Time and time again I’ve written about the aspects of living at home that are enjoyable: Family, home-cooked meals, blah blah blah. Well I’ve been feeding you bullshit for a long time. Now it’s time to get down to brass taxes, shoot from the pelvis, and hear it straight from the horse’s lips: HBO is the greatest thing to ever happen to me.
Unlike Beyonce, who is undeniable yet only human, no other force has had a greater impact on my time living at home than HBO. For those of you who don’t know what you’re doing with your life, I have some great advice: move home, make your parents pay for premium cable, and ditch all your friends. I know many of you have trouble juggling your social life, what with all your party invites and dinner with friends and even trips to make fun of fat people at the mall (that’s still a thing, right?). I, fortunately, do not have that burden, which is why I spend my Sundays (and Fridays and Mondays and Wednesdays) with my loyal friend HBO.
There are so many things to love about HBO, so I’m gonna break it down for you right here:
Game of Thrones: This show is so awesome it actually made me read books again. Ever since the first season last year, I’ve been on a year-long Game of Thrones diet. Let’s just say it involves lots of wine and calling people whores. Now that the second season is heating up, my life is complete again. This season is chock full of nudity (bonus!), gruesome beheadings (double bonus!), and intricately woven explorations into the nature of power, where it resides, and what sort of influence the real or perceived effect of power has on an individual and society as a whole (OMG I just jizzed my pants!!!!). Did I mention that someone is gruesomely killed every episode?!?!
Veep: The only thing funnier than the concept of the Vice Presidency is Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Her and lady blazers and lady f-bombs, none of which are lacking on this show. Whip-smart British humor and a strong supporting cast (Buster Bluth!) also help. Additionally, there is in fact a black woman on the show, so it’s not like I’m a racist for watching shows with only white cast members. Right, guys?!?!?!
Girls: For some reason I keep thinking this should be the theme song for the show. Alas! it’s not. However, there is something humorous about former co-eds drifting in NYC trying to get their shit together (Am I right, Gen Blau?!?!). And despite the fact that the show was created by, written by, produced by, directed by, and starring women, the only thing that brought me to the show was the name of a bearded middle-aged man that was on the advertisements. Am I right, Judd Apatow fans?!?!
TrueBlood: Supernatural soap opera involving vampires, vampire hookers, werewolves, werewolf hookers, hookers, witches, bitches, fairies (the winged kind), fairies (the gay kind), mind-readers, lip-readers, lip-lockers, shape shifters, shape shifter sex, regular sex, shower scenes, gumbo, Oscar winners, lesbians, black panthers (the mammal), funny accents, demon babies, and Southern manners. Need I say more?!?!
Curb Your Enthusiasm: This last season might have been the best Curb season ever. From a pleasure-inducing Prius, to Bill Buckner finally catching something important, to one of the greatest debates about performance-enhancing drugs not involving Jose Canseco, this was truly a season to remember. The biggest takeaway: I’m an elderly Jewish curmudgeon at heart. Am I right, old people?!?!?!
The Wire: Sometimes, in social situations, I pretend like I’ve seen The Wire. This is embarrassing, I know, because it’s supposedly the greatest show ever, or whatnot, but every time I try and watch it, I realize I’d rather not think while I watch TV, so I don’t. It’s like the television version of War & Peace: a classic must-read that all pretentious educated people talk about, but you don’t want to put in the time. And it uses big words. Also, you prefer picture books. Am I right, college grads?!?!?!
Mad Men: Okay, so technically this show is on AMC, but it’s like an honorary HBO show. Kinda like how the two non-Beyonces were honorary Destiny’s Child members. Also, this was just an excuse to put in a picture of Jon Hamm. Am I right, ladies?!?!?!
So, as you can see, HBO and I have a great relationship, and we ain’t about to taint it with real people or anything. In fact, to quote Game of Thrones: “HBO is my king, and my king is HBO”*.
*Technically, the quote was actually “my husband” not “HBO”, but at this point in my life they’re practically interchangeable. Am I right, Ben?!?!?!
On Friday evening, I was taking my laundry to the wash and fold, and I saw this sign taped to a lamp post.
Immediately, I lost my shit right there in the street. My roommate looked at me like I was a total nutcase. I do realize that this brands me as a naïve transplant- real New Yorkers growl and mutter angrily about things like this- but frankly, I don’t give a flying turd. I love Law and Order SVU. I LOVE Mariska Hargitay. I was devastated when Chris Meloni left the show. The first episode of this past season when Captain Cragen tells Benson that Stabler is not coming back and she starts weeping in the crib at the station house, just ugh. Heartbreaking. He really owed her more than that.
If I weren’t at work today, you can be sure as shit that I would be out there trying to see what’s going on. In my fantasy , Dick Wolf himself would see me and be like “Hey! You! You look like somebody who should be on this show!” I could play any part he could think of; sorority girl wannabe at Hudson University with a sluttily dark secret, disgruntled shopgirl who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, terrified nanny who never meant for anything bad to happen, and the list goes on. My small part would be so memorable that it would turn into a recurring role, and Mariska and I would become buddies. I would start helping with her Joyful Heart Foundation, and we would totally bond over that. She and I would have wine nights all the time and take Pilates classes together.
Alas, I’m just a receptionist with big dreams who has a mild to moderate obsession with this show. Oof. Still sounds kind of like an SVU character.
I really hate watching Sports Center, and yet somehow I seem to find myself watching it several times a week. Whenever I go to the gym at my office (which I primarily do because there is cable there), it is ALWAYS on. If I ask to change the channel, I am asked “to what…” in a voice filled with confusion and fear of any potential Kardashian viewership. But 30 minutes never feel so long as when whoever and his friends blah blah blah something about baseball. Ugh.
I am not a super girly person. In college, I was often referred to as the queen of lounge wear because I wore almost exclusively waffle print thermals in a variety of unflattering colors. Fashiony, I am not. But there are certain things, like my media intake, that I do girl out on. I love E! I love Kardashians. I LOVE wedding- oriented reality television. Man, did I have a field day with the Royal Wedding. I wish every day were the Royal Wedding.
As an aside, I would like to use this blog as a platform to say that among my many hopes for the future, I wish that one day, my daughters will live in a world where they are not called psychos for being 23, single, and going out of their way for a good marathon of Bridezillas. A day when they will not be judged for how many times they have watched Kim’s Fairytale Wedding special, but rather commended for their ability to intelligently discuss the problematic societal issues it highlights and also how stupid Kim’s headpiece was. I hope that they will feel no shame if, you know what, it’s really cold out and they think they will just sit there and watch Say Yes to the Dress with a big old glass of white wine, thank you very much. That day, my friends. That day…
But I digress. Please don’t think me vapid for my taste in TV. I would ask that everyone remember that when I find it useless to listen to some ex NFL players talk about where Peyton Manning might play if he leaves Indianapolis, it’s exactly like how some might have found it useless when Randy from Say Yes to the Dress hosted a special where he speculated what Kate Middleton’s wedding dress might look like. But don’t you see, guys at my office? It’s all the same! It’s all useless! I wouldn’t put you through the latter, so I wish you’d think twice before subjecting me to the former. Let’s just find something we can all agree on.
Law and Order: SVU, anyone?
Two weeks ago Miden Wood, Logan Herries, and I teamed up to make a movie in 24 hours.
Logan Miden Amelia
It was difficult to set aside our differences because we all hate each other so very much but we managed. We received our official challenge at 6 p.m. on a Friday.
Genre: Working Girl/Shop Girl
Line of Dialogue: “Why are you singing?”
Prop: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis Postcard
We sat down to brainstorm over dinner at Friends Cafe. Friends Cafe was an odd place to brainstorm since the three of us aren’t really friends at all. We are nemeses. We talked about the conventions of Working Girl movies for about an hour before landing on Mary Tyler Moore.
If you’re not familiar with Mary Tyler Moore…
Our film was inspired by the following conversation.
Logan: I want to see a film where Mary Tyler Moore gets stabbed.
Amelia: (slams hands down on table) We can make that movie!
(Miden sits in silence, shoving her mouth full of Korean food.)
So, with the help of some friends, we made that movie!
Here is our final product!
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for going on 8 months, and it’s expected that I’ve come into contact with celebrities during my time here, because naturally most celebrities live in small cul-de-sac communities out in the suburbs, 90 minutes away from Hollywood. While I, like most everyone who lives here, have had some celebrity contact, it’s not exactly what you think…
You see, whenever I see a celebrity, I only see them from the back. I’ve never really seen a celebrity straight on, only from behind, and usually from far away. I don’t know if this is a common thing here, or if it’s just me, but I’m getting scarily good at identifying people from behind. And it’s not like the celebrities I see are really famous, they’re just kinda famous.
These occurrences all started when I came home for Thanksgiving from school because I had mono (long story…). I got off the plane and I was walking to baggage claim, I noticed I was walking behind Jennifer Garner. She was very short, and had brown hair, and was nondescript but for the back of her head. It looked distinctly like the back of Sydney Bristow’s head, (Secret Agent (and Overt Badass) from Alias), that I decided it MUST be The Back of Jennifer Garner. The back of her head also looked like the back of Elektra’s head, so that’s what really gave it away. As she was whisked away in a tinted limousine by her big burly security team into the welcoming arms of The Back of Ben Affleck, I basked in the glory of my first celebrity encounter. And you can never tell me otherwise.
Another such encounter I had was at a club in Hollywood when my friend Ross was visiting. We were hanging out in this super fancy club with loud music and really beautiful people (I guess that’s a thing down here), when the crowd parted and I saw something I knew I had seen many times before, but couldn’t place my finger on it. Then it hit me. That big, black head I noticed was attached to a tall, black man, that I was SURE was Cedric Yarborough. If you don’t know him, he’s the black cop from Reno 911!. Anyways, to make a long story short, I was in fan heaven, so I made Ross’ girlfriend take a picture of me with The Back of Cedric Yarborough. It was a great night.
Of course, my celebrity encounters were not just limited to these two. I’ve had plenty of other encounters with the backs of celebrities as well:
- Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious) – walking across the crosswalk at the Burbank Airport. He was wearing sneakers and a backpack. He was really cool!
- Brad Garret (Everybody Loves Raymond)- shopping at Barnes & Noble with his children. The back of him is as tall as it looks on screen!
- Kim Richards (Escape To Witch Mountain)- making out with her boyfriend outside of a movie theater. She had a really nice ponytail, so she must be really nice as well!
- Leann Rimes (Adultery)- sitting at a booth behind me with her adulterer, Eddie Cibrian. She was wearing a fedora. I like Leann Rimes in fedoras, she should wear them more often!
Now, there was one time that I have seen a celebrity full on, in all their glory. One of my most favorite actors of all time works out at the same gym as I do. Yes, that’s right! I have seen Cole Hauser!!!!!!!
For those of you poor souls who don’t know Cole Hauser is (like that’s even possible!), you might know him better from his formidable resume:
Good Will Hunting – Billy McBride
The Hit List – Allan Campbell
The Cave – Jack McAllister
Pitch Black – William Johns
2 Fast 2 Furious – Carter Verone
Paparazzi – Bo Laramie
So, while I have only had the fortune of seeing the face of one “celebrity” so far, I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me. Maybe one day I can graduate from seeing the fat doppleganger of Steven Spielberg to seeing his hand, or his shoes, or even the back of his hat. I don’t ask for much, because I don’t need much to get excited.
I started my new job yesterday. Before you lose your lunch with excitement, it’s just a reception gig. It is none too exciting, but steady work nonetheless. For me, this comes at a great time for a number of reasons. First, yesterday was Chinese New Year, launching the year of the dragon, which is my year, so it seemed a good day to start new things. Second, my bank account is dwindling, and I’m pretty sure I would go into some kind of withdrawal if I could not afford my tofu red curry on the regular. Finally, I discovered over the weekend that Keeping up with the Kardashians is on Netflix instant, and if I were not otherwise occupied I would spend the whole day watching it. 10 points to anyone who can guess how many episodes I watched on Sunday. Hint: it was more than the number of points you would get.
I’m pretty impressed with my brain today, because despite my best efforts to melt it, it is still functioning as of press time. Amazing, because I spent a solid 40 minutes of my Sunday entranced by the drama as Kim and her old nose bought a Bentley, punched Khloe for shutting a door in her face, pouted her way through a family ski trip, and then literally ran away from home because the rest of the krew had decided to stop watching her pout and instead go dogsledding. Her blatant cry for attention worked because Kardashians and Jenners alike apologized for making her feel bad, even though it was totally clear that she was being the asshole. Yeah, sorry Ben, but she’s still a major douche. Also, Bruce had a midlife crisis. Hilarious.
It is troubling that successful adult women can act this way on television and have everybody feel ok about it, and then give her a People’s Choice Award. It encourages a hideous amount of unjustified self-importance. I found myself embarrassed watching it, because I think I behaved a lot like that when I was in middle school, minus the Bentley, and, of course, the sex tape. There is a study that says that people who watch reality television accept and expect more drama in their lives. Given how many people watch reality tv, I guess I should probably hedge my bets and start throwing tantrums all the time. Kris Jenner types really respond to that, and they are clearly the most powerful kind of people.
But what I really like about the Kardashians is that not only are they constantly watching old home movies and crying together, they are also constantly learning lessons that a thinking human wouldn’t need to be taught. Khloe will wrap up an episode saying something like, “This was a good lesson for me. I learned that I shouldn’t set my brother up on a blind date and then go to the restaurant to spy on him.” Who knew? While she learned that, I learned that blind dates with Rob Kardashian are about as fun as a pap smear. Honestly, Khloe, we both should have known.
This week, I will apply all Kardashian thinking, contradictory though it may be, to my daily (namely my brand new workplace) life. Because I learned that the key to success is to scream a lot in desperate bids for attention, whine about how hard work is, and also be nice to my family. Who knew?
Welcome to the Golden Globes Live Blog Brought to You by Franzia®
This is a running commentary of this spectacular event, during which the commentators will attempt to finish a box of delicious and mature Franzia® wine before the telecast is over.
Please join us: Golden Globes Live Blog
Everybody get excited, because it’s the Golden Globes! Ben and Gen are going to be viewing and commenting on the whole shit show from their respective coasts. Each is responsible for demolishing one bladder of boxed wine over the course of the event. To watch what happens, click Golden Globes Preview