maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller


Oscars 2005: First Impressions

The Academy Awards clocked in at 3:06 or so this year. Too damn short, if you ask me. I like the old-fashioned Oscar ceremony with a running time around four hours. It was hugely bloated, with montage after montage and long acceptance speech by a nobody after long acceptance speech by a nobody. A lovely program to watch while concentrating on the extended shots of people's dresses, with lots of time for calls to grandmothers and friends with strong opinions on everything.


The Good:
-Kate Winslet's dress, hair, and general existance. Nice job.
-The Johnny Carson montage. I swear I didn't tear up at all...maybe.
-Yo Yo Ma. Lovely.
-Jamie Foxx's acceptance speech about his Grandmother, and talking to her in his dreams "I can't wait to go to sleep tonight, because we have a lot to talk about". And he brought his daughter to the Oscars! Classy.
-Julia Roberts' HUGE baby boobs. Motherhood is workin' for you. Here's the conversation that went on in the room when she walked onstage:
The Dish: I don't think Julia Roberts has been out since she had her twins!
bex: Uhhhh, I think she brought the twins with her, [Dish].

The Bad:
- Presenting awards in the middle of the audience. Why doesn't Gil Cates just stand up and say "Hey, non-famous people, noone really cares about you anyway. We'll let you know later if you won. If we remember, what with all the fancy parties for us FAMOUS people going on tonight. Suckas!"
- Beyonce's black eyeshadow, among other things. It was like the eyeblack that baseball players wear, but on her eyelids with sparkles. eeeee.

The Inexcusable:
-Spike Lee's (shudder) FEZ. 'Nuff said.
-Antonio Banderas' hair. Long greasy do's are very Nirvana-circa-1993. Not good, Antonio. Like your singing.
- Was Dustin Hoffman drunk when he presented the Best Picture award? Afterwards Crazybrains called his appearance "painful to watch". Yeah. Not good.


the Numa Numa Guy

I had to laugh when I saw this article in the Times this weekend. The video clip they're talking about has been going around my school on email for months now. Check it out here, it's INSANELY funny.

He should enjoy his 15 minutes instead of moping around about getting famous. This could very well be the only time in his life he will be able to get laid, so he should damn well take advantage of it!


I <3 classic ER

I just watched one of my favorite classic ER episodes, season one's Blizzard. There's a great montage of the ER crew getting ready for all the victims of a 37-car pile up. Very dramatic music, people looking busy, stuff like that. But clearly the best part of the episode is when Bob the polish desk clerk cross-clamps an aorta. Because as it turns out, Bob was a vascular surgeon back in Poland.

Siigh. Of COURSE she is.

ER was my most favorite show in the world for a very long time. In fact, from age eleven til seventeen or so, Thursday from 10-11 pm was family hour in my apartment. I wouldn't call this show the reason I want to be a doctor, but it's probably the reason I started volunteering in a hospital at 14. So in some ways, I blame my current chemistry hell on George Clooney, who I used to love SO MUCH. Until I turned 16 the day he turned 40, and I thought maybe that was wrong. But wrong in the good way, right?

My ER season 2 DVD's are coming this week. Can't wait.

I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents. -Winston Churchill

That Churchill quote is pretty appropriate for and entry about FDR, I think.

I spent today on a field trip for my class on the American Presidenct to Frankin Delano Roosevelt's library, house, and museum. It turned out about 34 times better than I thought it would.

Hyde Park, where the Roosevelt compound is located, is about two hours from my school. I, of course, ended up in my professor's car for the trip, with two classmates. Turns out? That Prof. M. was easy to talk to, insanely smart, and plays good music while she drives (Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, mostly).

FDR's library and museum was interesting. Some of it was standard presidential museum stuff-- campaign buttons and posters, the family bible, a partial re-creation of his oval office. Some of the things on display were truly awesome poli sci nerd finds, like FDR's hand-edited copy of his first inaugural, from which he delivered the speechIcan be intensely nerdy about this stuff. It's good fun.

Mostly, though, the trip ended up being an unexpected bonding experience for the 15 people in my class. Here we were, all between 19 and 22, and we were throwing snowballs and making jokes about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt spooning in the tiny bed in the master bedroom of the mansion--before walking to the next room, which turned out to be where Eleanor slept.

We also spent a bunch of time trying to think up good Churchill quotes, because it turns out we're all huge nerds. Here are the ones I remember coming up:
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
"We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glowworm."
I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
and everyone's favorite:
"Yes, madam, I am drunk. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly."

I learned a lot about FDR, most importantly that he had some severely strange hobbies, like stuffing birds that he shot around his property as a young man. Also, he liked collecting pictures of boats and putting as many of them on the walls of his home as possible. It was seriously cluttered. Not, like, Collier brothers territory, but unexpected.

I like going to school with funny, interesting people who also happen to be brilliant. I feel a bit inadquate sometimes, but I've always thought that there's rarely a benefit in being the smartest person in the room.

Also, in these days of systematic dismanteling of the New Deal, it is more important than ever to remeber why this country elected FDR four times, and the great stewarship he provided for America during a very difficult time.


"You're going to need your soul one day Wendy, and you don't have one."

I watched most of the Project Runway finale last night when it was re-run at 11pm. What an awesome show. In most reality TV, the participants say shitty things about each other behind each other's backs, to the cameras and to other contestants. In Project Runway they do that too, but they ALSO come right out and tell each other they hate each other, and exactly why.

Kara Saun (why do they always call her by both her names?? Whatever. Fashion designers are wierd, as this show definitively proved) was one deeevious beeyotch. She had shoes made for her by Dollhouse, clearly by promising them she would say the name of the company 2334 times on TV. In the most obvious twist ever, the producers saw through that shit and called her on it. Nice try, Kara Saun. You lose. But not as much as Wendy "Hugest Bitch EVER, but cute offspring justify that, right?" Pepper, whose designs looked mostly like you could buy them in Nordstroms or something.

So Jay won. Good for him. He was as catty and bitchy as he could possibly be, which I completely appreciate.

Auf Wiedersehen, Project Runway. You Ah Een, as Heidi Klum would say.


I used to say that orgo should orgoaway, but now I'm in inorganic chem, so I'll have to work on another un-funny play on words.

No real post today. I have a chem quiz (the prof calls it a quiz, but it's worth 10% of our grade, so I call it a 90-minute mindfuck that will screw up my GPA.) tomorrow, so it's going to be a long, miserable night full of bidentate chelate complexes and crystal field splitting energies.

ALSO. It appears that pushing20 is officially getting hits! If anyone is actually reading what I spew out here, please, for fuck's sake, leave me a comment. Or drop me an e-mail. Do something to prove to me you exist, and the internet isn't just fucking with me for today and my counter will go back to 23 tomorrow morning. If you're out there? SPEAK THE HELL UP. It's very difficult to hear what you're saying if you don't. (ETA: thank you, Junebugg. you are my very first commenter. I'll forgive you for posting it 8 times, because apparently I am much more in need of outside validation than I originally thought. 15 cool points to you, and anyone else who comments.)


Embracing My Inner Fat Kid

We've all seen the cartoons where people have a tiny angel on one shoulder and a tiny devil on the other one. The two are constantly at odds over what their host should do, their voices always invading thoughts, changing outcomes. I'm pretty comfortable with my sense of right and wrong. I have another little guest hanging out within me, though.

I have an inner fat kid.

I wasn't totally fat when I was little, so this isn't one of those fat-person-in-a-skinny-body issues that should be resolved with therapy. I am relatively average in size-- I could use to lose a few, but I'm not suing McDonalds for trying to kill me or anything. My inner fat kid just nudges me to finish everything on a dinner heaping plate, or scarf down an extra piece of pizza just because it's THERE, and not being eaten. That's a big part of it: food that wouldn't get eaten otherwise. If Jen says she isn't going to finish her sushi? A pudgy finger pokes me from within, telling me how DELICIOUS that sushi is, how full and satisfied I'll feel if I eat it. I love food, and she likes to remind me just how much.

Right now I'm enjoying far too many chocolate cookies that I brought from home. I think my portly little friend is happy. God knows that I am.

I don't really mind having an inner fat kid, I just wonder why I don't also have an inner personal trainer or fitness guru or something, just to balance out.

College students are stupid...

and I fit right in.

I got home from my evening class and chem study group at around 11:30 last night. I always have concentration issues after having a class 7-9:30, so of course I wasted a bunch of time doing nothing. I read from about 12 til 1, when I started getting tired. I flipped on the TV in the common room, and was deeeeeelighted to find that an episode of the West Wing was on Bravo that I had never seen. Now, there are only like 10 episodes of the show that I've missed, mostly from season 5 or 6 I think, so I decided to watch. For two hours. So I was up 'til like 4am doing NOTHING, and now I'm tired as hell and have shit to do. And no chance of catching up on the z's this week...chem test Thursday night means tonight and tomorrow are dedicated to that. Plus, I have to read the autobiography of Charlayne Hunter-Gault for TOMORROW. I probably should have started yesterday, when I wasn't sleeping at all.



If all homeless people were this productive...well, it'd be cool.

I was doing my usual swing through the Washington Post today and one article in particular made me smile.

Supreme Court on a Shoestring profiles the fight of one homeless man in Austin, TX. A former lawyer, Thomas Van Orden has been homeless for several years. Van Orden liked to spend his homeless days inside the State Law Library in Austin where it was warm and dry. He realized in 2002 that the 6-ft-tall marble statue of the ten commandments outside the building was probably unconsitutional, and set to work doing something about it.

His justification for taking on the legal battle? "I have time; my schedule is kind of light."

For almost any lawyer practicing in Texas, brining a lawsuit like this would be tantamount to career suicide. Which is why a homeless ex-lawyer is just the guy to do it-- he's (admittedly) got nothing to lose. The 5th circuit court ruled against Van Orden in 2003, and pretty soon the case will be argued before the US Supreme Court.

This is the kind of American story I dig. A guy has to scrape the money together to photocopy a brief at Kinko's to send to the highest court in the land. He took the photos to be submitted as evidence with a $4 disposible camera.

I don't think the founders had Van Orden in mind when they set up the judicial system, but I like to imagine that they would be pleased with at least this one little corner of what's going on in government today.

Pictures from The Gates

I'm back on campus, so I uploaded all my pictures from the weekend. Here's a few that I like...more to come when I get everything that Crazybrains took on her camera.

I think the light is kind of beautiful in this one. The color was great when the sun was out.

Again, I just like this one.

Crazybrains in her Elvis glasses hugging one of the gates. There's an identical picture of me doing the same thing on her camera, I think. It was fucking cold, but we're hardcore so it was cool.

I started getting all artsy on this one: I was practically laying down on Bow Bridge, over the boat pond. It came out shitty, and I love it.

The light isn't as good in this one, but I love how the buildings on Central Park West hover above Central Park.

So in conclusion, I decided that the Gates might be pointless. I can't figure out what Christo was thinking. That having been said, they were loads of fun to walk through, if only to see all the crazy people that turned out to see 'em. Never have I seen such a concentration of middle-aged crazies, elementary school field trips, and tourists of all stripes all in the same place in the City. It was great.


back in the city so nice they named it twice

It's good to be back in New York, as I predicted.

I got back yesterday around 10pm, and went for excellent sushi with my dad. God, it's nice to be back in a place where you can get (a) good sushi and (b) dinner delivered at 10. After that I pretty much ate cookies that my mom made and watched TV. Crazybrains got in to the city around midnight, so I met her for coffee at our diner, but we were tired so didn't do much.

Today Crazybrains and I went to the Brooklyn Museum, where she worked last summer. It was a sort of combo kiss-up-to-her-boss-for-another-summer-job / see the Marilyn Monroe photo exhibit trip. We grabbed lunch at an awesome diner out on Washington Ave, a few blocks from the museum. It's called Tom's Restaurant, and has been there for about 70 years. It's a kitchy old place, with walls covered in seven decades of reviews, photos of stars that have stopped by, and lots of fake flowers. We loved it.

We headed back in to Manhattan around 1, and hit the park to see The Gates. It was incredibly beautiful, if pointless. I'm glad I came back for it since it'll be gone forever in about a week. I'll post pictures Sunday or Monday when I have some time. We took a lot of pictures of the two of us together, and loads of pictures of the park in all its wintery glory.

Then came dinner at home with the family, including assorted extended family members in town for Toy Fair and to see The Gates. After that I went to the Comedy Cellar with Crazybrains and my cousin. Comedy Cellar is usually reliable for a good show and a lively crowd any night of the week, but they kind of failed me tonight. We hit the 12:30 show, and it lasted under two hours. There was one AWESOME performer (Sherrod Small), a few that were good (Russ Menever, who I usually love but wasn't "on" tonight, and Rick Crom), and a few guys that kind of bombed. Disappointing, but that doesn't mean I won't be back there next time I come home. It's my place, and I like it despite disappointing me tonight.

So all in all, home is good. I haven't even thought about HSG at all (well, uh, except now. And today when I walked past the building where he grew up. But other than that. I swear.) It's good to be with Crazybrains, and just to be sitting in my living room at home. Tomorrow I think CB and I are heading downtown for a little shopping, then I'll meet up with my brother for a walk through the park. This is a good city.


Best. Scandal. Ever.

More and more, the Bush administration is just plain scary. Check this one out. According to the White House press office, a guy who runs four gay escort/porn sites and owes $21,000 in back taxes is qualified to cover the president, and Maureen Dowd, a reporter for the New York Times with White House credentials from 1986 until Ari Fleischer denied her a reneweal in 2000, is not. Did I mentioned that the tax evader also uses a fake name? Apparently he enters the West Wing with his (real) drivers license that said "James Gluckert", and goes under "Jeff Gannon" in the briefing room. Hm. Maybe it's because THERE ARE NAKED PICTURES OF HIM ON THE INTERNET (that he put there himelf), AND HE ISN'T A REAL REPORTER

There is no way this country can stand for a president that is actively stopping members of the mainstream media from covering him. Instead, porn mini-magnates who throw softballs at the press secretary for a conservative website get issued credentials.

I've been reading for one of my classes about Nixon's efforts to expand the power of the president, and his disdain for any sort of accountability measures in government, but surely Bush takes the cake. This is the kind of article that gets me all riled up and pissed off. Arrrgh.

Here's some more awesome coverage of this MOST excellent scandal:

This site
has the Daily Show clip from last night, and it is AWESOME. This kind of thing is the reason the Daily Show is as important as it is to my generation-- it is smart, funny, and tells the truth.

Frank Rich's column
in the Times this week is about Jeff Gannon/James Gluckert, and the general farce that is White House coverage these days.

Atrios, AmericaBlog (where the story broke), dailyKos, and Wonkette are also at their very best with this one.

In less thoroughly disturbing news, I'm heading back to the city in a few hours, and I couldn't be more excited for it. Should be a good time.


"Daniel's approach is, like, so Bob Barker"

Anyone who knows me knows I love TV. I love it. Lurrrrve it. I just do. One new show this year that has been ridiculous, unexpected, catty fun is Project Runway, on Bravo. It's a completely awesome show that often produces quotes like the one in the title for this post, which came from one of the finalists, Jay. And the bitchiness isn't only about the clothing they have to design for the challenges: the contestant seem to genuinely dislike one another, and aren't afraid to voice it. For example, reject Vanessa offers this about Wendy, a finalist: "We were all really nice to you because we felt sorry for you because you're such a terrible designer and like, a mother of however many children and you live in the middle of wherever," Vanessa, 34, a Englishwoman with a loose upper lip, wails. " (The quotes are from this NYT article that I came across today.)

When I was home in late January I went out to dinner and to see Avenue Q with my Mother one night. While walking through Times Square to the theater, who did we happen to see? The aforementiond Jay, of course! Also Kara, the third finalist. My mother being, well, my mother, she insisted on going up to both of them and telling them how much she loved the show, as I laughed and laughed behind her at the mere confirmation that people that ridiculous do, actually, exist. They were both very nice, if clinically insane.

You never know who you're going to run in to in Times Square. This time it was the people from Project Runway, a few years ago a huge praying mantis landed on Nanno's shoulder in Times Square....I try to avoid it, what with all the giant insects and reality stars running around.

I <3 DVD extras

Usually, DVD extras suck. I was looking at my friends Dirty Dancing DVD, which includes an entire disc of extras. Included are gems such as:
"Commentary by Kenny Ortega (choreographer), Miranda Garrison (assistant choreographer and actress Vivian Pressman in the film), Jeff Jur (director of photography), Hilary Rosenfeld (costume designer), and David Chapman (production designer)"
...AKA "we couldn't get anyone important to do this, so here are...some people who were on the set sometimes, or stopped being famous even before Jennifer Grey
" Collectible packaging"
Uhhh, ok. Can I sell the box on ebay? No? Then it is officially not a collectible. I can sell all the old New Yorkers lying around my room for more than that box would get, and those magazines are basically garbage now.
And finally, " Music videos: Hungry Eyes, She's Like the Wind, (I've Had) The Time of My Life"
Just what I've been waiting for! The opportunity to watch Patrick Swayze get his groove on in "She's Like the Wind" anytime I want. God, that song is a piece of steaming crap.

So that is an example of the usual shit-level of DVD extras. My friends and I rented The Notebook the other day, and besides enjoying the movie, the deleted scenes were steeeea-maaay. Everyone loves the extended sex scenes-- especially the "everyone" that was sitting in my room tonight. So well done, good people who made the DVD of The Notebook. 19-year-old girls everywhere appreciate your efforts.


My ipod has come back to me and oh god have I been missing it.

Predictably, I feel much better about the things I felt crappy about last night now, in the light of day. I got together with Devin and BH to do my chem stuff, and we figured it all out. The lab went well-- in fact, this is the earliest I've ever made it out of chem lab (under two hours!). Also, as the title suggests, my ipod is back in my posession. I left it at home two weeks ago, and my mother just sent it up here the other day. So now, two whole days before I go back to the city, my ipod has arrived in western MA. Whatever, I'm just happy we've been reunited.

I still feel crappy about the HSG stuff, but I'm realizing that I've got a lot going on, and my stuff with him was really just distracting me from some things at school. So it'll all be fine.

I have 342 pages of reading for my class on the sixties that is in exactly 21.5 hours, so I should get going on that. More here later, if I think of something good to write about.

And I thought tonight sucked two hours ago...

Valentines Day sucks. I swore to myself I wouldn't write the lame "Valentines Day sucks" entry, but something just happened that pushed me over the edge. Valentines Day SUCKS.

I IM'd HSG about an hour ago and we started talking. About nothing, really. Me complaining aobut chem, him telling me he didn't have class tomorrow, whatever. I asked how V-Day had been, just offhand becuase it was something to say. And I guess I wanted to hear that it was nothing.

Turns out? His Valentines Day was "really good". He didn't offer details, and then asked me about mine. I basically spat that it was totally lame, that the only people I got stuff from were Jen, my parents, and my brother's best friend, which made me feel totally cool. I admitted that I was just being a stupid girl, and that I would get over it. Then, I asked him what had been so good. "do you really want to know why my valentines day was really good, after all that?" HSG answered.

I freaked the fuck out.

I quickly typed "I have to go. Talk to you later", and signed off. Shitshitshit. HSG has a goddamn girlfriend. I hate this. I was so fucking sure we were going to get together this summer, and after not seeing each other for two years and it was going to be great. I had it all worked out in my head. And now he has a girlfriend. Maybe. Something, anyway, that made his Valentines Day "really good".

I hate this. I never, ever want to think about this ever again, but it's all I can think about. I want to fall in love with someone else and get my heart broken just so I don't have to think about HSG anymore. I want to not feel so alone sometimes.

I am such a fucking girl sometimes, it kills me.



Tomorrow is my first lab session for inorganic chemistry. I spent a year struggling through two semesters of organic chem, and quite frankly was elated to escape with a C+ this past semester. I'd heard horror stories about orgo, and was completely thrilled to have lived through it. Inorganic was going to be a snap, I figured.

Turns out? I was totally wrong. I can't answer ANY of the questions I have to hand in before lab, and I'm not sure I even have a good handle on what it is I'll be doing tomorrow in the lab.


I know what you're thinking. "Bex, you're an American studies major! What's with all the chem classes?" As it turns out, my biggest dream in life since I first worked in a hospital when I was 14 has been to become a doctor, which requires medical school, which requires four semesters of undergraduate chemistry. I am convinced that I will be a great doctor...if I only make it through undergrad science classes. It's frustrating because I know I'll never need all this organic chem and stuff to do what I want to do with my life, but med school requires it, so here I am. This is so, so, so frustrating.


Snow makes me want to stay inside

Snow is lovely, especially when enjoyed from behind the floor-to-ceiling windows of my dorm common room while sitting on a couch and drinking tea. It is less lovely when I have to trek to class at 7, then back home through the fresh snow at 930. AND I haven't quite finished my reading for class, so this oughta be fun. I did the important stuff, I think (read: hope).

V-day entry to follow later tonight, I think.

Joke of the night:

bex: I've got a fun fact, [Dish]. 11% of all diamond purchased in this country are purchased in February.


The Dish: Ohhhh, because of President's Day.


tap tap tapping at my dorm room door, and TFF relived

So last night I got home around 2, and turned out the lights to go to sleep an hour or so later. I haven't been feeling great lately, so I wasn't entirely surprised that it was taking a while to fall asleep. When my eyelids were finally getting heavy and I had stopped fidgeting in my bed, I started hearing this tapping noise. Usually, when something like this happens I yell through our shared bathroom to The Dish to see if she hears it too (this was how it worked when there was we had a mouse problem a few months back...I hear a mouse, I yell "hey [Dish], do you hear that???") but this weekend The Dish was away for the weekend and I was on my own.

After about half an hour of my eyes darting around in the dark and my blanket pulled up tight under my nose, I turned on my light, hoping that would scare away whatever scary monster was tapping on my door. So I locked my door tight and wrote the blog post about twins to pass the time. I finally went to sleep at around 5:30 am.

Woke up around 2 and wandered down the hall to the kitchen, where I found some movies someone had rented and left there. One of the movies was L'Auberge Espagnole.

A few years back, Crazybrains recieved as a gift from her mother $100 and a schedule of films for the Tribeca Film Festival. Now, most people would call some friends, buy tickets for one screening and go out to dinner all together afterwards. Not Crazybrains. Good pal that she is, she calls me right up and orders me to our regular coffee spot that minute. She dropped the brochure on the table, and we set to work planning what would be a really awesome couple of days.

We ended up with tickets to six movies over three days. We saw two movies that I remember being totally incredible, three that were good but didn't totally knock me out, and one that was maybe the worst movie either of us have ever seen. The best were Shaolin Soccer, one of the funniest things I've ever seen, and Justice, which remains one of the very few reflections on 9/11 that I have found deeply meaningful.

The night we saw the terrible movie, whose name I won't mention but I can pretty much guarantee didn't get wide distribution, there was an ENORMOUS line for another movie, L'Auberge Espagnole. Turns out, that crowd knew a hell of a lot more than we did, that movie was really good.

Anyway, watching L'Auberge this morning made me think of those three crazy days with Crazybrains, where we went straight from school to the movie theater every day and stayed downtown 'til way after midnight, seeing movies and going out for thai food in a creepy restaurant and enjoyin all the little perks of the festival.

It was a great time, and I called Crazybrains earlier today to tell her I was thinking about it, and we agreed that in a few years when we're (hopefully) back in NYC during the festival we're going to hit it just as hard again. I can't wait.

Scientific study of twins

This is My Scientific Study of Twin Behavior. Well, not really. It's more like My Complete Review of the Behavior of Television Twins (that I can think of right now).

1) Nicky and Alex, from Full House

We got to know these two crazy kids for the first few years of their lives, and boy were they cute. The defining episode of their twin-ness was the one where Aunt Becky and Uncle Jesse go to a parents-of-twins support group and meet all these crazy parents-of-twins, like the pair whose grown sons wear lobster suits or something all day, for a reason I can't remember. The point is, these grown-up twins do EVERYTHING together because their parents were too stupid to ever have them do things apart, or dress them differently or whatever. So Jesse and Becky learn that they have to send Nicky and Alex to different play groups if they ever want well-adjusted children. Turns out that Nicky and Alex only want to play with each other at first, but if I remember correctly it all turns out okay in the end, with new (and different) friends for each kid.

In what may or may not be the exact next episode, Nicky and Alex are entered in to some "Cutest Twin Contest", or some such nonsense. The key part of this episode is that Stephanie really wishes she had a twin so she could go out on a little-kid date with these super-cute twin boys, who only want to date twin girls. So she makes up "Bethanie", which is her in DJ's cardigan. When I first saw this one I thought she had made up the name Bethanie, but it turns out I was a pretty dumb kid. This episode ended with Stephanie realizing it wasn't the end of the world to not have a twin, and with Nicky and Alex doing a dual Elvis impersonation that won them the contest.

I basically think the twin thing was handled well on Full House. We got to appreciate the cuteness of matching babies, but with some acknowledgement that they were indeed two seperate beings.

2) Tia and Tamara, from Sister, Sister

The premise of this show made the twin issues a little different than other shows on this list. Tia and Tamara were seperated at birth, and somehow at 14 scam their single mom and single dad in to moving in to a house together so the two girls can finally be sisters. Or something. Since they are pretty old (certainly too old to do dual Elvis impersonations), they already have their own distinct personalities, which is sort of the point: they are twins, but very different people.

Twin-ness comes in handy for these two when they pretend to be each other for lots of stupid reasons that we all dreamed about when we were younger-- to catch people talking about us, to take tests for each other, good things like that. Tia and Tamara had good, clean fun with their twin-ness, which I appreciated.

So overall, the Mowry twins did well on Sister, Sister. The main thing that bugs me is that it planted the weird idea that maybe we all have secret twins running around out there. Creepy.

3) Sam and David, from 7th Heaven

Like Nicky and Alex, we got to know Sam and David from their very conception. Now, I don't watch 7th Heaven with any regularity at all, but I read the recaps on TWoP because they tend to be freakin' hilarious, and I catch the reruns when there is absolutely nothing else on any channel. In my experience, Sam and David have absolutely nothing to do on this show except stumble in to cute little kid trouble together. In most episodes they get to one stupid twin antic between the two of them. I haven't ever seen one of them in a scene without the other. Also, they have creepy voices. Or, rather, a creepy voice. Just one between the two of them.

I'm sure theat the actors playing the youngest Camdens are very nice little boys, but the material written for the characters are complete drivel. Worst handling of twins ever on TV.

4) Assorted twin-pairs, on MTV's True Life: I'm a Twin

I only remember two sets of twins from this show. One was a pair of boys who were 18 and heading off to college. They were sad to leave each other, but knew it was time to go their seperate ways. It all seemed very nice. Then the one who actually left home to go to college decided to drop out and move home to got to community college with his brother, because he missed him so bad. Whatever.

The second pair were these girls who were maybe 14 or 15, but super-crazy immature. They went to some twin convention, with the sole purpose of meeting twin boys to date. Like, the sisters who looked exactly alike wanted to be dating brothers who looked exactly alike. Obviously, they failed in this enormously creepy task, but remained optimistic that someday they would find identical boyfriends.

I would find a way to insult this show even more, but I think I have to commend MTV for having the balls to show such thoroughly fucked up people in all their fucked up glory. Thank you, MTV. Just bring back the twisted cartoons and I'll be happy.

5) Brandon and Brenda, Beverly Hills, 90210

I liked how these two barely ever mentioned their twin-ness, referring to each other as "my brother" and "my sister" rather than "my twin". Well done, Walsh family. You managed to escape Minnesota with not only no trace of a Fargo accent, but two relatively well-adjusted twin teenagers. Granted, Brenda eventually revealed herself to be a raving bitch, and Brandon stuck around so long most 90210 fans were ready to run him out of town themselves, but god bless Aaron Spelling's minions for never, ever making the twin thing an issue.

6) Tess and Kate, ER

The only purpose of Tess and Kate were to cause their mother Carol a lot of grief and eventually run her back in to the arms of beautiful, beautiful George Clooney, who had left the show two years earlier. They caused a mountain of angst while in utero, but did not manage to lure their papa back until they had popped out and hung around ER as the resident cute babies for a few months. Cute babies they were, and they served as the catalyst to send Carol to Portland to be with Doug (which was one of my favorite TV moments ever), so I like these two even though they never got out of baby-hood.

Well, this concludes My Complete Review of the Behavior of Television Twins (that I can think of right now). I'll add more later if they come to me.

Shhhh, don't tell!

I know a secret, and to avoid spilling it to anyone I actually know, I'll drop it down here. Hopefully this will cool me off until tomorrow night when it will no longer be a secret.

Jen's boyfriend, who finished school a few weeks ago (after the end of first semseter) and moved home to Baltimore, is driving 8 hours to surprise her tomorrow.

All together now: "awwwwwww." Too fucking cute.

I have to come up with a reason for her to not leave the dorm tomorrow between six and eight so she's home when he gets here. I'm trying to think up an appropriate scam. It shouldn't be terribly difficult, but I want to be creative. We'll see.

So, secret spilled. I feel much better now.



So there's this boy. High School Guy (HSG). I first met him about nine years ago when we went to the same sleepaway camp, and we ended up at the same school for 7th-12th grade. I guess the whole saga (such as it is) really started around 8th or 9th grade. We were friends off and on for a few years, but when it was off? It was off. We were cruel to each other in the way that only fourteen-year-olds can be cruel-- HSG would block me on AIM for weeks at a time, which I would do right back at him. We each recruited our friends to openly despise the other one. I don't remember the exact details of it now, but we would alternate talking online for hours at a time and making each other laugh in our school courtyard and being just stupidly mean to each other.

On the last day of sophomore year, our English teacher had us do one of those exercises where everyone writes their name on top of a sheet of paper and passes it around, and everyone in the class has to write something positive about that person. For the most part it was dumb-- lots of "I'm glad you were in my class"-type comments, mostly unsigned by whoever wrote the comment. HSG didn't sign either, but I know what he wrote: "Besides the fact that you....Oh, to hell with it. You and I fit well together, like bacon, lettuce and tomato. Except not as tasty. " For some reason, I loved what he wrote. Lurrved. I still have the sheet of paper tucked in to a book in my old room.

So junior year of high school gets going, and finally HSG and I are friends. Good friends. Lots of long talks, study sessions for AP Bio, time spent together at parties, etc. We had a few (online) late-night confessions of how we felt, going something like this each time:
HSG: it's 3am and the only reason I'm still awake is because I don't want to stop talking to you
bex: me too. what are we doing?
HSG: I think you know this but...
bex: yeah, I do.
bex: and you too.

And then?? NOTHING. We were both huge wusses, apparently. We continued to spend buckets of time together, and then say nothing about our feelings except late at night every month or two.

HSG's parents went away for the weekend fairly often, and sometimes he would have people over to hang out when they were gone. I'd been over a bunch of times, but never alone with him at his house. As Spring approached, it became clearer and clearer where things were going with us. HSG and I spent hours and hours on the phone with friends (some mutual) talking about each other. It was time shit or get off the pot, so to speak. So one weekend we talked about hanging out on Saturday night. Late Friday night we were talking on the phone and got in a fight about something that I can't remember anymore. All day Saturday we were pissed at each other, so I called that afternoon and just blurted out "Well, am I coming over or not?"

I went over. Needless to say, we lasted about fifteen minutes watching Notting Hill before we were making out. It was the first time I had really, seriously liked a guy and then had something happen with it. We just kissed and kissed and kissed and then we watched SNL's Weekend Update with my head on his lap because HSG knew that was my favorite part of the show.

Things were great for the next month or two, until he left for the Summer. At first, we talked every night about everything. It got less frequent as the weeks passed. When he came home, we took a walk through the park. My stupid 17-year-old self had gotten bored of this boy who hadn't been home for a month and a half, and by the time we senior year started we were Just Good Friends.

We stayed friends, more or less, with just one more minor hookup during high school. He asked me to go to prom with him in a sweet, romantic way that I probably didn't deserve. At the after-prom party we both drank a little too much, which led to me running around with my friends, and HSG falling asleep on a couch for a few hours. We rode back in to the city the next morning asleep, his arms around me and my head on his shoulder. It wasn't a picture-perfect night for the two of us, but it was good.

Since graduation, I have fairly assidously avoided seeing HSG in person. We talk probably about four times a week online, and once or twice a week on the phone. He knows just about as much as anyone else from home about my college life, and me about his. He still confides in me about his family problems, among other things. We don't really talk about other people we are or are not seeing-- every so often one of us will ask if the other is seeing anyone, and the answer so far has always been no (...At least in the way that I mean it. I don't want to hear if he drunkenly hooks up with a girl, and I don't run to tell him about every guy I've made out with after a party.)

For some reason I don't understand, I am somewhat terrified to see HSG. Maybe it's because I still have feelings for him, and so far nothing between us has worked out right. We've broken each others hearts a little bit a thousand times, and to put myself in that position again with teh same person...scares me. So to avoid making plans to see HSG, I stop IMing/calling him a week or so before I know we're both gonna be back in the city. I thought I was being clever. Turns out? He totally notices. He called me on it a few weeks ago, and I didn't know what to say. We've gotten to this weird point right now where we exchange "I miss you"'s sometimes in a way that is...ambiguous. I don't know.

I hadn't told my best (girl)friends from home about the frequency of HSG and my conversations, primarily because I thought they would both disapprove. I told Crazybrains last week, and she says she has "things to say" about it to me, but we haven't found time to talk for more than five minutes since then, so she's saving it. We'll talk when we're home this weekend I guess. I haven't told Nanno (my other best pal) yet, I keep chickening out because I'm not sure how she'll respond. What Crazy and Nanno say is important to me, but I'm not sure exactly how important, in this particular instance. I have a feeling that Crazybrains disapproves. But the fact is that I like talking to HSG. I feel funny and smart and happy when we talk, because after all these years, the kid gets me in a way that no guy ever has, and certainly no guy at college does. Is my "relationship" with HSG holding me back from meeting someone here? Maybe. I guess. Because when some of my friends would just want to hook up with a guy at a party, I know that I can go home and talk to HSG, which in the morning will feel a lot better than waking up next to a random guy I don't care about, and who doesn't care about me.

It's all inanely complicated at this point. I have a feeling that there will be many, many posts about HSG.



The Gates

I'm going home to New York City next weekend to see The Gates, which should be absolutely amazing. The artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, have been working on it for 26 years, and have raised $20 million (!) to stage the whole deal. 750 giant orange gates stretching across almost every path in Central Park for two weeks. Sounds completely awesome. The Met is opening the rooftop garden to the public in winter for the first time ever so we can see it from above.

Also, Crazybrains, my best friend from growing up, is flying home from school for the weekend. We've been planning to meet up at home for this for months, so I'm understandably psyched.

I just love cool New York stuff, and this is going to be one of those things that everyone remembers I think, so I can't wait to get home and wander around the park for a while.

I know he's in the Axis of Evil, but...

kim jong il
Originally uploaded by pushing20.
I was reading an article in the Times today and realized something. I covet Kim Jong Il's glasses. I'm a fan of big, funny sunglasses, and these really do take the cake.
White rims? check.
Hugely oversized? check.
Lenses that juuust barely keep any sun out? check!
I don't generally want to dress like an oppresive dictator (exhibit A: Castro. That's a whooole lotta green.), but if wanting those glasses is wrong, I don't want to be right.

If they're standard-issue North Korean gear maybe I can find a pair on Ebay. Maybe if we all dressed a little more alike, we wouldn't be pointing quite so many nukes at each other. Damn Axis of Evil, and their sweet, sweet sunglasses.


Awesome things I'm reading

I am reading a few awesome things right now.

First of all, there's The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker. I'm a complete New Yorker addict. My family has three subscriptions (for me, Dear Old Dad...aka DOD, and my brother), since we realized that none of us would be able to finish the whole thing each week unless we had our own copy. Also, at this point none of us live together most of the time. My New Yorker love started early, with DOD sending me articles at sleepaway camp when I was about nine. I got my own subscription when I was about fifteen, and I just love it the most. I read it cover to cover every week. I'm a few weeks behind right now, but I'll catch up because I HAVE TO. It's a crazy little compulsion, but there it is. The book contains 2,004 cartoons, plus two CD's containing all 64,000 (or so) cartoons ever published in the magazine. I can now die happy, and laughing.

Next on the list of Things I'm Reading is Founding Brothers, by Joseph J. Ellis. It's a bit of a American history nerd book, but in a really good way. Plus, I'm an American studies major, so I'm allowed. Anyway, I'm only like a quarter in to this book, and I love it. The first chapter was a completely brilliant retelling of the Aaron Burr- Alexander Hamilton duel (the one where craaaazy ex-VP Burr shot and killed one of my favorite founding fathers, Hamilton). It totally brought it to life and picked it apart in a way that I loved.

I'm also reading the current issue of the New Yorker, which has some good stuff in it, including a funny satire of the whole Prince Harry-dresses-like-a-Nazi-and- unnecessarily-offends-everyone-except-noone-except- crazy-brits-really-care thing.

Lots of good reads for class right now, most notably Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself. It is a way better read than I predicted, and my African-American lit professor is pretty awesome, which makes it even better. I have to read the second half of it in the next twelve hours or so before class so it'll be off the list of Awesome Things I'm Reading pretty soon.

Learn something new every day

This blogger thing is turning out to be educational...I edited my template HTML for the first time today, to add a handy list of some of my favorite links to my sidebar. I feel like I can do anything! Except figure out how to keep things on my campus server space, which I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do from my mac. From PC's? Easy. On a mac? impossible.

Maybe I'll make that my thing for tomorrow.

First (of many) rants

I've made the executive decision that on this blog, I'm gonna name names. Kinda. If it's going to be where I dump my thoughts, I should dump more or less what I'm thinking, right?

I'll take that silence as a yes.

I'm a sophomore here at TinyU, and I live in a dorm. I picked in to the dorm this year with three of my closest friends at school, and the three of us tend to do a lot of things together. The problem? One of the four is driving the rest of us crazy.

Fooliet (which is not her name but is pretty close) has been annoying me since we met as neighbors in our freshman dorm. I had a single room next door to Fooliet and Jen. Now, I am a fairly easily annoyed person, so in general I tend to surround myself with people who don't piss me off on a regular basis. Living next door to each other and then playing the same sport and having VERY similar social lives has made this impossible, so in general I've tried to have fun with her and ignore that which annoys me, but it has never really worked out.

When I started college last year, I wasn't new to drinking. Lots of people have to figure out their boundaries during their freshman year. I had done plenty of figuring out in high school and could handle myself just fine. Fooliet couldn't. At all. At first that was OK, and understandable-- we've all been taken care of at some time or another, and I see it as my karmic duty to take care of my drunk friends, because I've passed out on people's laps at parties, thrown up in their toilets (and sinks...but that's for another day). So the first two times it happened, Jen, the junior advisors in my dorm, and I took care of her and stuck her in Jen's bottom bunk when she clearly couldn't get to her bed up top. After a few repeat performances, we started to get kinda pissed. OK, feel out your limits. God Bless. Good for you. But don't ruin every freakin' Saturday night of the semester.

This year, her drinking is just as bad. Jen, the Dish (our 4th), and myself go to parties and have to worry about how Fooliet is doing the whole time. Now, we all drink. In fact, we drink to ridiculous excess. It's our god-given right as college students, and we're gonna use the excuse for as long as the world will let us. That said, we like to (at least mostly) remember what happened the night before when we wake up. Plus, we know how to drink and have fun and not die. Fooliet, on the other hand, sucks down the drinks, regardless of how strong they are and how drunk she already is. More often than not she gets sick either the night of the party, or the morning after. Jen, the Dish, and I try to look out for her-- not leave the party unless we know she's ok, etc. So she knows that if she DOES get out of control, we'll make sure she makes it home and doesn't die. A few times she's told us the next day that we "didn't have to take care of [her]". Uhhh, yes we did. Or else she would wake up on the steps of the house where the party was, in a pool of her own vomit. So Jen, the Dish and I talk about it every so often, and we come to the conclusion that we're not sure we can just not take care of her, because, well, we care. And as much as we would like to teach her a lesson or something, that just seems like a terribly risky way to do it. So instead we have people pour her weak drinks, which just makes her think she can handle even more, despite the fact that the drinks might have like a half a shot in them. It's a bit of a lose-lose, at this point.

On top of the terrible drinking habits, Fooliet smokes like a chimney BECAUSE SHE THINKS IT LOOKS COOL. Now, the Dish used to smoke in high school and last year, and worked very hard to kick the habit. These days she'll have a smoke every so often if we're out or something. On one such occasion, Fooliet turns to the Dish and says "Wow, [Dish], you look so cool when you smoke. I'm working on it, but I think I look really awkward with it." To which I say...Holy Crap. I thought that smoking to look cool was something people did in Boy Meets World or something, before realizing it was bullshit. Now, there are lots of reasons to start smoking. Most are crap, as I think a lot of smokers would agree. But to ADMIT that you are smoking to "look cool"? Jeez.

Like many, many other college students, Fooliet also has terrible eating habits, and won't listen to thos who care about her saying that maybe she should eat some more before we go out (which adds to the booze problem). She likes awful europop, and has a whole litany of tooth-grindingly annoying habits. Not an easy person to live with.

Jen said the other day that it's gotten to the point where there are times where she just looks over and sees Fooliet and gets pissed off. It's bad. I'm hoping that Fooliet decides to study away all year next year. Fingers crossed.


I did it all for the cookies

I gave blood today.

I love donating blood. Now, I'm not (totally) crazy; I hate being stuck with the giant needle, and the sight of a pint of my own blood going through a tube that isn't, you know, my vein isn't exactly heartwarming. What I DO love is the idea that I can spend an hour of my day answering a few questions and lying on a table and save a few lives in the process.

Saving lives is great, and I like that it's so easy to give blood, but the real clincher comes at the end. The good folks at the American Red Cross will not let you leave the donation site until you have spent fifteen minutes recovering after donation. And by recovering, they mean having juice and cookies. MANDATED juice and cookies! It's like preschool all over again, but without the sippy cups.

I thought I would go to my chem lab and get some stuff done today, but of course I chose the one afternoon this week that it would be locked. So I had left my warm bed to trek all the way to a locked door. I'll have to go back on Thursday, which is a pain in my ass, but not a huge one. On the way back to the dorm I passed the church that is situated in the middle of my college (which I think I'm gonna call it TinyU around here from now on) campus and saw that there was a blood drive going on.

Needless to say, I hit that. With the free cookies and all, how could I say no?

I swore I would never have a blog...

but here I am anyway. I find myself pushing 20 with lots going on in my life (and in my head). It turns out that I have things to say and no place to say them, so here goes nothing. I raise my glass to my zero readers as I begin this little journey. Let's see where it takes us.