Saturday, November 22, 2008


Wow, work has really gotten the best of me these last couple weeks! However, just because I haven't posted doesn't mean I haven't witnessed several highly entertaining incidents in the meantime. What I'd really like to talk about is one word:


Function: adjective

not appropriate for a particular occasion or situation
graceless, improper, inapt, incongruous, incorrect, indecorous, inept, infelicitous, unbecoming, unfit, unhappy, unseemly, unsuitable, wrong

Example #1. Last Friday I did what any red-blooded American woman would do with a free afternoon ... I caught the new James Bond movie downtown. Despite the fact that it was 2:30, there were still about 50 people in the theater, including a large group of rather loud teenagers. About half an hour into the film, one of the girls stood up and started yelling "Fuck you!" at the top of her lungs. Obviously she was unhappy with someone in her crowd and didn't care if we all knew it. She yelled it several times, arms outstretched (and rather drunk I believe, judging from the slurring and total indifference to the rest of us) She then settled down, but after about 20 minutes was at it again. I was just ready to go ask someone to remove her when she not-so-politely removed herself ... and as a parting shot, she left us with her favorite two words. Needless to say, her outbursts were distracting, and consequently, I have no idea what Daniel Craig did with the unconscious woman he saved from the boat accident and missed a too brief shirtless scene. I paid $6.00 to see some high-octane British ass-kicking, not some adolescent drama playing out five rows ahead.

Example #2. On my way home from work earlier this week, a car cut off my bus in traffic. Granted, it was annoying, but not completely unheard of. In response, the bus driver sped up and drove angrily next to the car, then stopped right on its bumper and proceed to flash his headlights off and on for the entire length of the red light we were waiting at. In other words, he pretty much had a complete mental break because we lost a Saturn's-length of time on the road. While I usually appreciate an aggressive driver, I was not only scared but embarrassed for him.

Example #3. The other morning I sat right behind a chubby, middle-aged couple on the bus who periodically gave each other cute little kisses. At least, they were cute at first. But they had to kiss each other every time the bus stopped. The kissed when she pulled the cord. They kissed when they stood up to exit. It was as if they needed constant affirmation that they were in love, or constant convincing that it was real. In the span of 30 minutes, I went from "Awwwww..." to "Get a room!" And that's not just the perpetually single woman in me. It was a gut reaction to unnecessary PDA. I don't care if they were 18 or 80, there should be a three-kiss maximum in public places. One kiss says "Yeah, we're together." Two say "We want everyone to know how much we're together." Three say "We've only been together a month and this is still super awesome!" Any more than that and you're trying too hard. Or you know your ex is watching.

I'm not saying that any of these people are terrible human beings, or even that they should be punished in some way (although that girl from the theater should probably be detoxed.) They weren't hurting anybody (although the bus driver was about a blinker flash away from extreme road rage), and they weren't breaking any laws (except the laws of decency, makeout-couple!) The things they were doing weren't horrible ... just inappropriate.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Love at First Bite

Last weekend, I celebrated Halloween. No, I didn’t wander out into the night to create mischief and mayhem (although I did find myself standing in line at the grocery store buying both eggs and toilet paper, oddly enough). I didn’t wait by my front door with a bucket of candy -- the good stuff, not Tootsie Rolls and toothbrushes. I didn’t even dress up as a sexy fill-in-the-blank, since almost any revealing outfit can be justified with devil horns and a little extra eye makeup … case in point, I have a friend who attended a party as a sexy zombie. She said she wanted people’s first reactions to be “Ew, that’s hot.”

I rang in All Hallow’s Eve the old-fashioned way. I watched horror movies. On Friday night I viewed the original “Psycho” with someone my age who had never seen it before. Here’s the kicker: not only had he never seen it, but he also had no idea, not even the faintest whispered rumor, of what was going to happen. It was priceless. Of course, the rest of us watching baited him terribly (no pun intended). Whenever we heard the “mother” voice, we made comments like, “His mom’s a real bitch,” or “Isn’t she terrible to him?”

Halfway through the show, my friend turned to me and said, in all earnestness, “Do you ever get to see the old woman’s face?” And I was like, “Um …. yes …. as a matter of fact, you do!” When the final reveal in the fruit cellar occurred, he simply said, “Whoah!” I asked him if he truly didn’t see any of that coming, and he replied, “Not in a movie this old.” And it’s true. Back then we didn’t have a nightly celebration, courtesy of 15 versions of Law and Order and CSI, of seriously damaged people who commit gruesome crimes and end up being fascinating as well as freakish.

Ah, that Alfred Hitchcock. He knew how to thrill. The two movies I watched on Saturday, however, weren’t as good. Well, they were good in their own special way, much like a car wreck. They were terrible, but you couldn’t look away. One was an unbelievably bizarre 1970 flick starring Sandra Dee and Dean Stockwell that had something to do with a warlock, some weird chants, a Rosemary’s Baby-ish theme, and a crazy monster with tentacles that you were never actually allowed to see.

The other was a 1958 movie called “The Horror of Dracula” starring Christopher Lee. It basically featured Dracula lurking around the neighborhood preying on hapless women who left their windows open at night, while good ol’ Van Helsing tried to catch him sleeping in his coffin during the day. Part of the story line involved a woman who was bitten and converted to vampirism but was later cured and returned to the husband who’d never given up hope that she would recover. He’d even given her a blood transfusion after Drac just about sucked the life out of her neck.

What struck me most about the story wasn’t the idea of true love overcoming all odds. It was the idea that, because of his devotion, that guy had earned himself the ultimate argument-ender. For the rest of their married lives, he had something to hold over her head that was just awesomely unbeatable.

It wasn’t “Remember the time you gained 20 pounds and I stuck around?” or “Remember when your grandmother died and I took three days off work to drive you to the funeral?” or “Hey, remember when I agreed to quit school and move across the country just to be with you?” It wasn’t even “Don’t forget, I gave you a kidney.”

It was “Remember the time you were undead? Yeah. That was me by your side.” I imagine the conversations would go something like this:

“Honey, did you take the trash out?”

“No, but you were a vampire.”

“Well, do you think you could turn off the football game?”

“Do you think you could not have been a vampire?”

“Are you listening to me?”


Not even Hitchcock could come up with a scheme that diabolical.