the by-catch and cook up something good too. This blog is already making me formulate my thoughts to completion. I feel accomplished. It’s like the equivalent of getting back to the gym after a long hiatus and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction. Soon enough I’ll be running on that treadmill, or catching big fish…or cooking by-catch. Tonight’s dinner special, a smorgasbord of mixed metaphors. It’s a mess. Welcome back, brain.