You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘family’ category.
I watched snippets of Superman Returns tonight on HBO, after having seen it in the theater last summer. I’m not going to waste your time by pointing out the terrible special effects, the gaping plot holes, and the baffling ending that I am sure cannot be explained to me logically by anyone.
But I do want to talk about this one thing, because I’ve seen it a lot lately and it is driving me crazy: why are female love interests today getting younger and younger while the male leads stay the same age?
I think Superman Returns is the best example of this phenomenon, since this movie supposedly takes place five years after the original Superman movie (which was released in 1978. Now, in the original movie, Lois Lane is painted as a no-nonsense career women – a reporter high up on the ladder at a big city paper. Margot Kidder (below left), who plays the original Lois Lane, was 30 when the movie was made and might even look a bit older than that in the movie. It might be a stretch, but it’s somewhat believable that she could be writing big articles for the paper at that time.
Now let’s fast forward to Kate Bosworth (above right), who plays Lois Lane in Superman Returns thirty years later. She was around 23 when the movie was made, and she looks around that age in the movie. But she’s got a five-year-old kid and it’s been five years since Superman was around – this should land her in her mid-thirties, at least. Instead, she looks a solid ten or fifteen years younger than she should.
I might be able to suspend my disbelief that some 23-year-old has landed a huge job at a city paper, but now I’m supposed to believe that she got five years younger instead of five years older during a five-year span of time? Is she also from a different planet? And am I also supposed to believe that, if she’s 23 now, that she was 18 when she got the job at the paper and originally met Superman? That’s harder for me to accept than a guy who wears a cape and blue tights and carries around commercial jets.
Even more than that, am I supposed to believe that she’s gotten more glamorous, less charmingly odd, and less practical after the birth of her bastard child and as time passed?
Who knows, maybe this has to do with the fact that I’m a brunette. Who tends to photograph weird. Or that I am not nearly as skinny as either Bosworth or Kidder. But seriously, I think it might be a scary sign of our times. For a long time we’ve know that actresses tend to “lose their value” as they age much faster than their male counterparts, but this is getting ridiculous.
I mean, we’re getting a strong, quirky, smart, career-minded character in Lois Lane, but in today’s standards we have to also make her barely legal? What do we tell the girls in this country, who are going to think that they and their aspirations expire right before they’re old enough to rent a car? That they should hurry up and get married before they become invisible at 25? That they should skip college and get to man-finding?
And don’t be that one guy who mentions that Juliet was 12, because I don’t want to hear it. Juliet might have been 12, but she was also dumb and immature enough to kill herself over a dude when she should have been pursuing her own dreams, taking guitar lessons and gossiping on the phone, had phones been invented.
One thing that I didn’t mention in my post yesterday about New Year’s Eve gym resolutions is that I’m terrible at NYE resolutions and resolutions in general. I don’t even make them anymore. You might recall that time I attempted NaNoWrMo and only tallied 16,000 out of 50,000 words – no more or less than I usually write in a month. Or you might recall that time I vowed never to order more than three rolls of sushi ever again, only to find myself sidling up to the Happy Samuri bar days later and stuffing my face with spicy tuna rolls and washing them down with miso soup like I was on my way to the electric chair.
It feels like when I make an official, on paper, resolution to do something, the unruly jaded teenager in me appears – that dark, Hot Topic part of my personality who thinks seatbelts are stupid and unprotected anonymous sex is kind of cool – and she makes it her New Years resolution to thwart anything responsible that I have in mind.
It’s that part of me that rolls her eyeliner-smudged eyes and says, “So – why don’t we quit now, since it’s either that or doing this for the rest of our lives. It will only hurt more if we quit in mid-June than if we quit now. You know, before we’re emotionally involved.” It’s a strong point, and I crumble to it every time. This is why I can never smoke a single cigarette – there would be no going back and I would be dead in days. The doctors would be baffled – they would have never seen anything like it – who knew that a single Newport Light would be a gateway drug to heroin, gambling and prostitution?
My economics buddy Seth over at The Blog of Diminishing Returns, has an interesting post on whether reward or punishment is more effective in sticking to promises we make to ourselves. In a NYE mini-experiment, a Yale econ professor tries punishment over reward – he gave $1,000 to a friend, telling him only to return it when his goal was accomplished and keep it if he failed.
It’s not so much the monetary loss that intrigues me about this idea, but that of having to answer to another person. Being accountable to someone else, other than me and my alter-ego, might be the answer. Sometimes it’s hard to go home and write at night (that’s a lie: it’s hard to go home every single night and write) but it’s a lot easier if either 1) Ben is in the next room typing and making me feel bad or 2) I can start typing first and make Ben feel bad. I mean, once we start writing, everything is great, but opening that laptop each night can be excruciating.
In any case, for me, the trick is to not make official resolutions. Instead, I drop them casually in conversations, knowing that next time I see the person they’ll ask me how I’m doing. So, they’ll say, have you made $5,000 more freelancing this year than last year? Have you completely eradicated girly push ups from your regiment? Have you succeeded in being less of a jerk to people?
Mostly, though, I’ve got to constantly keep irresonsible Hot Topic Sarah from sabotaging my grown-up plans. I’ve got to keep her in the dark and confused. Maybe I’ll go feed her some sushi.
This morning, something very strange happened: I woke up naturally. I stretched out in bed, rubbed my eyes, and tried to put my finger on the strange feeling I had. Even though I felt more rested than usual, something wasn’t quite right.
The apartment was quiet – all together too quiet! With a start, I realized that it was past seven and the kitty alarm wasn’t going off. Usually by 7:01 AM, the kitty alarm has her paws on my chest and is howling in my face as if the world is going to end. Usually, the kitty alarm is nipping and pawing at any exposed body parts that she can find, although she greatly prefers toes.
Surely, I thought, sitting up and jumping out of bed, Ripley is dead. No other force in the world would keep her from harassing me for food.
I speed walked to the kitchen, noticing well that Ripley wasn’t tripping me up and jogging ahead of me like she should be. Upon inspecting her food bowl, I saw that she hadn’t eaten her dinner from the night before – a phenomenon that is simply unheard of. I called her name and started looking under things to recover her corpse.
Alas, she was in the bathtub. Obviously sick and not wanting to be bothered.
Later that day, at work, I began receiving a string of emails from Ben, chronicling the different places and variety of unfortunate ways he had run into cat vomit. “On the couch,” he would write. “Don’t worry, I flipped the cushion.” And, later, “Everywhere!”
When I got home from work, I found a few new batches myself – under the coffee table, in the kitchen. It was some sort of terrible Easter egg hunt, if you replaced Easter eggs with enormous globs of something that used to be a Grade D chicken dinner feast with gravy.
Ripley seems to be doing a little better now – although the kitty alarm didn’t go off around dinner time like it usually does, she is back to hanging out with us and stealing Ben’s seat on the couch every time he gets up for something. We’re guessing it’s some sort of passing kitty stomach bug.
Seriously, though – how can she just throw up somewhere and then just walk away to throw up somewhere else? Shouldn’t kitties throw up by kneeling over their litter boxes? I could even hold back her whiskers for her.
My dear cyberfiend Beth From Avenue Z has tagged me for a meme. After looking up meme in Wikipedia and then wondering what else I don’t know about modern culture and how soon teenagers will be rolling their eyes at every old-timey word I speak, I decided to go ahead with it. I don’t want to make it a habit or anything, since it seems kind of forward-y (do email forwards still exist, or is that so five years ago? Now I’m doubting my every move and word.) but I also don’t have anything pertinent to write about today. Just like so many things in life, sometimes I need a little jumpstart.
So – the deal is that I write seven facts about myself and then tag seven people down below and they write seven things about themselves. Because obviously we don’t talk enough about ourselves on our blogs.
- I had an intricate daydream this morning during work that my cube mate (the one that would be an affable, normal person except for the fact that she sits next to me all day and is therefore annoying) accidentally got pregnant and had to start working from home due to some complications that required bed rest. Everyone was so happy – she’s engaged, so it’s not a terrible kind of unplanned pregnancy, and I’d be without a noisy neighbor who pronounces things weird for nine months, not including her maternity leave after the baby was born. And maybe by that time she’d decide to become a stay at home mom!
- Not to mention that I would be comforted by the fact that it wasn’t me who got accidentally pregnant – you know, that great dodged-a-bullet feeling? Except that in this case the bullet is a baby?
- I never have intricate daydreams about having children myself. It’s not that I don’t eventually want to have them, it’s just that I spent many years as a nanny and have a pretty realistic view of the vast rainbow of bodily fluids that babies and toddlers produce. While other women my age only see pictures of friends’ babies dressed up like Tigger or sleeping soundly or doing something adorable with a spoon, I saw the things that you don’t take pictures of, like tantrums and oh god it’s been two hours and the tantrum is still going on.
- One of the other things I like to do during the boring time at work other than daydreaming is look at what kinds of houses I could buy in different parts of the country for the amount that Ben and I spend renting our “cozy” railroad apartment in Queens. It makes me feel that weird happy-and-sad-at-the-same-time feeling.
- And I secretly kind of like feeling sad. So the happy-and-sad-at-the-same-time feeling is actually like feeling double-happy.
- If you’re struggling to understand what it means to feel happy and sad at the same time, I urge you to think back to the ending of Charlottes Web.
- The book, not the movie.
I realize I probably didn’t do that right. Okay, now it’s time to pick some victims (and no, I won’t get offended or sad or even happy-sad if you don’t do it): Molly, Hilary, Amanda, Nora Rocket, my new evil twin Slurredpress, Dan will probably not do this, and neither will Brian. Wow, that was surprisingly painful.