Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some Vine Videos

Of good and bad and indifferent quality. I'm still figuring out the process...

First, Emma Carol. Click on the little audio button in the top left if you want sound.

This is called "The Many Faces of Emma Carol," but there is really only one. The one with the constantly weepy eye.

Then, we made a Vine at a local pizza restaurant showing bunnies multiplying. It's called, "What Bunnies Do."
And finally, here's six yoga postures, done on the fly.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dove Stands for Inner Turmoil

In case you haven't heard, there's this new Dove campaign that capitalizes on women's insecurities  about how they look while simultaneously pretending  to be trying to show women how beautiful they really are. The ad says, essentially, that most women don't see themselves as beautiful, aw, how sad, how awful that you should not believe your beautiful, because being beautiful is one of the most important attributes of a woman, Feeling beautiful (i.e. feeling desired by men) equals confidence. When really, why shouldn't feeling powerful equal being confident as it seems to be equated for men? Why should woman's confidence be based on the exterior and a man's worth on how important he is?

Do straight men think about they appear to women all the time? Do they wonder what kind of face they have--what the shape it is? Does GQ magazine give them ways to classify their bodies as pear, hourglass, apple or tube or rectangle shaped? I don't think they do, but men do come in different shapes and sizes--they're still not told to pick a dress shirt that helps make their shoulders look broader, and their waists thinner. They don't make Arrow shirts with shoulder pads in them or neck ties shaped to compensate for a perceived double chin.

And so of course I love this parody of the ad if it were geared toward men.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Middle School Journal

When I was in Florida visiting my parents last month, my mom asked me to go through some of my things from long ago; take what I wanted to keep and get rid of what was garbage. I found some things that I still can't part with--a note my friend Jen wrote on an airline sickness bag, my baptismal candle, this tiny green ceramic frog that used to mean so much to me, and then some of my old writing, such as this palm-sized notepad from 6th grade that I kept. Mostly, I wrote stories based on characters I liked from books or TV shows such as Little Women and Remington Steele. My characters were almost always adults. The women were beautiful, and the men were handsome and sometimes dastardly and they were all very very rich

I must run soon to work, but I leave you with an excerpt. This is a fan letter I wrote but never sent to Warren Beatty, probably after seeing Reds with my parents.

Dear Mr. Beaty (sic),

I got your address from my friend who knows this editor man.

My third period class put on a play that I wrote. It only lasted about twenty minutes, but it was pretty good.

The play was called Cinderfella. It was sort of a satirish thing, but Fred (the guy who was Cinderfella) did a good job. My friend Diana played the evil stempomther and I was one of the evil stepsisters, Arminta.

The thing was that I got to act, write, direct, and produce it. That was kind of neat. It makes you feel important.

I watced the awards the other night. Well, actually only some because at around eleven, I had to go to bed, so I didn't see the award you recieved, but heard about it later on the radio. You must get a great feeling of accomplishment.


And then I wrote a note like "Be sure to remember that I'll never send this."

I was a fledgling feminist even then, casting against type to have Cinderella be a guy rescued by a princess, though you'll note that I didn't change the gender of the mom or stepsister.

There are pages and pages of this stuff, and most of is fiction, with lots of adverbs and lots of adjectives, as well as practice drawings I did of Garfield the cat, who was popular at the time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No Thanks

I don't think I'll be moving out to LA. I think all of the things that they say about LA in movies is true. Everyone is full of it, everyone is trying to get noticed, egos are on the line every second of the day, every time you walk down the street. I'm thinking about this because I have a friend at work whose aunt used to date a recognizable musician, someone from a band you've heard of and they have that one song whose chorus you sort of know. Anyway, he was once normal looking--he has a movie star cleft chin and blue eyes, but recent photos of him show that he's been through the plastic surgery machine. He has that mask-like face and perfectly straight, gleaming white row of teeth. And I can just imagine all the b.s. he hears all the time around him--"no, you look great, you look great. That new album is going to go gold!"

And I imagine that tons of people go out to LA thinking because they had the lead in their high school play in Clearwater, Florida, and they know that they've just got to meet the right people, and they'll get discovered. So, the guy filling the gas in your car is a model, the waitress with the violet eyes and delicate faux rhinestone nose piercing is definitely an actress. The kid scanning your cereal boxes at the grocery store has an audition after his shift that's going to save his life and land him a role as the mean older brother on a Disney show. And of all those people, maybe one percent will ever be in any way successful, and another 2% might make it onto a reality TV show like the dumbest one on last night Real Love--I thought for a while that it was a joke. How do these shows get made? I promise that I watched only five minutes, but it's this weird combination of The Bachelor and a game show, where the contestants appear on stage in these glass pods and are judged and have to make the case that they are on the show for the right reasons. All women, of course. Have we progressed at all when we still have these same tropes where dozens of women are presented in evening gowns and high heels and pancake make-up to dudes who must decide which ones he thinks are the hottest? No.

Anyway, this all reminds me of one of my famous stand up bits by David Cross.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Beware the Undertoad..."

Do you recognize the post title? Yes, that's right. It's from The World According to Garp. I haven't read it in a while but I think it's what the little boy thought everyone was saying when they really meant, Beware the undertow. Mishearing them, he had visions of this giant toad sitting at the bottom of the sea, looking up for little boy legs to gobble down.

Dreamed last night that I was rooming with four undergraduate girls who were super young and cute and partying and I came home to find that they drank all of my Kahlua and filled it back up with water. They wanted to go out again and I said I would go with them, but I wasn't dressed appropriately--wore my raggedy looking sneakers next to their cute yellow and orange delicately strapped sandals. A guy friend of mine who was going with me had an embarrassingly large spaghetti sauce stain on the front of his white pleated shirt (the shirt was just as attention getting as the stain). Then later, I was trying to get from the Jersey shore back to Philadelphia, but had to swim across an ocean of choppy gray water with shark fins breaking the surface. I made it to the other side though, remember feeling physically relieved in the dream when my feet touched the sand and I could stand up and hurry toward shore.

I attribute the dream to a couple of things related to the classes I'm taking now--one is that half of my small group team is made up of undergraduate Penn students and next to them, I often feel old and oafish; uncool, clumsy.  Then also, I have to give a presentation in my other class tonight and I don't feel prepared. I'm sure it will be fine--that class is a generous group of women--all nearer my age, but I still don't love the idea of having to offer up a PowerPoint.

My anxiety dreams are not opaque--insecurities and fears are right there like the shark fins, visible, obvious.