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Hear ye, hear ye

CHILDREN!!  Have you been wandering, lost and miserable and alone, since I stopped updating this livejournal a few months ago?  Have you?  HAVE YOU?  Chances are you have just moved on with your life, I suppose, but in any case I've started a new, grad-school-centric blog, which you can find here:


It is sure to runneth over with unbridled enthusiasm, and you should read it if you miss the daily dose of idiocy I used to inject in your life.  I realize that, since this is America and all, you have an awful lot of idiocy-supplying sources to choose from, but I hope that I still have a small place in your heart.

May. 2nd, 2010

True confession: I'm thinking of leaving LiveJournal altogether.  This is a decision that really isn't all that important, and if I claim to be making it now I'm just sure that I'll immediately think of something I have to make a detailed entry about--like the Elvis impersonation contest I recently went to, or general thoughts on spring, or some other great, horrible horror movie I just watched, or some boy I like, or something.  The weird thing about this thing I'm writing in now is that I've always treated it as a dumping ground for enthusiasms, more or less, and not really as a place to describe my personal life, but I can still see six years of personal trajectory on it: from a shy, neurotic fifteen-year-old bent on overthinking everything to a glib, optimistic, slightly less neurotic seventeen-year-old to an eighteen-year-old first riding high on and then more or less maimed by first love to a twenty-year-old trying to figure out what to do next to...whatever I am now.  Someone who loves Elvis impersonation contests and good and bad movies and where she is now, and her friends (and who, unlike the neurotic high schooler, knows that her friends love her back).  I'll be honest: I don't have much of a point to make here.  Things have changed and things haven't changed, and they will continue to change and to not change, and maybe I'll come back here, and maybe I won't.  But either way: thanks for listening.

the rites of spring

It's been about two months since I made a post that was at all informative, and that's partly because I've been so happy lately that I'm beginning to suspect I have a brain tumor: nothing serious or deadly, but a small, unobtrusive one, maybe the size of a pencil eraser or a cherry pit, pressing against the part of the brain which, if pressed, decides that just about everything is perfect.  Or it could just be the effect of springtime on the average Oregonian mind: you get used to rain and rain and rain, and then suddenly sun happens, and it seems like a miracle.  I'm not being at all dramatic, I think: every year I forget it's actually possible.  I think most other people do, too.

So, what else is happening?  Luckily, not that much has changed: I still love lists.

1. I've been writing a lot lately, for no special reason.  I think it at least partly has to do with the fact that I bought a notebook for my classes this term and then carefully labeled each section; of course once I set aside space for something practical I had to start writing stories in it.  I'm thinking about writing "ARTHURIAN LIT" or something on all the notebooks I buy, just so I can get that feeling of playing hookey whenever I write a story.  I wonder if Philip Roth ever did that?

2. Philip Roth, also, is redeemed in my eyes; we were on the outs for a while, especially after The Humbling (Jesus Christ), but I've started reading American Pastoral and he's now my future husband again.  I think we're at about the same level of maturity--you know how boys take longer than girls.

3. I'm visiting Michigan in June to see Amelia's (aka my sweet baboo's) graduation, and to partly like the Michiganders do.  I'm missing a test so I can fly out early, but once someone's thrown up in your hair, it's hard to stay away from them for very long.

4. I have altogether too much work to do in the next few days (I'm reading The Romance of the Rose, which is not especially boring but somehow seems much, much longer than its 464 pages would suggest--it's bigger on the inside, like a Medieval House of Leaves), but I sort of love being this busy, too.

5. I'm taking a year of Spanish over the summer so I can graduate on time, every day from 8 to 10:30 am and I think it'll be kind of great (you see what I mean about the tumor?). 

6. I'm planning on getting an apartment sometime in late June or early July, after I visit Amelia.  It's about time.

7. I went out with a guy a few times recently, and while it quickly went into "he's just not that into you" territory, it was still pretty great.  The teenage feelings, when they come back, are as teenagery as ever (you know, in a good way), and even if you get stung later on, that doesn't have any effect on what happened before: for a few days, life is like a girl group song.  Springtime and those first pangs of romance, no matter where they go, are so tied together, and their beauty is in their temporality: spring, no matter how it may seem to promise to place you on the verge of a new world, just turns, eventually, to summer; pangs turn either into a long-term relationship in which you have to argue about who forgot to buy baking soda, or into heartbreak, or into nothing.  The point is that  they existed--and that they come back every year.

Treacherous spring weather!  Bright, clouds, bright, clouds, still, wind, and rain in the morning.  Still, April is my favorite month, and not just because I was born in it.  I'll be 22 on the 22nd.  I think it's going to be a good year.

Apr. 2nd, 2010

In honor of the 3-D remake of Clash of the Titans: 7 things I love about the original Clash of the Titans (and which are doubtless absent from the remake).


The plot.  Or lack thereof.  Clash of the Titans is kind of built along the EC Comics model of plotting, i.e., take a bunch of cool shit and throw it in the same general area.  So Perseus (Harry Hamlin) is raised in seclusion, transported back to civilization by meddling gods, and has to save the princess Andromeda, capture Pegasus, kill Medusa, annoy the Fates, kill the Kraken (who looks suspiciously like the Creature from the Black Lagoon festooned with tentacles), and face off against Maggie Smith.  There's also a giant claymation bird, a friendly robot bird, and some lame Greek god headquarters that quite frankly look like a leftover set from the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The movie also plays fast and extremely loose with a bunch of disparate Greek myths, which pissed me off immensely in the third grade but doesn't bother me in the slightest now...actually, I bet the 2010 version will at least do that last part.


Holy shit!  It's Laurence Olivier!


Clash of the Titans is also not just fun, Eighties kitsch with a weirdly heavy-hitting cast: it also has numerous sequences that are surprisingly scary and well done, especially if you're eight (or eight at heart).


Calibos, aka the big, back hair-covered villain who hypnotizes and kidnaps Harry Hamlin's girlfriend every night, until Harry Hamlin saves her, and saves all the world.  Calibos was apparently cursed with ugliness for some reason I can't remember, and he looks kind of like a cross between Ron Perlman and Ron O'Neal, but he's really, in my opinion, no uglier than the average owner of a Lebanese restaurant.  The earrings aren't helping, though.  (Nor is his big reptile tail, which is shown only from the back since it had to be done in claymation, which leads us to...)


Ray freakin' Harryhousen.  If you don't love some good, green-screeny, finger mark-covered claymation, you have no soul, and Harryhausen was (and maybe always will be) Mister Claymation Magic.  I'll probably never be able to logically describe why I love claymation and will always prefer it to CGI, but I do and will, and if you feel the same way you know what I mean, and if you don't you probably never will.  From Gumby to The Evil Dead, claymation has improved our culture in more ways than I can count (and I say that with only the vaguest amount of sarcasm).


How do I love thee, 1981 Harry Hamlin?  Let me count the ways: thy gay porno lips, thy toooo sweet pecs, thy Travolta-esque chin, thy sexy, James Mason-by-way-of-Glendale voice, thy stop-n-stare hair.  Best of all, though, is the fact that, the year after Clash of the Titans, Harry Hamlin costarred in Making Love, one of the first American movies that was both backed by a major studio and provided a sympathetic and nuanced portrayal of gay men.  It's not a very good movie, but still: there is a beautiful, sparkly, rainbowy flavor known as Progress, and Harry Hamlin and his fine self made it all the sweeter back in 1982 America.  Sam Worthington, what did you ever do for the gays?


WHY YES, I DID SAY "ROBOT BIRD" UP THERE.  More specifically, Bubo, the R2D2-esque mechanic owl who helps Harry Hamlin out of many a jam.  Bubo is approximately 12346 times cuter than you might rationally imagine a mechanical owl could be, and is the third most likable character in the movie after Harry Hamlin and Harry Hamlin's pecs.  I love him.  (Bubo is apparently also included in the 2010 remake, and Sam Worthington seems to be extremely anti-Bubo.  I think we should kill him.)

So children, don't be led astray by Hollywood razzle dazzle.  Those 3D glasses are pretty damn unflattering anyway.  Instead, locate the robot owl-loving place in your heart, bust out your VCR, pop some popcorn, and enjoy some truly delicious Eighties cheese.  It only gets better with age.

Don't you forget about me

Now, here's a fact of life most guys are not aware of, but should be: girls do not get over The Breakfast Club--not really, not ever.  More to the point, they do not get over Judd Nelson, and they do not get over wanting to be the Claire to someone's Bender.  I was talking about this in the car with my friend Claire today, because the night before we had gotten really excited about (and before I tell you this let me remind you, by way of contrast, that not-Molly-Ringwald-Claire and I have become the kind of annoyingly overthinky college students who read Lacan and drag our dates to boring, nine-hour-long movies about existentialism) ...Bender and Claire breaking up after high school and then getting back together again at Shermer High's 20th reunion.  And it being passionate and beautiful and a night of eternally burning love in the Sheraton Suites room 402.  This is what Claire and I talked about last night and this morning, for a least a half an hour.  It never really gets out of your system.

We have at least reached the point in our lives when we concede that, perhaps, our favorite screen couple wouldn't have survived the year after graduation.  Our scenario is as follows: clearly, Claire would go off to Lake Forest or whatever, and have some kind of fliration with a guy in her Psych 101 class, who would wear Izod polo shirts with the collar popped and talk faux-eloquently about Nietszche and take her for a ride on his speed boat, and meanwhile Claire would be calling Bender every night, getting annoyed by his monosyllabic noncommittalness, his lack of interest in her thoughts and ideas, his inability to express his emotions, and so on.  He would be back in Shermer, working in his cousin's vacuum repair shop and then driving around the neighborhood at night, listening to Motorhead and smoking pot with his friends.  So Claire would come home for Thanksgiving break, and would, in an attempt to save her passionate high school fling, buy a new transmission for the classic car he was rebuilding; they would get in a huge fight about how he didn't want to accept her charity and he didn't care about her life, and he would hook up with some heavy metal rocker chick named Shayla, who had hair like Lita Ford and who had been his steady squeeze pre-Claire.  Bender would wake up full of remorse, and would try to be honest and emotionally gutsy, but the relationship would be over and Claire would eventually marry a TV news anchor she met while doing an internship to fulfill her communications major.

I could do this whole scenario because, sadly, I can kind of envision the whole thing, but the point is: even now that we have gotten over guys who are all tortured and misanthropic (or at least pretend to be), not-Molly-Ringwald-Claire and I still envision, ultimately, the Trueness of Bender and Claire's Love transcending all...it would just take a while.

When I was fifteen, I felt about The Breakfast Club the way seminary students feel about Catholicism.  But even after going years without seeing it--and hopefully growing as a person, since the tenth grade--I'll never get it totally out of my system.  There is no such thing as true apostasy.

And to guys who have their eyes on girls who once loved The Breakfast Club, I can only say: get ahold of some fingerless gloves, a plaid shirt, and a sad, sad story about your troubled youth.  When modern science finds a better panty peeler, I'm sure they'll let you know.

separated at birth?

Inquiring minds want to know

aka Sarah puts off doing the 2958295829358235 things she has to do today by writing another lame survey.

1. I had a dream last night that I killed a vulture with plans to eat it.  Is this a bad omen?  Or does it have something to do with the fact that I also dreamed about the Oscars last night?  Are vultures edible?

2. Would you pay to go see a movie starring Mark Hamill?

3. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning: unwatchable dreck, or underrated black comedy?

4. Are you going to watch the Oscars tonight?

5. Who would you rather be a houseguest of: Alfred Molina in Boogie Nights or Paula Abdul right now?

6. Does Christian Slater deserve to have a career right now?

7. Could knowing Middle English conceivably be a skill that would save your ass in an action movie-type context?

8. Alan Rickman: sexy, scary, or sexy-scary?  (Or just too British to be any of the above?)

9. Hollywood is remaking Gone with the Wind, and you are in charge of casting.  (Go you!)  Who do you choose?

10. I'm listening to 105.9 right now, Portland's home for hair metal, and Dee Snider is hosting the Sunday morning metal show.  I assume this is a nationally syndicated thing, but even so: cool or kind of depressing?  Also, is Dee Snider datable?  What role does his hair play in this equation?

11. Is Lita Ford the rockingest chick ever, or what?

I gotta meet this freakin' bird!

Is it possible that this is only the fifth post I've made here in over a month?  There was a time not so long ago when I could make more posts than that in a single day.  Important things were always happening, realizations were being made, questions had to be asked--questions like, who's cooler, Kurt Russell or Patrick Swayze? or, Would you rather do Alec Baldwin now or Mark Hamill thirty years ago? or Am I the only person who really loves semicolons?  (The answers, by the way, are tie, tie, and obviously.)  And now...I don't know.  It's not like I'm less excitable, or have less going on, or have even become less annoying.  I just channel my annoyingness into other outlets, and use fewer exclamation points.

Anyway, the whole MFA race has come and mostly gone: there was rejection, and an afternoon when I got really depressed and drunk and made my mom watch The House Bunny with me, and during the Playboy mansion scenes said "LOOK, mom, this is what grad school is like FOR ME," to which she diplomatically replied that she didn't think most grad students actually walked around in bustiers and bunny ears.  (Yes, I know.  My poor mother.)  And then there was a period of recovery that took place immediately after the drunk House Bunny watching, since I have trouble staying depressed about anything for more than four hours or so--not because I'm a paragon of mental health, but because I get bored really really really really easily.  And during my House Bunny hangover I realized that I loved Portland, loved PSU, loved my friends--that, God, I even loved the hipsters.  And that I'm going to stay here, get a cheapo apartment, put on plays, go to the MFA program at PSU, bake rainbow cupcakes for my friends' birthdays, and continue to look to The House Bunny for emotional guidance at all times.

It really is a deep movie, you guys.

inquiring minds want to know

The opposite of the desert island movie question: if you could pick one movie that your archenemy would have to see in a theater, with doors locked from the outside, what would it be?
Poll #1523934 two thousands schmoothousands: I'm just sad the seventies are over

What do you think was the best movie of the 2000's?

The spider

Then there was the time in 
New Orleans 
I was living with a fat woman,
Marie, in the French Quarter 
and I got very sick. 
while she was at work 
I got down on my knees 
in the kitchen 
that afternoon and 
prayed. I was not a 
religious man 
but it was a very dark afternoon 
and I prayed: 
“Dear God: if you let me live, 
I promise You I’ll never take 
another drink.” 
I kneeled there and it was just like 
a movie— 
as I finished praying 
the clouds parted and the sun came 
through the curtains 
and fell upon me. 
then I got up and took a crap. 
there was a big spider in Marie’s bathroom 
but I crapped anyhow. 
an hour later I began feeling much 
better. I took a walk around the Quarter 
and smiled at people. 
I stopped at the grocery and got a couple of 
6 packs for Marie. 
I began feeling so good than an hour later 
I sat in the kitchen and opened 
one of the beers. 
I drank that and then another one 
and then I went in and 
killed the spider.
when Marie got home from work 
I gave her a big kiss, 
then sat in the kitchen and talked 
as she cooked dinner. 
she asked me what had happened that day 
and I told her I had killed the 
spider. she didn’t get 
angry. she was a good 

Charles Bukowski


Amelia has been gone for a month now, and in that time my quality of life has decreased a perceptible amount.


1. She regularly takes ten mile walks for fun.
2. When she was on a semester abroad in Senegal, she bought a wooden statue of a man and named it El Hadj Fall Awesome, and talked to it when she had malaria (and was delirious).

3. She gives second-hand smoke TO FLOWERS.

4. She is unperturbed by goat viscera.

5. She also looks excellent in a bubu.

6. Behind that stuffed blue bunny, THERE IS ONLY ANOTHER FIST.
Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

silver threads and golden needles

My friend Claire came over to have a study-party with me today, and after hour nine or so of reading we decided to start a gospel/blues/country/folk band called The Sweetwater All-Girl Gospel Choir, along with my friend Emily, who has not yet actually called us back about this but who basically has to do it because we already gave her a nickname.  Actually, we all have nicknames:

Claire "Sweetpea" Simons (Guitar)
Sarah "Clover Honey" Marshall (Autoharp, Jews Harp, Harmonica, Tambourine)
Emily "Ramblin' Rose" Gray (Whatever she wants to play)

The conversation kind of devolved after that.  Mainly we lay on my bed for an hour, singing "This Little Light of Mine" and "It Don't Worry Me" and clapping whitely, and I tried to play my autoharp, although, since it's out of tune and kind of rusty, it ended up sounding like the soudtrack to Black Christmas.  And eventually, when I went to bed to say goodnight to my mom:

ME: Claire and I are starting a band!
MY MOTHER: Are you starting it right now?

I think my dad bought me a harmonica a while ago and then surreptitiously stole it back.  Will the All-Girl Gospel Choir prevail in the face of adversity?  (Yes.)

Jan. 24th, 2010

Since all I've done in the last MONTH or so is post clips from movies I like, proof that Joel Hodgson is awesome, and arguable proof that Nicolas Cage does not suck quite as much as everyone says he does, I feel like I owe yon minions something about my actual life and what's happening in it (although we all know that clips are kind of what you've come to expect of me.  Am I the human equivalent of a VH1 special?  Well, let's not go into that).

1. I'm all done with Creative Writing MFA applications, and will find out whether I got into Brown, Cornell, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Portland State, Texas-Austin, Virginia, Wisconsin-Madison, or none of the above.  I'll start hearing back from places in about a month, which is a simultaneously daunting and extremely exciting prospect.  I'm basically trying not to think about it too much.  But I do plan to throw the party to end all parties once I've heard back from everywhere and decided where I'm going, a party whose nature can be understood if the reader comprehends these two facts of my life:

A. My friend Emily lives next to a Hostess outlet.
B. I own a deep fat fryer.

How could anything be better?  I ask you.  And, of course, if any of you live in the Portland area and would like to shorten their life span by about five years, come and be creative (and fat).

2. My classes are almost uniformly brilliant this term, partly because I'm not taking twenty credits and therefore don't constantly feel like my brain is trickling out through my ears and down my neck.  It's a good feeling.  I'm in two highly cerebral English classes, a super serial Women's Studies class, and Spanish 102, where we draw monsters to learn the parts of the body ("tiene ocho ojos, cuatro narices, y dos cabezas, y la prima cabeza solo tiene uno ojo.  Y gusta fumar y leer").  I love 100-level Spanish because it's exactly like the second grade in another language, and I really, really miss the second grade.  Especially the part where you get to draw monsters.

3. I've been working out nearly every day lately (although it's been more like once every other day for the last week or so, since I've gotten busy and lazy), lost ten pounds, and fit into size-10 jeans that I haven't been able to wear since my fist Christmas vacation home from Bennington, when I lost weight because I was depressed and lovesick and really lame.  Let me tell you, replacing fat with muscle is so much better than just dropping weight because you're miserable.  (Or is that obvious?  Hm.) 

I now go out of my way to watch movies starring people with great muscles, and have decided that this is kind of what it's like to be a guy--the way that middle school (and high school, and college, god help us) girls look at thinspo pictures and say "I wanna be like that!" I watch Kurt Russell movies.  (No, I don't want to be as muscular as Kurt Russell--that would result in a Tango & Cash crossdressing situation--I'm going more for Conan-era Sandahl Bergman.  But were the world mine...)

It's funny, because this whole workout craze started after I bought a Cindy Crawford workout and a Claudia Schiffer workout with Emily and Everyday Music one day, and was at first just a celebrity workout craze.  But the Cindy Crawford workout involved weights, which as we all know are a girl's best friend, and then the classic Firm series was introduced into my life, and once you've done a workout that involves clear-and-pressing ten-pound dumbbells over your head until you feel like your arms are going to snap off, jumping around your living room until you look like you've been thrown in a lake, and basically feeling for an hour or so like you're going to die right then and there...baby, you never go back.

4. Do I have a number 4?  I don't know.  Three seems like too few.  I went to the dog show yesterday, and saw ten corgis AT ONCE in the same place.  It's like walking around on Halloween and seeing a herd of batmen, or something.

5. I think I'm going to draw some monsters now.

6. But how are you?


Did "The Office" seriously do a clip show this week?

inquiring minds want to know

Kurt or Patrick?

Mike or Joel?

ABBA or the Bee Gees?

Halloween or Friday the 13th?

Tim Rice or Andrew Lloyd Weber?

Kelly or Astaire?

Stewart or Grant?

Martin or Lewis?

Walk or drive?

Farrow or Keaton?

Velveeta or barbecue sauce?
Right now, the general consensus seems to be that Nicolas Cage, as an actor, kind of sucks a huge amount of ass--and the fact that he recently declared bankruptcy would only seem to support this claim.  (Yes, I realize that was a weirdly academic-sounding sentence, but keep in mind how many papers I've written in the last few much and how comparatively little I've been able to obsess about things like Nicolas Cage movies.  In other words, life continues to be imperfect.) 

And yet, I feel it's my duty as a little-known bad movie enthusiast to speak up on favor of everyone's favorite ham, and not even as a so-bad-it's-good kind of pleasure.  Yes, Nicolas Cage has made some terrible, terrible movies, especially in the last few years, when he seems to have devoted himself entirely to box-office bait action movies, movies like Knowing, National Treasure, Ghost Rider, the forthcoming Ghost Rider 2 (I know), and, of course, a little magnum opus known as The Wicker Man, quite possibly one of the worst cases of remake that this girl has ever seen, rivaled in recent years only by Rob Zombie's Halloween.

And yet, what we forget is that Nicolas Cage starred in some of the best movies of the last twenty five years.  Why he hasn't made anything good in about a decade is beyond me, but back in the days before Ghost Rider 2, he did things like:




Now, I'm not saying that Nicolas Cage was ever a paragon of subtlety, or even a great contemporary actor like Gene Hackman or Harvey Keitel.  But you know what?  I don't think he's bad, either.  He's basically--and let me try not to let this metaphor get too overblown--like a great, frothing rodeo steer of one part talent and two parts energy, and if he's going to deliver a good or even great performance, then he needs a director like Norman Jewison or David Lynch or the Coen brothers to take the reins.  And if he's in a movie with a lousy director and a lousy script (i.e. the kind of movie he's made for the last ten years), the result is lousy acting.  But even when it's lousy, it's still entertaining, and therein is the second part of the Nicolas Cage defense, illustrated below: when he's good, he's very, very good, but when he's bad, he's even better.


Interview me!  Ask me five questions about anything you want, then repost this on your blog and I'll ask you five questions, too.

Jan. 14th, 2010

Things to do when you're enveloped in a soul-crushing ennui because you're taking too many classes and getting up too early and have for some reason agreed to do an annotated bib by the tuesday after next and the guy on the bus tonight had a forty-minute conversation with himself, thus rendering it nearly impossible to read Ragtime*, PART ONE:

Write a poem using random lines from all the emails you got this week!


I think Boston is a lovely place,
A new life in a new place.

If writing was easy, everyone would be doing it.

very cathartic.
from blood & th

If the inciting incident is plausible and troubling to the protagonist
I thought I would write and write while in Paris,
Damn this term.

Make a proposal!

I would love if you were available for three of those hours each week,
and sisters

This is too depressing to think about anymore.
all the Merrys and Happys to you, too!

This would be easier, I think, if I ever got any emails not from the library.

A while back, I posted ten scenes that, when I saw them, erased from my mind every hour of every bad movie I have ever watched, and restored my faith in the enterprise entirely.  And now, since I have a concussive amount of reading to do (and since I assume that every minor machination of my life is fascinating to all of you), I'm posting ten more.  As payment I request ten of your favorites, non-sequential and unmarked, by tomorrow night.

1. Blood Simple

2. Paris, Texas

3. The Piano

4. What's Up, Doc?

5. McCabe & Mrs. Miller

6. Lilies of the Field

7. Five Easy Pieces

8. Three Colors: Blue

9. Raging Bull

10. The Thing

New Year's Resolutions 2010

1. Incorporate into my life more of the philosophy, ethics, and problem-solving skills of the following men:

2. Wear through the soles on my nice new running shoes.

3. Learn the lyrics to "Anything Goes" in Mandarin.

4. Read In Search of Lost Time.  (Note: resolutions no. 1 and 4. may prove to be mutually exclusive.)

5. Floss.

6. Dream those dreams, scheme those schemes,  hit you with my laserbeams.


Happy Birthday, Jane Fonda!


This is just too weird to be borne.

Now, normally I'm pretty difficult to horrify with news of how children are sexualized these days--I have a poker face, if you will (ha ha)--but a prepubescent girl singing a song about rough sex? That sits worse than food cart oysters. I would post a list of objectionable lyrics, but the ENTIRE SONG is pretty much composed of objectionable lyrics (you know, if you're NINE). And I have no problem with girls listening to this song and singing along with it, obviously, because I doubt they have any idea what the fuck they're saying and also, let's face it, "Poker Face" kicks ass. (Also, I sang "Wannabe" at that age and, in retrospect, the lyrics to that one were pretty dirty as well.) But: this was recorded by a COMPANY and put on an ALBUM, and presumably there was an adult involved who should have realized that maybe a fifth-grader shouldn't sing lyrics like...well, all of them, really.

Also, note that they changed "bluffin' with my muffin" to "bluffin' with my shufflin'." GOOD SAVE, YOU GUISE.

I don't know, you guys. Again, I'm pointing you toward Gawker, which is once again far more articulate than I am, while at the same time keeping up a Sarah-level use of exclamation points and Kurt Russell references. You can't lose, I say!

Anyway. Is it just me, or are white people really, really oversensitive about being called racist? Honestly, I think we should just accept the fact that, yes, we are pretty much all prejudiced (and yes, so are minorities), because prejudice is a basic part of ego, and because if we come from an openly racist family you internalize that praxis and if you come from a nice, enlightened family of white liberals you probably internalize the idea that black people are NOT different and NOT bad and NOT scary and in fact SO not different that you are not allowed to even notice a difference, while at the same time there are still neighborhoods you should probably stay out of, and wait, your cousin's boyfriend's name is JEROME? And, uh, just what part of Chicago is he from again?
So, while I was doing my CherFitness "Hot Dance" workout this morning--the time at which most of my deep thinking occurs--I realized, HEY, you know what would be the best sports/bet/romcom EVER? You know what would be a delicious melt-in-your-mouth combination of Rocky, The Cutting Edge, Dirty Dancing, and The Main Event, with a little Rhinestone thrown in for good measure? (Shut up, Rhinestone is fucking awesome, you guys.)

A movie in which a prima ballerine and a heavyweight boxer come to blows for...some...reason, each insults the other's art form for choice, and make bets that the other can't, in three months, become a boxer/ballerina! So there's some kind of title bout and some production of Swan Lake or something, and the boxer (who is named something like Francis MacDougal, and everyone calls him Mac, and his dad has a bar in Southie...yeah, it takes place in Boston, and the ballerina is from CONNECTICUT, and it is a CLASH both of ARTISTIC SENSIBILITIES and CLASS, (a fish could love a bird, monsieur, but where would they live?) (God I'm good)) the boxer obviously falls in love with the ballerina (who is named something like Sofia Gallier), who has this lame Swiss boyfriend named Hugh or something...and, basically, to sum it all up:



(And it would, of course, be called Getting to the Pointe.)

On this day in history...

Judd Nelson, aka John Bender, aka the love of my life when I was in tenth grade, is fifty. FIFTY.

I was about to say "fuck Robsession, man--this guy is an always will be the big Kahuna of all fifteen-year-old misunderstood bad boy crushes," until I realized that Edward Cullen basically IS Bender, but takes out his frustration and mopiness not by being a jerk to the object of his affections but by...well, by sneaking into her bedroom every night and watching her sleep. Which is worse? It's a toss-up. (No, no, Edward Cullen is worse. At least Bender never wore lipstick). But here's the thing: I suddenly realized that if I was in love with Judd Nelson in the tenth grade, it would have been bad news bears, baby, if Twilight had come out when I was that age. I'm sort of immune to teenage hormones and fluffiness now, but back then...man, there would have been fanfiction galore.

Let's just not think about it. It's too upsetting for words.

we'd make a great team, Plissken.

As you kids know, I watch a lot of movies. Most of the time, they don't really live up to the admittedly high expectations I had for them (seriously, why was I under the impression that Lamberto Bava's Frozen Terror would be, like, the best movie ever? WHY?), and sometimes I don't really expect much of them and they live up to my lack of expectation, and sometimes they either live up to my expectations or go way past whatever expectations I had. And every once in a while, I see a movie that's such a perfect marriage of so many things I love that I'm amazed I went twenty-one years without seeing it already. That's what happened yesterday, when I watched a movie that combined my love for
  • Movies set in a dystopic future that occurred sometime in the mid-nineties
  • Movies starring nihilistic-yet-badass heroes
  • Movies whose scores were composed on Casio keyboards
  • Movies starring Kurt Russell
  • Movies directed by John Carpenter and/or movies featuring any of Carpenter's Cyphers-Atkins-Loomis-Pleasence-Barbeau-Curtis-Stanton-Russell ensemble players
  • Movies with nihilistic-yet-badass endings.
I think you know where I'm going with this.

Look, my only question is, how in the name of Sweet Fancy Moses did I manage to go this long without realizing that Escape from New York is the best thing EVER?

Oh, and one thing I forgot on that list: movies whose scenarios make perfect sense as long as you don't think about them at all. AT ALL. Because once you do, questions start to pop up faster than C.H.U.D.s from your neighborhood manhole--questions like?
  • Why is the President of the United States British?
  • Why, if it apparently took Snake an hour and a half to descend from the roof of the World Trade Center to the fiftieth floor (by elevator) was he able to wrap up his climactic cage fight against mongo in less time than it takes to watch an episode of "Family Ties"?
  • Why was Manhattan Island, the home of so much culture, art, and architecture, turned into a prison colony, when God knows we were all under the impression that this is what Nevada is for?
But you know what? I really don't care. One of the truly amazing things about Escape is that it cost only seven million dollars to make, and though there are some effects that are pretty hokey now (the occasional obvious use of models or matte paintings), even if you translate that seven million into whatever it's worth in 2009 dollars, I doubt most directors would be able to get 10% of Transformers II out of it. If there ever was a director who could squeeze blood from a stone, it was John Carpenter. And more importantly, I think, he knew what audiences really wanted--great actors, a great, brooding score, a script that's both nihilistic and funny, cars with chandeliers on them, suspense up the wazoo, and Kurt Fucking Russell--and knew how to get it to them for about $1.95.

All of which contributes to my feeling that the remake slated for 2011--with Gerard Butler playing Snake Plissken--will suck like a Tijuana hooker. Ignoring the fact that it will probably star people like Megan Fox and cost more than the gross domestic product of Czechoslovakia, let's go straight to the greatest offense: no Kurt Russell. Yes, the guy's pushing sixty now, but so fucking what? Badassery never dies; it only gets stronger. Remaking Escape from New York--or The Thing or Big Trouble in Little China or anything else Kurt Russell-related--with anyone but Kurt Russell playing the lead is like remaking The Terminator with Seth Rogen in the Arnold Schwarzenegger roll. It could be fun, it could be worth nine bucks, it could even be good, but no one will ever replace the Arnold, and no one will ever replace Kurt. (And no one will ever replace Patrick, for that matter. If anyone's planning a remake of Roadhouse, just do me a favor, kids, and don't tell me about it.)

I realize this level of litigiousness may seem a little intense to you, and realize that, if this is true, it's really no fault of your own. It just means you haven't watched enough Kurt Russell movies yet.

Oh, Sandahl.

Forget the Pulitzer. The greatest goal of my life is now to be able to do this workout.
I don't really know what this ad is supposed to accomplish, but it just makes me hungry as hell.

What is the scariest movie you've ever seen?

For the record, the one that's been at the top of my list since I first saw it at fifteen--the lean, mean scare machine--is still the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Happy birthday, Jodie Foster!

Don't ask me why I love Jodie Foster so much. For one thing, we just don't have the time.
How about five reasons? I can do five reasons. Okay--five reasons why I love Jodie Foster:

1. Taxi Driver
2. The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane
3. Bugsy Malone
4. The Accused
5. The Silence of the Lambs

I've done no research to back this up, mind, but I would bet you green money that Jodie Foster was the only actress to achieve great fame in the 70's and not see her life disintegrate like so much antique drapery. (Yes, that's a really, really, really bad metaphor, but I've had a long day.) Tatum O'Neal, Kristy MacNichol and the rest all fell by the wayside; the only other actress I can think of who made a transition from teen roles to mainstream quite so gracefully is Diana Lane. And let's face it: Diane Lane ain't no Jodie Foster.

So what else is amazing about Jodie Foster: when other actresses were taking sexpot roles, Jodie Foster was playing tough, cagey, independent women, and won two Oscars in the process--one for my most beloved of all horror movie survivors, Clarice Starling.

Okay. I'm gonna stop now before I get all gross and Hinkley-ey. I also spelled "achieve" wrong twice up there (and twice just now)--I'm seeing "New Moon" tonight, and I think my brain is powering down in anticipation. Now I'm starting to wish I'd stayed in with "The Silence of the Lambs" instead.


I don't know if this is just because I have read hundreds of short story submissions this term, and am therefore burned out on the whole enterprise right now, or what--but if you're the writing type, if you have friends who profess to be the writing type, if you ever come in contact with the writing type, then I have an announcement that pertains to you, schmookie.

Come closer.








I swear to God I will cut a bitch.

This kind of story, and I tell you I am not exaggerating in the slightest, makes up a good 80% of what I read. And it's always someone going through something difficult and then seeing something random, usually part of the natural world, that makes them feel better in some oblique irrational way. Like: a woman's daughter dies, and at the end of the story she sees the caterpillar her daughter was raising EMERGE FROM ITS CHRYSALIS! Or, a man is going through a divorce, and SEES A DEER! Or, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and SEES A FLOCK OF CANADA GEESE RISING FROM A BARREN, WIND-SWEPT FIELD AND TAKING WING IN THE HARSH, GRAY NOVEMBER SKY! And you know, yes, these moments do happen, and they're nice, but this kind of story is such a cliche and more importantly it's NOT REALLY A STORY. I know I'm far more inured than most people to sort of mannerist, formalist, old-fashioned things, like...oh...structure and revisions and a plot. And I know taste is relative.


The next person whose two-unconnected-events story passes through my inbox will be subject to a slasher-worthy visit from me.
Writers, you have been warned.

toe pick!

Yon minions, haven't you been thinking to yourselves that it's been FAR too long since I became obsessed with some random thing, like watching all the Friday the 13th movies, or collecting outdated analog equipment, or Alec Baldwin?

WELL. It's funny you should ask. There's a new craze in Sarahland, and for the record, I didn't see it coming any better than you did.

I'll give you some time to guess.

Figure skating.

And just in time for the Olympics.

(Watching it, not doing it, by the way. Universal Sports has been playing a ton of the competition leading up to Vancouver--the Nagano Grand Prix, Cancer.net Skate America--and I don't know why really, but I've been watching skating pretty much every night. I really don't know why I wasn't ever interested in it before.

And in retrospect, you know, we should actually have seen this coming. Do you guys know how many times I have seen The Cutting Edge?)

I mean, a five-year-old, maybe, but...

Poll #1485493 Abortion schmaschmortion

What do you first think of when you hear the phrase "the mother of a three-year-old who had recently had an abortion"?

Three-year-olds, having abortions
A women who has recently had an abortion and is also the mother of a three-year-old
This was a phrase that I came across in the reading for my women's studies class this week, and I SWEAR TO GOD, I spent a good minute or so wondering if three-year-olds could actually get pregnant, or if that was a typo, or what. The brain, she is a-dyin'.

a recent exchange in the Marshall house

ME: (dials number provided on the website for "Fat and Sassy II," the play which I'm seeing with Emily to fulfill the feminist gathering requirement of both our Women's Studies Classes)
GUY WHO ANSWERS PHONE: Hello, mumble humble mumble mumperdinck.
ME: Hi, I'd like to reserve two tickets for Sunday's matinee of "Fat and Sassy II"
GWAP: You have the wrong number. This is a cleaning company. (Hangs up.)
ME: Why could I have not been trying to reserve tickets for something else, like "Long Day's Journey Into Night," or...ANYTHING ELSE?

I still have high hopes for "Fat and Sassy II" though. Oh, you have NO idea.

The power of prayer

Oh God, I think I might have swine flu.

Dear God or whoever, is this punishment for watching Rhinestone last night?  I hope not.  I hope that you, God, of all people, would have the sac to admit the Rhinestone is the best movie ever.  And the compassion to not give me swine flu.  Amen.

Two days off school (well, more like one and a half) and I feel like I'm dying.  I did my women's wellness checkup, got my last HPV vaccine shot, watched installment 5 of the Ehle-Firth P&P, got a huge headache, drank coffee with a mini candy cane dissolved in it, ate chili, and watched Dirty Harry.  I'M SO BORED, you guys.  Someone put the kibosh on holidays, okay?  I want to go back to school.


I think we can all agree that Body Double is basically the best movie ever.

Also, RPattz was all over the cover of the copy of Vanity Fair I got in the mail today, with his ridic hair and gay porno lips.  A good day?  Yes sirree bob.

Nov. 8th, 2009

I can think of about twenty-seven thousand things I would rather do tomorrow than go to my classes.  I feel like I'm about twelve years old.  At what age does it become unacceptable to fake sick, as opposed to just putting on your big girl panties and dealing with it?

Whatever.  When all else fails, white people trying to sing gospel still never fails to make me happy.

Also, in Alec Baldwin-related news, the other night my mom and I were watching The Hunt for Red October (or TRYING TO, anyway, since with all the commercials they put in it was about four hours long), and the following exchange ensued:

MY MOTHER: Sean Connery!  Sam Neill!  How could you go wrong?
ME: And Alec Baldwin!
MY MOTHER: Oh...yeah.  Him.
ME: I'll have you know that Alec Baldwin has not always been the sweaty marshmallow you now know him as.
MY MOTHER: Uh-huh.
[Alec Baldwin comes onscreen]
MY MOTHER: Sweet fancy Moses. [Or something to that effect.]

Es verdad!:



Whatever.  I still think he's superfoxy times a million--just in more of a marshmallowesque way than before.


Oh, Gawker.  ...Will you marry me?

Eleven Things You Could Do Instead Of Reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Book About Not Eating Meat


1. Eat a cheeseburger.

2. Eat some pork buns.

3. Eat some steak.

4. Eat some Grey's Papaya.

5. Eat some wings.

6. Eat some tacos. Pork tacos.

7. Eat some bacon (but don't be obnoxious about it).

8. Eat a bacon cheeseburger.

9. Eat some turkey. Some jive turkey.

10. Just be a vegetarian, and understand that most meat-eaters do respect your views, but that they're not as complicated and complex as you'd like to think they are, and that most people are actually, yes, quite aware of the arguments you'd like to "respectfully" make, what they're doing, the various reasons why it's uncool, and that we should eat more vegetables, and that we don't need to be guilted about it, and if we did, we'd read Michael Polan's book instead, or at the very worst, Elizabeth Kolbert's New Yorker review of Jonathan Safran Foer's book, which is both (A) quite great and (B) will save you $15 or $20 and save us from hearing you opine on what you read by the guy that wrote Everything is Illuminated talking down to all of us about eating our vegetables.

11. STFU.


dr. girlfriend

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