Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dreams of high school

I had a dream last night that I was going back to high school, I think as some kind of 21 Jump Street undercover cop posing as a high school student. This is because I still see myself as appearing to be 16 years old, and am continually shocked when a reflective surface or photograph proves otherwise. Or when I see high school friends on Facebook and think, Wow, she looks old! And then I realize that she and I are the same age and she would likely say the same about me. In this dream, I was attending high school in Seattle and had some confidence that I wouldn't be intimidated because, in my dream, I had previously been a teenager in a major city (the city itself wasn't specified).  I spent the first part of my morning (in the dream) getting my ID picture taken over and over again as I strove for an authentic laugh/smile. When all of the photos came back (the guy took like 50 of them), every single one showed my crooked front tooth in high relief, blinding white, it was all you could see. I was wearing a red shirt and a denim skirt--not the best outfit, and I had trouble finding my class schedule. All in all, it was one of those dreams where you wake up and go, Thank God that was a imaginative manifestation of my insecurities rolled up into one long nightmare.

Where did this dream come from and why so many specific details? Maybe it's because Luke told us at dinner about how in gym class yesterday, the gym teacher volleyed a ball over the net, and it hit him on the head, causing him to fall over on his elbow with a loud crack. He said the sound of his elbow hitting the gym floor was super loud, and it was really embarrassing because everyone heard it and there were a lot of kids in his class. No one laughed though.

I had forgotten that part of school--how you are always in groups of some kind (in the cafeteria, during class, at band practice) and so the odds are higher that you may face public humiliation more readily than you do as an adult.  And that's all also happening at a time when you're becoming more and more self-conscious and less and less in control of your body. I remember in seventh grade, I was running to geography class, wearing a Laura Ingalls type dress my mom made with sneakers (why? It's an unanswerable question), to one of those classes that were held in pods. If you don't know about them, pods are like these mini-trailer classrooms they use when the buildings are under construction. It had rained the night before and as I flew toward the door, I tripped on a shoelace and fell on my knees in the mud. In front of Steve Bencuscky, who was walking calmly up the back stairs. Steve Bencusky with the broad swimmer's shoulders, blond surfer boy hair and year-round tan. He saw me fall, but he said nothing. He just went inside and I scrambled to stand up before anyone else witnessed it. That's one of my only clear memories of seventh grade.

Monday, January 19, 2015

And God said, Let there be hot tubs and wedding crashers

And so there were.

God, in this case, is ABC and Jesus is Chris. Or Chris is Jesus. At least to all of these women, he appears to be. I hope this week, I am able to save this post so that you can get the minute by minute nonsense, even though I am again only half paying attention due to also taking an online writing class for the first hour. Jimmy Kimmel will be in this episode and the only reason I only kind of like him is because he dated Sarah Silverman.

Show starts with ominous music for no reason that I can discern except that JK is there to wake up a gaped mouth Chris, who sleeps on his side with his hand under his head like a little baby. I am again struck by the fact that he has a large body, possibly one which will run to fat if he eats too much corn.

Maybe JK is on the show to provide some actual humor which is largely non-existent most of the time, except for the 30 seconds of bloopers they sometimes show at the very end. I wonder how many of these women have no clue who JK is?

Kaitlin gets the first one on one date card. She's adorbs. She asks Chris if they are doing something with Jimmy. She wears a cut off half shirt and a flannel shirt. I think they are outside of a Target and doing JK's shopping for him. Kaitlin is tiny. Is that a sports bra? Who dresses these girls? You look away for one second and then the next thing you see is Kaitlin and Chris in a giant blue hamster ball being pushed by Mexican children. They kiss, still encased in blue plastic, foreshadowing for the condoms that will be used in this making of this show. They kiss again and her lipstick gets all over his mouth. A somewhat realistic moment. I feel like she's the kind of girl who might just fart really loud in  the middle of the conversation just to be funny.

JK shows up--have they finally realized that Host Chris (HC) is a super bore and has no personality to speak of. He asks Kaitlin is she likes beef and no one expands on that question. JK asks her if she has dated farmers before, and I think she's lying. They're grilling out. They must be editing out at least 85% of what JK is actually saying, especially when he mentions lubrication. She has a tattoo on her elbow. I'm dying to know what it is and hope it's not a cartoon character. She won't let him French kiss her--she does these small little guppy kisses. Luckily, she has brought her bikini, so that they can make out in the hot tub with JK looking on. More humor!

I am not paying much attention to the group date which lamely involves them doing supposedly farm-like things like shucking corn, cracking eggs and milking goats, showing their asses (not as in donkeys). One of the blondes wins. I guess that means she gets to ride a pony with him one-on-one. Mackenzie asks him why he's kissing everyone when they kissed and she is way too young to be on this show. She's probably not even out of college yet. The girls like to wear sparkles on their faces. They're all like fairy princesses.

Whitney gets the next one-on-one date. But there is one more rose that must be given out on this date. They all also have perfect dental work. PERFECT! He give the rose to...Becca, even though they haven't kissed and she's wearing a man's white shirt as a dress.

Whitney has a baby voice and she wears pink and he wears pink and she is super perky. He says what he wants in a woman and she then tells him that's exactly what she's like. She meets all these people in airports and becomes Facebook friends with them. She says that she wants to crash the wedding because YOLO. She would never never never normally do this. It's just to make good television. He high fives her. I am not feeling that he is really feeling her. Here's the basic problem with this idea--they can't actually crash the wedding without the cameras capturing them. He introduces her as his fiancé. He says he likes her because she can milk cow and hold conversations with random people. That does a wife make. And she's a good liar, I guess that's an attractive quality as well. Could it be that he really likes her? Even though she just broke someone's nose trying to catch the bouquet? They kiss on the dance floor.

The women are now being forced to attend a pool party and this girl decides now is the time to put on her sparkly headband and tell him about the suicide of her husband. One day, her whole life was literally turned upside down. So what happened was she had a baby and he couldn't deal with it. He came home and told her that he wrote a suicide note at work (meanwhile, we can still kind of hear the women frolicking in the pool in the background). He brought out a gun and she was really scared. She left, talked to him later that night, and then the next day, he killed himself. Is she using this story to get closer to Chris so he can't kick her off until the third to last episode? I'm sorry to be that cynical, but it does seem a little weird, as she is also wearing false eyelashes and things mean the world to her.

It's getting down to the wire at the pool party with all of the women vying for his attention, including the make up artist, Jade, who begs him to see his place. He takes her into it, while the rest of the girls eat hummus and chips. Jillian thinks she's being sneaky and smart by getting into his private hot tub. Little does she know that he will never show up because instead, he's going to go make out on the bed with this adorable girl and her dimples and high heels. Is this every man's fantasy or what? All of these women dying to get into bed with him. Cue the poon music. Cue the bubbles as Jillian waits alone in the Jacuzzi, probably getting a yeast infection.

The other girls eavesdrop from the foliage and he starts kissing Jillian or she starts kissing him or something. Mackenzie joins them wearing a sundress, as do two other women who are "shy." Can you be shy and also decide to go on a national reality TV show? Jillian possessively keeps her hand on his leg. The girl with the other headband runs away and drops her glass, mad that the other girls are being competitive.

Ashley I. with her black bikini and her belly ring. She's laughing and crying at the same time. I don't think that's attractive to rub her snot nose on his shoulder. She wants to kiss him and she pulls him toward her and they both tumble off the balcony. She says she feels so much better for making out with him by force even though she had cotton mouth.

Only ten minutes left for the final rose ceremony, which should really only take two minutes, but with dramatic pauses, it's usually a good half hour long. 

Oh, I get it. JK on this show is an extended commercial for his own show. Brilliant. He says, Whatever you do, don't be yourself. Hardee-har-har.

Some of these women had no time with Chris at all and so will likely be going home, and I hope one of them is the girl with the eyelashes (Ashley I) who says that she feels like a "nine in confidence level."

First rose goes to Jade who made out with him in his bed.

Second rose goes to Samantha.

Then Julie. I don't recognize either one of these two.

Mackenzie is staying. What?

Fifth rose to the cute short haired girl, then Brittany, then Megan who looks awkward in this black dress and high heels. Carly, who is she? What about the woman whose husband killed herself. Ashley S., the weirdo who didn't do anything this week. Nikki, who? Nikki and Ashley are identical twins. Jillian, from the hot tub. One rose left. Black girl will be going home, he's kept her on for the requisite two weeks so as not to look like a total racist. Ashley I. accepts the rose and I guess the suicide's wife did get a rose?

Tears, tears, and tears and why me's to follow. Next week, someone becomes addicted to heroin and another girl chips a tooth on a helicopter and five of them are decapitated in a car wreck. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thoroughly Modern Mary

Last week, if you will recall, we learned that Mary has taken a room at a very fancy hotel in order to shag with her would be lover. We open up with the two of them in bed together, she wearing a very lovely white slip of a nightgown that I envy, he watching her in a way that could be stalker-ish. Will he turn out to be a cad? He says, "Have you ever considered breast implants, my darling?" Dan said that.

Cut to a scene with Edie and the Crawley's having breakfast in front of a giant painting. Next, Barrows interrupts Mr. Carson to use the telly-phone to place an ad-vert-is-ment (pronounced exactly like that).

Mary is giving no clue as to whether or not she enjoyed her time with Todd or Tad or Tony (can't recall his name). Did he make her nether regions go a-quiver? We have no clue. He kisses her politely on the street outside of the hotel by their good bye is espied by a fat man I don't recognize

The Irish interloped is having tea with the plain schoolteacher. That dead sister is rolling in her grave. Can this woman ever be seen without a hat on and a horrid one at that?

Too many scenes to keep track of. Carson is talking to a cop and that's probably important. Back to Mrs. Simpering Crawley and the farm in the parlor. Someone wants to buy and build on Pip's Corner. Mr. Crawley shakes his newspaper, not approvingly. Edie is sad at all the little toddlers toddling around because her own little bastard child is being raised by a bunch of poor people.

The butler reveals that he saw Lady Mary coming out of the hotel with Lord Gilliam in Liverpool. Maggie Smith pretends she already knew this fact, because she too is a fairly modern person and will not blame Mary for trying out the merchandise prior to purchase.

Back in the parlor where everyone wears silk dresses and tuxedos just to hang out. Downstairs, the staff dresses all in black and are served Shepherd Pie's. Someone says "Bring in the spotted dick," and no one laughs, because it's a dish of the olden days or current days of Great Britain. I do not know because I have only been to Manchester for like two nights.

Lady Mary asks Anna the chambermaid to hide her contraception for her, which sets her up to be caught with it by her murderous husband. What is it? Is it a lambskin condom that's recyclable? A cervical cap?
Mr. Bates is on the hook for the murder of the rapist. I haven't been listening closely and so I'm not sure what the hell is going on with this subplot. Maggie and Mary talk about Mary's indiscretion. Maggie says that she must have been seduced and Mary shoots back that she wasn't and she went on her own volition. Maggie finds it hard to believe because the daughter of an earl does not slut around.The police want to know every move Mr. Bates made on the day that rapist was murdered, including if he really posted a letter or not.

Is this guy coming on to Lady Crawley? Or is he her new gay best friend? It's hard to tell with British guys sometimes, they are so dapper.

That's enough for now...Time for cocoa.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday morning angst

Fuck the internet connection at Small World--it doesn't work for me and the user name and password printed on the flimsy receipt is smudged and difficult to read, very similar to the password that Verizon provides where every other symbol could be a small letter, a cap letter, or a number. I wonder if some genius at Verizon (or at SW) might one day say, Hey, people seem to want to be able to use the internet connection to log on. Why not make that easier?

I'm also annoyed because I choose the wrong line to wait in--it was a difficult decision. Two older ladies, both with their wallets all ready, but the one I was standing behind said something like, For my first order, I'd like a small decaf Americano with whipped mocha chai on top. I gambled and moved to the next line, and was dismayed to find that this lady was on a dogged search for quarters in her seemingly bottomless handbag.

Thirdly, and lastly (for now), there's a kid in here who is talking to no one I can see. I believe he is Skypeing. I believe he should not be. As when people in public places engage in long conversations on their mobiles, I think it's rude or weird or socially out of place to be video chatting with someone in public. I'm judging him because a lot because I feel like he purposefully set up the scene with his floppy blond hair just so, and his unshaven face in the Bachelor-Chris style and then chose this coffee shop as the setting for his online encounter. These are the assumptions I make about strangers when I'm in a cranky mood.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Writing Class, Week 2

Barely paid attention to my online writing class on Monday night because The Bachelor was on at the same time and because I did not have a copy of the reading assignment with me. One suggestion the teacher had that seemed wise is to use our daily journal not just to write what happened in this diary-ish way, but to write in scene instead, to use it to hone our descriptive muscles and scene development. This week, the one-page writing assignment is to describe the action of a character from a third person perspective, the character going about her day engaged in a specific activity. My mind goes blank. I think of things like describing the woman at the Widow McCray's Bed and Breakfast, because there's a conflict there between her job (being a hostess) and her personality (not seeming to like people). I guess for today, I could just start with that. And try not to check my Facebook in the meantime.
The b& b experience comes to mind because it is so rich with contradictions and conflict. The unhappy hostess, the other host who talked too much and who likely told everyone the same story each week, how the b&b came about, how hard it was to pay the taxes, in hopes of what? The somewhat cramped accommodations, how the woman announced that our room was the only one without a TV, how I asked for water and she seemed offended and said I could get it out of the tap as it was just as good as bottled water, the cluttering of un-charming antiques, that one could easily pick up at the flea market, including a wooden rocking horse and an old rocking chair with a needlepoint cushion.

Monday, January 12, 2015

my entire post erased

After an hour and twenty minutes of pithy yet intelligent, funny yet revealing, crass yet delicate writing about The Bachelor, my entire blog post vanished into the autumn mist. You get this instead, because I can't bear to go through it from the beginning.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Downton Abbey:Wherein a small lady is Introduced or maybe she will be a minor character and she's just a friend of the director's

I am confused by all of the maids mingling with all of the gentry as they are trying to work together to figure out how to create a better cricket field or something. Who is this little midget lady? Daisy's mum?

James the footman is kicked off the show for getting caught having sex with the actress who played Ducky in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Jimmy says he's grateful that he and the gay footman have become friends, because he didn't expect to be able to relate to a proper dandy. He wishes him happiness, saying in not so many words that he hopes he finds a boyfriend.

My mother explained to me last week that Eddie set the fire in her boudoir on purpose, as she is desperate to be near her illegitimate baby who is being raised by a volunteer fireman. After lunch, she goes over to see the baby, who someone named Marigold. She and the husband are in cahoots to try to manufacture a reason for Edith to be around the baby more and the adopted mother does not like it.

I wish I could figure out how to open up a new window and so search for images.

Lady Mary has agreed to go away on a sex weekend with this guy and she has asked her best friend and lady's maid, Anna to go up to Ye Olde CVS to purchase the rubbers for her. She agrees, because what choice does she have? The exchange is awkward and I can't tell whether she bought condoms or a cervical cap made of old-fashioned material. Did they have them back then?

The wireless has been introduced. Lord what's his face says it's just a passing fade. How wrong he is!!!

The two older ladies are having lunch with the elderly doctor. I wonder if one of them is supposed to have a. crush?

My guess with this Anna/condom plotline is that her murderous husband will discover the contraception, think his wife is cheating on him, and then try to kill her too. I hope that doesn't happen. That would make the show like a soap opera.

Here is a cameo by a famous actor (Andrew Cummings?) who I should recognize but whose name escapes me.

I believe I will stop writing now to see if I can try to catch up on what is really happening--this is a bit harder to follow than The Bachelor.