Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Am So Smart. S-M-R-T. I Mean, S-M-A-R-T

There needs to be more totally excellent, tubular, and various other '80s synonyms for awesomely bodacious female characters. I mean, we all had Buffy, but as much as it pains me to say it, the show's over. It's gone. Let it die rabid fans, let it die. No, not like when Buffy died and then came back and then died and then came back again. Did she die again? I never watched the second half of the last season. So technically, the show never ended for me. BUT DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING.

Ah Buffy. I was in 7th grade when the intrepid vampire slayer burst on the TV scene and I remember quite clearly telling my best friend that it sounded like the dumbest thing ever and I would never watch it.

Why so serious Joss?

We watched it the way dedicated fans growing outside of the US watch everything; pleading various family members to tape episodes and send them to us. Then we did it with Angel too. I think we rewound and watched the Angel dancing scene perhaps a million billion times. I do not exaggerate in the least, ever, in my entire life.

Buffy was different from all those other supernatural/sci-fi shows. It was more than a pair of boobs fighting vampires. I mean, that was the gist of it but it had humor and lovable characters and a demon that made Buffy able to read minds which lead her to the amazing discovery that the principal had, "Walk Like An Egyptian," stuck in his head all day! It was brilliant touches like this that made that show the owner of my lonely heart. Move yourself, you always live your life, never thinking of the future. Owner of a lonely heart, much better than a broken heart.

True, the romance shit got old but I never have patience for drawn-out love games. They were never fun, the beat was never sick, and I certainly did not want to take a ride on their disco stick. Ross and Rachel? Probably the most boring two characters on Friends. I don't need to watch two bimbos (can guys be called bimbos? I am making it okay from now on to call guys bimbos too) whine about stuff they should've grown out of in high school. Gonzo and Camilla? Just take that chicken and make her yours, you damn weirdo! Bella and Edward? OH DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON TWILIGHT.

When it came to girls I looked up to, I really didn't have any growing up in terms of pop culture. I'm lucky I had The Muppet Show and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because at least they taught me how to be a smart, funny, ass-kicking anthropomorphic... thing. But I worry about the youth of today. They're not as smart as I was. Or am. I'm sorry but it's true. I am smart. Pit me, as a child, against any child now and I'm practically a prodigy, a fire-starter, twisted fire-starter. Hannah Montana is not a role model. I'm not even talking about her risque clothes or her trashy family, I don't care about that. She just doesn't DO anything. The day she fights an oozing fungus demon after performing a sold out show, well then I might pay attention but until then, no. She has nothing to offer me or the young girls of today.

But thinking back, I did have girls to emulate. I had My Little Pony. Oh sue me, I like animals. They were colorful and kind and occasionally dealt with crises and didn't wear assless chaps and date 20-year-olds. In fact they taught me a bunch of stuff. A) Being colorful is good. Which, in the broader sense, equals tolerance and acceptance . They taught me that tossing your mane and flicking your tail are good ways to show emotion i.e. don't keep things in, express yourself! You've got to express yourself, hey, hey, hey. Or hay, hay, hay? Yes! Eating is good! Don't have body issues!

I feel like an old granny but the youth of today are just too slutty and dumb. They need to be more like She-Ra! She had cool outfits AND fought evil. They need to be more like Jem and her Holograms. They had cool outfits AND... well, I really don't remember anything except the outfits but it was a show in the '80s, for girls. I'm sure it had a deeper message because all those shows did.

Cartoons were where I learned everything I needed to know. LISA SIMPSON.

She was smart and she wasn't afraid to show it. Plus, she played the sax. Lisa Simpson is amazing. She had to deal with an average family of average intelligence and still remain sane. She threw in barbs here and there and unless you were on her wavelength, you wouldn't even get them.

There was Daria from the eponymous show as well.

I always got called Daria which was unfair because I had glasses and dark hair but I was not as cynical and dry as she was. She's also another girl that was displayed as, "not the norm." She had a brain and looked down at her brainless, cheerleader sister. But though I quite liked the show, I never aspired to be like her because I never thought you had to be one or the other; a peppy retard or a smart outcast. My school was too small for cliques. We had guys on the basketball team doing drama. I guess I was on the Daria side of the spectrum because I had my three (then she left and I had two) close friends and we were pretty smug about ourselves in relation to everyone else, but I had other friends and people I got along fine with as well. And yes I did drama. Shut up. Did you have the lead in the school musical? I didn't think so.

Disney girls were pretty good examples I guess. I never wanted to be exactly like any of them though.

I liked Belle from Beauty and the Beast (Note: I wrote Beatty and the Beats. Warren Beatty, should you ever need a band, I got the name. You're welcome) because she liked books and she was never part of any crowd, head up on some cloud and I related to that.

I got called weird occasionally because I was a bookworm but hey guess what? MY VOCABULARY IS MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT ASS-BUTT. Ariel was a little whiny and baffling to me for wanting to get married at 16. Snow White didn't really do much of anything except play housekeeper to tiny men. Cinderella, okay she had animals as friends and as embarrassing as this is, I was pretty jealous. Come on, they sewed a dress for her and kept her company! I was pretty lonely when I was little because I went to an international school that no one stayed at for longer than three years so I didn't get a good core of friends until later on. I always thought a pet would help with the not feeling lonely all the goddamn time but I never had a real pet either. Yes, I know I had my turtle who is 15, I think, this year and I love him dearly and I had a bunny for a week that died and a veritable cornucopia of other turtles and goldfish and even a couple chicks but never a pet, pet. One that would keep you company and that you could hug tight, tight, tight. Like Elmyra does in Tiny Toons except a touch less sadistic. Which is why I have an almost unhealthy relationship with my cat now. What am I saying, we're perfectly normal. I love my Egg. She is my soulmate.

But all the Disney girls wanted something more from their lives. They wanted to be themselves but the very best version they could be. I have no complaints about that. There are barely any animated movies coming out these days with that repetitive, yet sensible, message. The girl in How To Train Your Dragon, Astrid, was pretty cool but even she was a minor character. I saw Princess and the Frog and it was just really meh. It sort of had the same air as classic Disney but it didn't have the inspiration, the quirk, the pure heart that Disney used to be so good at. Like Jasmine addressing the camel as the Sultan in Aladdin when they're trying to talk their way out of trouble. That's freaking brilliant. I'm kind of excited for Tangled because the prince is voiced by Zachary Levi from Chuck and we looooove him. We love him so much we switch to the royal we.

But even with Disney, they make the smart girl seem like an outsider. It's just a shame that smart has to be separate from popular or girly or ass-kicking. Why can't someone be all those things? Would it be too unbelievable, too much? Bullshit, it's what everyone should strive for. I am smart, I have a fair number of friends and am relatively charming and personable when I want to be and if given the proper motivation, I could probably beat you up. I also have a relatively large ego (some days, we all have off days) which is quite healthy considering half the girls in this world, and probably several others, hate themselves.

My other role models growing up were my mom, my older cousin Beril who gave me the gift of Bon Jovi (which I wrote about at great length here), and various other ladies in my family. They're all strong female presences in my life then and now. In fact they're so strong, they read these entries and correct my typos. These are my THOUGHTS mother, I can't be held responsible for occasional mistakes when the brain works at the speed it is.

We also had Madonna but that goes without saying. Youngsters these days actually call her a hag! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT BECAUSE I CAN'T. Just because the woman is over fifty is no reason why she can't wear leotards that call attention to her crotch. She's a star! She's fabulous! She's directing a movie! I hope it's better than Swept Away! Which I own! It's worse than you can possibly imagine! But we still love her because we are loyal and she taught us that life is a mystery and that everyone must stand alone.

Oh, I also had The Cosby Show. I wouldn't eat a meal without Rudy with me. But not the later episodes with Olivia, she was awful. But there's a nice TV family. Some people sneered that they weren't "believable," but dude, you have to realize it's TV. It's fiction. Things are allowed to stray from the norm. That's what makes them interesting to watch and so fun to emulate. I even met Bill Cosby when I was little. He scared me, I started crying.

I don't think most kids are as lucky as I was and without family, they don't even have the second most important thing; TV role models! We need better shows! We need our cartoons back! Your average young girl likes who? Justin Bieber? A castrato with a stylish lesbian haircut? NO. WRONG. I HATE LIFE.

Except mine. Mine was pretty good. Pity the children of tomorrow. I don't believe they are the future. I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow but I doubt they can distinguish between their shadow and... something clever and witty that I can't think of right now. God, they're killing my brain cells too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

When we crack this mountain, all hell is going to break loose. And my undies.

I admit, I enjoy Lady Gaga but I love this quote of hers.

"When you listen to a song like 'LoveGame', is it communicating my soul to you? No... I make soulless electronic pop. But when you're on ecstasy in a nightclub grinding up against someone and my music comes on, you'll feel soul."

How can you not like her? Come on!

Another good weekend with good friends. And kitties! I think if I was left alone with a bunch of cats for any amount of time, I would come out the happiest girl ever. I went to a therapist for a while and stopped because he annoyed me by repeating everything I said and nodding his head like an epileptic parrot. Plus he gave me the drugs, and that's pretty much all I needed to start feeling like me again. I haven't taken them in over 6 months though, yay me! Anyway, if I'd just spent that money in a room with cats and kittens all purring and rolling around on me, I probably would've been "cured" a lot faster.

My friend's kitties are getting better. They were running around and jumping and loving everyone last night. Big, big improvement from being all sad and sickly the last couple weeks. We also watched, How to Train Your Dragon. Man, that is one of the best movies of all time. Definitely one of the top animated movies. The details (especially on the characters' clothes and the dragons' scales and skin, and not to sound too gross but the arm hair! Every freckle and hair and blotchiness was so realistic and so well-done!) and characters are just wonderful. I mean, the main girl is kind of obnoxious and does do the dedicate-each-punch-to-something thing that my friend first pointed out to me, which I tire of. It's when a girl character is really badass but every time she hits or punches anyone or anything, she has to say, "And this is for (insert reason/person/assumption about her badassness). It's something that pisses of my good friend to no end and it's caught on to me and it's just like come on! You're pretty great and there aren't that many kick-ass female characters (no there aren't. There are awesome ones, and funny ones, and endearing ones, but besides, like, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, can YOU make a list of ass-kicking femmes? I will soon, but it's Sunday and I don't want to make my brain think) do you have to ruin it with that simpering line? But other than that, she's pretty good and the main guy is dorkily endearing to us girls with soft spots for nerds and the dragons! Okay, I know I have a habit of seeing my Egg in any animal on-screen but even Elliot agreed that Toothless, the main dragon, was pretty much Egglet. Right down to the love of food and barfing on command.

I raved about it when I first saw it on a plane and had to silently freak out in joy as to not wake the other passengers and it's still worth all the hoopla. Elliot adored it too. You must watch it.

Other than that, I cast my mom's co-workers as members of The Muppet Show (she's Miss Piggy), got a pretty interesting book even though it's won the Pulitzer ("Hell" by Robert Olen Butler) which generally goes to books I find boring, and I was asked by some Turkish reporter for a few words about my, "work" and photo. Uhh what? My mom asked around about him and we figured out how he got my name, but I sent a message politely declining. They can write about me after I sell a script or publish a book. Wishful thinking? Yes.

Look at the cute dragon, look!

Pictures I can't stop looking at because I don't have enough words to make a proper post. I'm going to go make chicken fajitas for me and Elliot. It's finally cold out and we've been having such nice evenings comfily watching movies on the couch while Egg sprawls and snores in between us. I like my little Boston family a lot.

I need this ring in my life.

I might have to get this shirt...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pull The Blinds and Change Their Minds, It's Been So Long

Remember when I was making fun of that Peter Gabriel song that's in every trailer for dramedy about that wacky thing called life? Yeah, right after I wrote that entry the Katherine Heigl movie came out with a re-cut trailer with that as the music. SOMEONE WHO READS MY BLOG EDITS MOVIE TRAILERS.

Who are you?! We can have so much fun together! Okay, let's see what's coming out... Paranormal Activity 2 cut to the Benny Hill theme? Saw 3D to ABBA'S, "Knowing Me, Knowing You?" Come on dude, get in touch, it'll be amazing.

Now the real topic at hand. David Bowie. Where the fuck is David Bowie? He keeps coming up on my music and since we know the universe communicates through my iTunes this must mean we should investigate the recent activities of one former David Jones. The fact that I have over 150 Bowie songs on my computer has nothing to do with him popping up constantly while on random, of course. Yes, The Labyrinth soundtrack is in that list. I love the man and yet, I realize he's not even on my header. My header I designed in MS Paint because I am a twelve year old girl way too into making collages. I should make a new one, spruce up the site, make it look more professional. But eh, it takes work and I am not that skilled.

Let's see what our Starman has been up to...

According to, there was a Bowie night on Thursday in Paris, France. Old footage and interviews were shown, some bands played...

There was something similar in Australia on the 13th, with a few performers doing his songs...

Okay this all very good and well for our geeky international Bowie fans, but what is HE up to? God, BowieNet, you've always been so useless. I remember now why I hated your very existence. Pretentious site thinking you're better than me just because you're the, "official," Bowie site. Keeping me from David Bowie news just because I won't get a username and password and I won't! I will not bow down to you. I'll show you- oh here we go. He provided the voice for a character on Sponegbob Squarepants.



Dear David Bowie,

I love you. I have a fair number of friends, probably foes, and internet acquaintances who also love you. I love you more. But not in the creepy, "I'm gonna shoot you while I carry this copy of, "Catcher in the Rye,"," way, because that book sucked and if I were to be caught dead with any book on my person it would be, "The Dirt," by Motley Crue. This does not mean I love them more. You just haven't written a book yet. A lot of other people have though, about you. Your ex-wife has. My copy of it came signed actually. She gave me her best regards. Not that I like her. No, no I'm on your side baby. Though, she did have everything except cold fire.

But we're getting off subject. Remember when you had that new album a few years ago? It's now old. And sorry to say, you're getting there too. Of course, you're still a handsome devil to me, and probably to Iman too but hey, she's a model and she has standards so don't be surprised if she drops you like a hot plate. I'll be here. But really now, that was a good album. I really, really loved it. "She'll Drive the Big Car," was my favorite. It was so good. Just a little bit faster now, just a little bit louder now. Does that sound sexual to you? Naughty boy, are you hitting on me! Just a little bit angry now. No, no I kid. You'll drive the big car, I'll sit behind.

What I'm trying to say here David, may I call you David? You can call me Leyla. Or darling. Anyway David, you need to get back to the studio. I know you have one. My cousin said it was by her gym when she used to live in New York. See, I'm not a crazy fan, David. I never stalked you there. I'm just a dedicated, loving, perfectly stable-minded fan and I just want new music or news or perhaps even a tour. I saw you once live. You gave me goosebumps and chills and tears in my eyes and it was fantastic. Let us do that again. Let us be afraid of Americans together. Let us put on our red shoes and dance and only Blue Jean can save us. Let us feel erect, I mean a wreck, without your little China Girl. Let me breathe in the carbon dioxide you expel in a giant arena and smack anyone that calls, "Space Oddity," Major Tom. Come on David, Spongebob is not going to pay the bills. But a tour might. Especially if you have over-priced tickets. Which I will still buy and I will buy the best my good man, I assure you.

In return, I will make my header all you, all the time. This is a promise. You're already in my cat's blog's header. And you have a cat too. Cat People David, you know what I'm saying? See these eyes so green(ish brown)? I can stare for a thousand years.

So please David, it's been almost five years. Five years, stuck on my eyes! Five years what a surprise! No seriously, it's actually been like seven years since that last tour and album. It's time.

Oh and let me know when that episode of Spongebob Squarepants is on. I've never watched that moronic show but will for your dulcet tones.


P.S.: Please tell me Spongebob was for your daughter? Please? Because if so I recommend you go on Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel. Not that I watch it. Nope. Never.

Watch this, it will make your day that much better.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're Men, (Manly Men!). Or, How Television Shaped My Perception of Boys, Part II

I most definitely had pho again last night after that post. And yes, it was just as delicious.

Weird stuff though. The restaurant played Duran Duran's, "Come Undone," and then I got a text from my mom saying she just met Simon Le Bon (the lead singer) and his wife in India. Yes, my parents are in India. I am jealous and envious and we won't discuss it further because they MET SIMON LE BON AND LAST TIME WE WERE THERE THEY SAT NEXT TO STING AND I COULD'VE MET STING BUT I DON'T CARE ABOUT HIM SO I TOOK MY TIME GETTING DOWN TO BREAKFAST AT WHICH POINT HE HAD LEFT BUT I WOULD RATHER BE THERE NOW AND MEET SIMON LE BON AND WE COULD HAVE BREAKFAST TOGETHER BECAUSE IT WOULD BE BREAKFAST TIME AND WE'D BOTH BE HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF. Doot, doot doo-doo, doot doo doo doo-doo.

The universe is amazing. My fortune cookie also told me that, "Writing is a craft, not an art," which was pretty profound and freaked me out because I had just been complaining about not being a writer and how saying I was a writer felt like a total pretentious asshole lie to tell but then today I finally received editing work from my job and also wrote another piece for MetalSucks. I looked for messages in my coffee from Starbucks today but I just saw my name on the cup. It said it was for Alena.

Stop fucking with me universe.

I digress.

I recently discovered a new blog, Apocalypstick and in a funny coincidence, it turned out I'd met the author a few years ago in a chance encounter at college. She writes at great length about Disney characters and her ultimate man is Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Don't raise your eyebrows, I totally get her. After all, all my ideal males come from "children's" classics as well. Here is part two of my man show. I've talked about my action stars but let's take a step back. Back to when I first started thinking about the uglier sex.

Kermit the Frog.

Now, most of my ideal men are fictional or two dimensional or puppets. Don't judge me, this is what little girls watch and learn. Kermit was amazing. If I didn't love Miss Piggy I'd be jealous of her. He was smart, and together, and everyone came to him for advice and he just tried so hard to put on a good show. I wanted someone like Kermit because we'd live in a wonderful vaudeville fairy tale together. His one fault was that sometimes he ignored Miss Piggy too much and that was hurtful since she was clearly under the impression that they were an item. Kermie, if you didn't want her, you should've let her know. But I forgive you because she was quite the over-bearing sow and I would never be as clingy as her.

The Muppet Show also gave me other "men" with characteristics I wanted. Gonzo with his weirdness and good nature, Rowlf and his music, Fozzie and his funniness. There was a period in college where my friend and I couldn't help but be attracted to the comedy troupe guys and I have a sneaking suspicion The Muppet Show cast started that fire.

Bart Simpson

I made a really embarrassing confession while in college. I told my friend that I when I was younger, I had a Bart Simpson doll that I'd make out with. And now I've told the internet so that will haunt me forever. I don't care, Our love was pure and good. Bart was probably the only bad boy I ever liked. He was just so, "cool." When people try to explain the meaning or essence of cool they just go off on that something special, the je ne sais quoi, the ineffable. I just say, "Bart Simpson." But beyond being just a rebellious cool dude, he had that appealing side. No matter how cool we thought he was, he still got bullied and tormented and managed to survive it with his usual smart-assery and tricks. He was no emo weakling, he had balls. Metaphorical, yellow balls.

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown was the ultimate sad sack and yet I loved him dearly because I just wanted to be there for him. I would NEVER move the football right before he kicked it, I'd treat him right. Everyone always joked that Peppermint Patty was a lesbian but I understood her. She just loved her Chuck but he was too caught up in his bullshit that he didn't notice her. He just liked the red-headed girl he couldn't have. Isn't that always the story? The best friend girl always gets passed up for the elusive, pretty one. Stupid, unappreciative ginger.

The Ninja Turtles

They're so amazing, they're worth mentioning again. It's almost Halloween and so various sexy versions of costumes are out. I saw a sexy Ninja Turtles costume and almost threw a fit in the middle of the store. That is SO THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A TURTLE. The Turtles were easy-going, fun, and good. They liked April who hung around in an unflattering jumpsuit and didn't do anything with her hair. They liked the fun, girl-next-door who was happy to eat pizza with them and help them as they fought evil. There was a smart one, a leader, a fun one, and a sarcastic one. Altogether, they made the ultimate best friend/boy I wanted. It's weird that the stoner dude was my favorite though. I can't stand the real-life version of that. If I had to pick now, I'd probably be a Raphael girl but I'm loyal so I'll stick with Michelangelo. He's pretty tubular.

I never liked these characters as humans. The good guy next door. Why? Because he, like every other guy, wanted the hot girl and settled for the best friend after going through a bunch of useless trials he could've avoided had he just opened his eyes. I don't know, I might take that a bit personally but as a cartoon, it's forgivable because hey, you're not real.

I really wish Kermit was real.

There were a bunch of characters I absolutely despised too. Peter Pan, what a jackass. Okay yeah the mermaids and Princess Tiger Lily were a lot hotter than Wendy and I secretly always wanted my name to be Tiger Lilly and when Michael Hutchence from INXS named his daughter that, I was more than a little jealous, but you're technically with Wendy. Hell, you're on a date with her. Don't ignore her to go play footsie with the mermaids. Especially since they don't have any feet.

Pinoccio was an immature dolt as well. Simba, with his slicked mane was a spineless whiner which is why Scar captured my heart and don't even get me started on Mowgli. Of course Ashlee Simpson named her son after him, the lame are attracted to the lame! Bagheera, now he got shit done. He was also tall, dark, and handsome. Bet he was a panther in bed. Oh I amuse me. No but seriously, don't try to have sex with a real panther.

Aladdin was okay. But I was never really that into him. I think he'd make a fun older brother though, Prince Ali, fabulous he.

Quit looking at me like that, at least I'm not a furry.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Because Unlike Some Other Robin Hoods, I Have a British Accent

I just sent my sister off back to New York after a weekend of shopping and fooding including a particular night where I put way too much chili oil in my pho and basically sweated out the soup as I was eating it. Mm, delicious I know. Pho is great. It's my favorite. Spicy noodle soup with scallions, onions, and beef. I mean, it's nothing earth-shattering but I could probably have it for a week straight and not be sick of it. To think I never used to have it because it had cilantro. Cilantro is godawful. Don't you argue with me, you know it's true. But pho! You can make it spicy, you can make it all hoisin plum-y, you can switch up the meats or the noodles. It's just goodness. My favorite is really spicy with good beef and lots of noodles, easy on the onions.

So I'm just sitting here eating my lunch and Robin Hood: Men In Tights is on and of course I have to watch it because like that's even a question. The first time I saw it, I was in 4th grade and it was the movie the class voted on to watch as part of the year-end , "Yaaaay we don't have to do work but still have to be in school," times. I loved it. And I loved Cary Elwes. I didn't grow up with Princess Bride which is when every other girl fell in love with him but funnily enough, I kind of get a loophole with that. You see, when I was in elementary school, we had a horrible snowstorm one winter. One other older girl and I were the only kids who actually made it there on time. I remember a particular teacher, one I never had but who had a reputation for being "cool," took us both to the main building (this was on my old campus where the school was spread out in a variety of former apartments and trailers. Yes trailers. Big, tin metal trailers. We froze in the winter and got heat-stroke in the summer but it was still infinitely better than the shit hole we moved to when I was in 9th grade. You could fucking see Bulgaria from where that campus was. We used to dream of making a break for it and escaping through the fields on cows and sheep.) and sat us down and put a movie on. All I remembered from that movie was that there was a girl and boy walking through some swampy land and her dress caught on fire. Years later, I realized it was Princess Bride so I kind of did have it in my childhood like everyone else.

But anyway, Cary. Oh Cary.

He's what older, classy women in Turkey (and probably France, as that's where we got the word) would describe as a jeune. He was just such a leading man. Charming, eloquent, and a star. In movies that were hilarious, wonderful classics no less. Then I saw him in Saw and in Liar Liar and he was chubby and angry and, well, there went that fantasy but for a while, Cary Elwes ruled the world of comedic period pieces.

Last night, a bunch of us watched Aladdin. There's no shame in that, quit judging me. All I know, I've gleaned through Disney movies. But thinking about the star of that film, Jafar (duh), made me realize my, "ideal," celluloid men might be a little different than other normal, little girls'.

My dad raised us on action movies. I remember clearly watching Die Hard with a Vengeance on a plane and shrieking in anger when they cut it off because the stupid plane had the audacity to prepare for landing. More than action movies though, we loved the world of "action" and the actors. My dad took me to the Naked Gun movies in theaters. When he found out Arnold Schwarzenegger was in a kiddie movie, Kindergarden Cop, he didn't even think twice about taking me and my cousin. My cousin got scared and wanted to leave. I shrugged and said no, I was fine when my dad asked me. My cousin is a boy and a month older than I am. When we were on a cruise with fourteen members of my family, we found out that the ship's movie theater was showing XXX: State of the Union, and all trooped in to watch it. It sucked. No one holds a candle to Vin Diesel when he's in the Xander zone. The first person I sent a message to after watching The Expendables was not my dad, but it was to my mom to tell her to tell my dad to see it. We love action movies. And movies with excessvie violence. My dad took me and my sister to Inglourious Basterds. In a full theater, we were the only ones to come out with broad smiles and warm, fuzzy feelings in our bellies. Everyone else just looked kind of green. Don't even get me started on Christoph Waltz. I won't stop. No I really won't.

Aw, look at his happy Nazi face.

As I got older, I was introduced to Mafia movies and shows. My dad loves The Sopranos and can quote Scarface at length. And will do it, even though it's mostly to piss off my mom. She always makes faces at our "manly" tastes but I think it's all an act. Her favorite scene in Pulp Fiction is when Marvin's head gets blown off as they're driving over a pothole. She will laugh until she cries at the mention of it.

Then came martial arts movies, which my boyfriend also loves with a hearty passion. I remember going to The Protector and coming out feeling so exhausted because we were so engrossed in it, it felt like we kicked and fought our way through film too..

The Protector; The loving story of what a man will do to get his elephant back.

We will watch, or try to watch, anything that has Jackie Chan in it. Especially if it's Around the World in 80 Days with Steve Coogan and ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AS AN OTTOMAN SULTAN.

We love our action movies and action stars. Except Jean-Claude. He's just not as worthy. But that high kick is pretty impressive. Oh JCVD, you try so hard.

I like action movies and action stars. But I absolutely love the villains. Hans Gruber, Jeremy Irons as Jeremy Irons in everything Jeremy Irons has ever done, Prince John. I mean, you could probably explain this away with oh, I'm a girl I like the bad boys. I mean, I like rock stars too. However, it goes beyond that because well frankly, I'm not some bimbo who chases bad seeds because I feel I can "change." Piss on that, I have better things to do with my time. I think it's because although we like to cheer the hero on, the villain is just so much more interesting to watch. And that's what I want from my characters; some unique thing that separates them from the herd. In this way, it's not just a the bad boys or whatever. I will sit and yell for the good guys too if they give me something to yell about. Take for instance Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was raised on that series.

My cousin and I had all the collectibles, we got the tapes, and we had themed sleepovers. I had to be Donatello because he wore purple which is girly but I liked Michelangelo best. That show toyed with my emotions like no other because as much as I loved each of my turtle boys whether they were the party dude or the one who, "did," machines, I couldn't help but love Shredder too, even if they didn't cut him no slack.

Why don't they make shows like that anymore? I grew up in Turkey but I lucked out because every single family member would tape episodes and buy stuff for me and my cousin whenever they travelled. We were not denied any American pop culture especially when they were heroes in a half-shell. Ugh, the British version was Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles. Yuck. How stupid. Everyone knows ninjas are just cooler and more bad-ass than simple-minded heroes. Way to go Britain, you ruin everything.

There's also Disney and all my male figures therein. Unlike the other girls (except my friends who were just as smart as I was), I turn my nose up at the princes. Come on. The one in Snow White says and does NOTHING. He kisses some hot girl who might as well be dead for all he knows. Sorry, not good enough. If he drop-kicked the evil stepmother after foiling her plans to take over the kingdom with help of German terrorists, that would've been a different story. Cinderella's prince has a more interesting father (don't you love bumbling kings? The sultan is another great one) but at least has one funny saving grace; he yawns at the gawking females during the ball (my cousin and I always thought this was hilarious). Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty, kind of had personality, actually. It was just boring. Beast from Beauty and the Beast was only awesome when he was a beast. I'm serious. He was so scary and intimidating and you couldn't avert your eyes every time he was on-screen. When he turned back into a human, he became a Ken doll. Literally, like all the sexual tension and attraction was gone. Between him and Belle I mean. Of course.

I liked Jafar. He was so cold, so calculating, so devilish, and his beard was so... twisted.

I liked Scar. Because he was Jeremy Irons as Jeremy Irons in everything Jeremy Irons has ever done.

And his song, "Be Prepared?" WITH MARCHING NAZI HYENAS? I was terrified and thrilled to the point where had I wet myself, I wouldn't know for what reason.

Again, it's not that they're bad boys. No, if that was the whole truth I'd like Frollo from Notre Dame who sings that song about wanting to rape Esmerelda (listen to it again, it's beyond disturbing). This is just further proof that we, mostly I, need characters, not bland cut-outs because I liked the good guys as well. But only if they had some great characteristic going for them. I liked Disney's Robin Hood. He was a fox, (hur, hur). He was charming and daring and cute, and man, don't look at me like that, I was not the only one admiring a two dimensional animal. I liked Zazu and Iago because I like self-righteous angry bird-men with crabby attitudes (one is a good guy the other is Gilbert Gottfried). I liked Stitch because he was a psychotic super smart alien hell-bent on destruction who had moves like Elvis. He was "bad," but then he was, "good," and he's still my favorite Disney character.

I liked Gaston because even though he was a pompous peacock and used antlers in all of his decorating, he wasn't just freakin' wall-paper like Prince Valiant or Prince Charming. God, they even had dumb names.

Hang on, they're doing the eponymous song on Men in Tights.

Sure, there are girls who like the bad boys and the rocks stars and the rebels. You like them because they command attention and are sure of themselves. They have character. They don't fade out. That's what it comes down to. As long as you're not something bland like, I don't know, terrible lo mein from Nan Ling, I will admire and like you. But you can be a "nice guy," and still have that. Half the action stars usually do, I mean, have you seen True Lies? Best Arnold movie ever and he's just a nice, normal family guy (Harry, who're you kidding with that accent?) and then it turns out he's like Superman with a secret identity and has to save everyone. He's amazing to watch. Take for another example, my boyfriend. He's a nice guy and I love him for it. But he's the best kind of nice guy, he has a motorcycle, loves metal, and thinks I'm the bees knees. He's like Pho Hoa's pho, familiar and tasty.

THAT'S IT. I like men, movie and otherwise, like I like my pho; delicious with that certain kick that makes you sweat.

Monday, October 4, 2010

She Is The Lady in Red When Everybody Else Is Wearing Tan

I have a new bad habit that's driving my boyfriend insane; I keep watching The Nanny. Back in my younger days when Nick at Nite would show proper TV shows like I Love Lucy and Dragnet, I'd make myself stay up for hours just so I could watch it. I loved Lucille Ball and I still do. Her show was engaging and silly and funny and it just made everything seem okay, much like all the other family shows of the '40s and '50s. I never watched the episodes in color, only black and white, and without little Ricky. I just liked the interaction between Lucy and Ricky and Ethel and Fred. But now Nick at Nite (Nickelodeon after a certain hour) shows TV programs from the early '90s and not only does this make me feel old (really? Fresh Prince?) it just doesn't have the same air of nostalgia. Except, two shows have kind of grown on me and I just keep watching them. It's not my fault they're on at night when nothing else is and I'm getting ready for bed and need my TV time before sleeping.

The George Lopez Show is basically an exercise in Hispanic stereotypes but it won me over with the line, "Your mother and I have NEVER set foot in a disco. WE ARE A METAL FAMILY." I catch it when it's on now as one of those silly sitcoms you can keep on in the background while you do other stuff. The other show is The Nanny. It's on almost every evening for hours and I just, sort of, kind of, have fallen in love with it. Fran Drescher in the role of Fran Fine the nanny is amazing. She's loud, obnoxious, but confident, rather beautiful in a different out-of-the-norm way, but her voice grates on your nerves, and still you can't help but be enthralled by the train wreck she is. The supporting cast are lovable and create the perfect "straight" characters for her and the rest of her family to bounce off of. Pairing the New York jews with the New York gentiles makes some of the best comedic studies in contrasts. I always love mock enemies on sitcoms so the way the butler Niles and Fran's boss, the famous Max Sheffield's, business associate Cici bicker is so silly and filled with lame zingers, I love it.

Not to mention her outfits! The show is known for having outlandish costumes, especially on Fran and her mother, grandmother, friends. But some of them are kind of awesome. I couldn't really find any examples of the costumes I loved but there was one episode where she had a flipped out bob, a dark sweater, and the best, most colorful skirt that made her look like the perfect mod. In fact, she channels the '60s British mod look quite often and I love it. The episodes where Joan Collins starred as her boss's dad's secretary-turned-wife were incredible. Shoulder pads, zebra print, and bold red were the theme of that episode and I loved watching two characters known for their over-the-top ensembles play off of each other. Plus, I love anything leopard print (I just got the Jeffrey Campbell leopard wedges, and have about 3 dresses in various prints of the animal) and Miss Fine is definitely not lacking in that pattern. They're loud outfits but they have personality and they just seem to work so well on her because no matter how bizarre they are, they're always cut to flatter her figure. Plus, she has gorgeous curly dark hair and wonderful facial structure. I honestly think she was and is one of the more beautiful women on TV. Oh and her grandmother, "Yetta?" With sequined sweaters, fluffy hair, and amazing glasses, she's exactly the eccentric older woman I want to grow into. Haha, my mother would be horrified.

The "help" Fran and Niles.

The fabulous Yetta.

The equally fabulous Joan Collins.

An outfit I've worn in a slightly different way (I don't really go for turtlenecks).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Of Bathrooms, Good Ass Jeans, and Top Ten Lists

I was in New York about a month ago and I was staying with my mom in her hotel when I clicked on the TV and came across Vh1's, Greatest Artists of All Time list. Man, I remember when I would watch these countdowns religiously. I thought they were fun and interesting and I loved to argue with the screen when they would pick something that was absolutely wrong. I don't know why I placed so much importance in these lists as it just boils down to what some people believe to be true. Just because they got Ted Nugent to grudgingly admit Bon Jovi is one of the greatest metal bands (on the Greatest Metal Bands countdown) doesn't mean they actually are. Plus, why pick only the bands people have heard of? Yeah, you're obviously going to pick Black Sabbath as number one but guess what? I will get yelled at metal elitists but I find them boring. What about bands like Angel Witch? Your average person has probably never heard of them but I'd argue they should get a space on that list. Just because no one's ever heard of them doesn't negate their influence and "best status." Note: I didn't know Black Sabbath won out as the number one, I guessed it and then I just looked it up. Ding, ding, ding I was right. I think I always wished they'd put more of an effort in picking their choice but when it comes down to it, no one wants to watch some show about how a dinky little black metal band is actually very good, they'd like to feature big names like Rob Halford and jackass Lars Ulrich and VH1 teacher's pet Scott Ian blow even more smoke up Black Sabbath's ass.

But then, that's the draw I think. I really loved to watch whom they interviewed more than the list. Watching Bruce Dickinson explain why certain people chose metal was priceless: "Some people turn to like, bunnies and stuff like that. Others turned to metal." No matter what the list though, they always picked people who absolutely looooved whatever number they were talking about. Peter Gabriel was on Greatest Artists list and they had like 4 people talk about how "In Your Eyes," is the best song ever. No. It is not. Say Anything is an overrated movie, I hate John Cusack's character and the fact that he still represents "the sensitive boy" that everyone wants. I don't fucking want him. And if you're going with an epic Peter Gabriel song, pick, "Solsbury Hill." It's used in every trailer for every dramedy about coming to terms with what life hands you (I'm thinking of that Topher Grace/Dennis Quaid movie that nobody saw) and if I didn't secretly like it a lot, I would be sick to death of it.

I also sometimes questioned the people they picked. They had some dude once with corpse paint and his title was, "Metal Expert." WHAT. What makes him an expert? Because he has dumb make-up on he knows what he's talking about? What about the other, "expert," the guy wearing a Saxon shirt? No one listens to Saxon, you tool, so if you really like them you're giving the field of, "Metal Expertise," a bad name and if you're wearing it ironically well you should just kill yourself now because you spent money to wear something you don't like but think is kitschy and then went on a national show to broadcast this. Can I have this job? I feel like I could do really well in this market. Could I earn money being an official, "metal expert," and make business cards? Now would I have to take a whole class or just one test? And if you're the expert, how come you just agree with all the choices give to you? Can you not think of any bands that best befit this list on your own? Well that's not very expert-like.

I would like to see people sitting there going, "Nuh-uh, I don't agree. Here's why." Like when Beyonce got on the list too. Are you freakin' kidding me? She has been around for ten years, maybe less. What the hell makes her so great that she surpasses someone like Muddy Waters who isn't even on the list? I'm not the hugest blues fan but I know the importance of someone's influence and skill and ability to, I don't know, WRITE THEIR OWN SONGS. Beyonce has some catchy songs, yes, but with simple lyrics that appeal to either brain dead girls or brain dead gay men, she doesn't play an instrument, doesn't compose anything (oh bullshit on the writing credits for songs. That means she was in the room where the people who actually wrote the songs were working), and beyond having a good voice, doesn't do anything else. To be the greatest at something, I think you should work at it. Having a good voice is luck, it's something the universe gave you. What you do with that voice is what makes you great. But wait Leyla, Beyonce did do great things with her voice. She rose up and worked hard and had to wear the same outfits as two other girls before she could be an artist in her own right! Blah, blah, blah whatever. "If you like it then you should have put a ring on it," is hardly ground-breaking material.

But, as I said. It's someone else's opinion. Just because I disagree with it doesn't make me right. But it doesn't make me wrong either. Here are a few of MY top lists. I spent days of research, mulling over the choices, arguing with myself the pros and cons of each candidate, and even going as far as interviewing independent third parties to get objective opinions. Nah, I'm just kidding. Thought of them right now off the top of my head.

The Top Ten Weirdest Cats
10) The orange cat in our backyard that likes to surprise sex the females.
09) The other cat in our backyard that licks the spicy curry off the chicken we give it.
08) Maru
07) Egg
06) The cats in Jakarta Kate's dad told her about (with the hook tails)
05) Cheetahs
04) Yet another cat in our backyard that retched at chocolate milk
03) Persian cats
02) Cornish Rex cats
01) Sphynx cats

The Top 5 Best Colors
5) Turquoise
4) Hot Pink
3) Grey
2) Electric Purple
1) Royal Blue

The Top Ten Most Flattering Pieces of Clothing I Own
10) H&M lace dress
09) Mavi skinny jeans (good ass jeans)
08) Rob Halford t-shirt
07) Urban Outfitters leopard dress with front pockets
06) Evil Dead leather jacket
05) Denim studded vests (both)
04) Victoria's Secret Pink push-up bra
03) Zara white lace skirt
02) Red beaded Ranna Gill dress handed down from my mom
01) BDG fitted black pants (not me in the picture)

Top Ten Best Hardcore Superstar Songs
10) It's My Life
09) Shades of Grey
08) Nervous Breakdown
07) My Good Reputation
06) Spit It Out
05) We Don't Celebrate Sundays
04) Shame
03) Sensitive to the Light
02) Silence For the Peacefully
01) Not Dancing, Wanna Know Why?

Top Fifteen BEST Cats
15) Siamese
14) Russian Blue
13) Norwegian Forest Cat
12) Scottish Fold
11) Kittens
10) Bengal
09) Snow Leopard
08) Tiger
07) Abyssinian
06) Van Cat
05) Egyptian Mau
04) Ocelot
03) Bombay Cat
02) Any stray that needs a home
01) Egg

Top Ten Best Elephant-Themed Pieces I Own
10) White inlaid elephant bracelet from India
08) Silver bangle with engraved elephants
07) Elephant ring from Kit's mom's store
06) White elephant Aldo pendant
05) Gold Aldo ring
04) Ganeshji tapestry
03) Camel bone elephant figurines
02) Marble elephant figure
01) Mina's vintage elephant necklace she gave me

Top Five Bathrooms I've Ever Used
05) Harrods
04) Beyti
03) Park Hotel in Japan
02) Every single one in any Taj/Oberoi Hotel In India
01) My own in Istanbul

Worst Five Bathrooms I've Ever Used
05) Chinatown
04) Any bar in Istanbul
03) Behind the train outside while shooting friend's film Ivan
02) Any stop in eastern Turkey
01) Delhi airport

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