Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I went to yoga at lunch today.  This is a bigger operation than you would think.  Getting ready to go and leaving the office made me feel like one of the guys in this article (which is about solitary confinement, which I could NOT handle and would definitely turn psychotic, as many do apparently).  Not the solitary part, though (my office may not be very social but that comparison would be a touch overboard)--I felt like the guy who escaped from prison, thus precipitating his stay in solitary.  He successfully implemented a very elaborate escape plan:  he stole a manual about the prison's "microwave-detection" security system, studied it for months and then returned it, got someone else to create a diversion in the yard, turned a picnic table on its side to scale the fence, cut through razor wire using a tool he'd fashioned, used his research about the security system to follow an "invisible path" through the lasers or whatever, and presto!  got out, and called a cab. (Someone turned him in a month later.) Likewise, I changed clothes in the corner of my office, resulting in an outfit of yoga pants, boots with no socks (forgot to bring any), a tank top and my wool turtleneck (forgot a sweatshirt), a helmet and a yoga bag, then left rapidly, trying to look normal so no-one would think, Why is she leaving in the middle of the day with a helmet and yoga bag?  (Upon reflection, I was less prepared than the escape guy.) 

Then when I got to yoga I switched drastically into feeling like one of the blank "dolls" in Joss Whedon's new show Dollhouse (which is improving, you should give it a chance).  The "dolls" get implanted with other peoples' personalities for "engagements" like being hot dates or infiltrating religious cults, but when they're not working they live in a blank, personality-less, very Duh state in a kind of spa-like environment, and what do they do all day?  Yoga.  Constant yoga.  They wear yoga clothes, too.  It totally makes sense, that is what you would do if your brain had been wiped clean--in fact, that is the state yoga is sort of supposed to help you achieve, I think.   

Monday, March 16, 2009

Peeple Tunnel of Doom (aka the best frakking peep diorama ever)

My friends and I created a masterpiece for the Washington Post's Peep Diorama contest. It's called the Peeple Tunnel of Doom, after the peeps (ha!) who never got to the inauguration because they were stuck in line in the I-395 tunnel under the Capitol. We made the tunnel with the crazy-eyed peeps wearing hand-crotched scarves and hats, and holding peeple tickets; the trampled peep on the left side; the ceiling lights that actually light up; the exit signs (I made those!); and the peep on a ladder putting up a PEEP poster. Then we went crazy and also made an inauguration scene on the top of the shoebox, complete with a packed Silver Ticket area, a nearly-empty Peeple Ticket area, a Peepbotron with images of Obama and Roberts (and closed-captioning of the flubbed oath), and a picture of the Capitol which is one of the ones they sent to the (human) purple ticketholders to apologize for the whole tunnel of doom thing. The above-ground scene is not meant to be an accurate rendering, but rather the inauguration as the peeps in the tunnel imagined it, in their desperate fever-dream state.

Do you think there's an untapped market for disgruntled lawyers who make DRASTICALLY AWESOME peep dioramas?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

This Movie Is Just Not That Into Having a Point

He's Just Not That Into You has the structure of an dialectic between passionate, but very drunk, people: the Realist and the Cynic.

The Realist starts out with a heartfelt tirade about how women are so willing to make excuses for men when they act like assholes, when in fact men are dogs who all just want to sleep with Scarlett Johannsen. The movie demonstrates this point by having its main female characters make cringe-inducing excuses for the assholes in their lives. The adorable GiGi (Ginnifer Goodwin) becomes an adorable quasi-stalker after going out on a single date with a blah real estate agent named Colin (Matt Dillon's brother, I think) who actually likes Scarlett Johannsen, while Beth (Jennifer Anniston), who wants to get married, stays with her boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck) even though he's made totally clear that he's going to marry her, and Janine (Jennifer Connolly) obsesses over her home renovations while the college boyfriend she forced into marrying her, Ben (Bradley Cooper) lusts after, of course, Scarlett Johnansen. The Realist belches loudly and rests her case.

The Romantic cannot bear this, however; she feels that the Realist is being not only one-sided, but fairly sexist. Swaying slightly, she stands up, forgets to mention the sexism issue, and gives a rousing, if incoherent, speech about how if women are fooling themselves into thinking there's a chance with some asshole, at least they're maintaining hope rather than being cynical and treating the opposite sex like objects, man. On the movie plane, Gigi delivers this speech to Alex (not sure who this actor is), the bartender who had been channeling the Realist by explaining how if a man wants to see a woman he'll make it happen and is thus rejecting Gigi.

The Realist cracks another beer and counters that, yeah, but still men are definitely dogs because they definitely all want to sleep with Scarlett Johannsen, because she has boobs the size of planets and acts so vapid she seems to be sedated. Whaddaya say to that, huh, Romantic? Ben sleeps with Scarlett. Then, in order to really make the Realist's point, he tells his wife that he slept with someone but that he doesn't want to get a divorce, but then he starts to get it on with Scarlett again, in his office, then sticks her in the closet when his wife arrives to try to save their marriage, and then gets it on with his wife instead while Scarlett hides. Scarlett wears Little Bo Peep-type dresses and undergarmets in order to emphasize her planet-boobs, and acts vapid to the point of being sexily comatose.

The Romantic makes huge dismissive gestures with her arms and raises her voice to make her point: Yeah, planet-boobs, etc., OK but Scarlett is hurt in this scenario too, what with the hiding in the closet! And, it's just not realistic to think that women will stand for this kind of crap forever! Whereupon Scarlett huffs out of the closet, Beth breaks up with Neil because he won't marry her, Janine throws out Ben for being a lying sack of shit, and Gigi moves on from Alex.

The Romantic isn't done yet, though. Pounding her fist on the table and knocking her drink over for emphasis, she says that true love really does exist! Sometimes men who have seemed like assholes really just needed that one special woman to unlock their inner teddy bear, just like in the movies! The Realist tries to interrupt--Scarlett Johannsen! Perpetuating unrealistic--but she is no match for the Romantic's sheer volume. In a whirlwind, Beth and Neil get back together and he reverses course on his heretofore consistently held no-marriage philosophy; Janine kicks Ben out but she still believes in love and is starting to date again; and Alex, the cool cynic, realizes that he's head-over-heels in lurve with Gigi. Swept up in it all, some peripheral characters--Connor the real-estate agent and Drew Barrymore, who has been hanging out around the edges of the movie, get together, and Scarlett Johnannsen goes to India on a yoga retreat (good riddance)!

The Realist gives up and goes to the bathroom, and the Romantic declares victory, ends the movie, and passes out on the couch.