I’m a Comic Dork: Proof We Can Change

I’m not sure if I should be happy or disappointed that the highlight of my weekend was the new Avengers movie.  The Marvel (now Disney owned) franchise has been leading us, their public, with stories of individual comic book heroes for a few years, to present this ultimate concoction of big muscles and infinite possibilities.  With all the lead-up publicity to this movie, I was leery of it reaching my expectations but I was pleasantly surprised.

But first, I must preface any further comic talk by saying…who am I?

I was not raised with comics, unless you count the random Archie ones that lined the bottom of my toy box.  The most I knew about superheroes was that Jerry Seinfeld had his Superman figurine on the shelf in his apartment and that he was a big fan.  Then I met my husband.  To this day, I think his favorite gifts that I’ve gotten him are his Marvel and later the DC encyclopedias.  To me, these were huge and expensive books that I really didn’t understand.  But you have to understand that my husband’s favorite way to relax is to watch cartoons.  You can find him there with a bowl of cereal or ice cream, eyes glued to poorly dialogued cartoons pretty much anytime I’m busy doing something else.

As I got to know him, I saw how excited he would get about each new comic, movie, show, character, etc.  I know the guy is smart, but his memory is incredible.  He’d tell me about the alien names, fictional cities, weapons, character traits and abilities, all will ease.  He’s like a human cheat sheet.  It impressed me because so much of the comic world includes words that are made up, and completely unfamiliar to the dictionary you or I would use.  He would go on about how a line of dialogue was important because it drew from a movie ten years ago, or why a character acted a certain way.  Similarly, he does the same with series like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.  With what feels like fifty or more characters, he can elaborate on all the details that would sound to anyone else like gibberish.

Needless to say, I love the guy and I’d buy him superhero shirts as I saw them or little things I thought he’d enjoy.  Then I even started watching the movies with him, and letting him explain backstories or trivial information that he found crucial to a plot.  When a new movie would come out, there would be a forced viewing of the prequels, Continue reading

Adulterers in Romantic Comedies Don’t Do it For Me

Whether we like to or not, there are well known people in the world that we simply like, let’s call them celebrities.  The reasons could be for any reason really; they could remind you of your favorite relative, they are simply gorgeous to gawk at or you adore their body of work.  I tend to want to get to know people well when I like them.  I don’t think this is very uncommon, but when I admire the work of a celebrity, I sometimes reading about them and discovering the (wo)man behind the magic.  Maybe it is the investigative part of me.  The tricky thing is to learn for fun and not actually think you know them because a few articles were read.  We also can’t invest ourselves in a person we don’t know.  This is what happens to the stalkers and teen idol fans.

A good friend of mine from years ago loved tabloids and the who’s who of Hollywood.  We both enjoy kitschy humor, goofy characters and pretty much any witty comedy.  We would quote Seinfeld on a regular basis because so much of the humor fit into daily life and I remember telling her that Julia Louis-Dreyfus was going to be on one of the late night shows.

“I won’t watch it” she said.  “But she’s your favorite, why?” I asked her.

She went on to explain that whenever she develops a fondness for a character or an actor, she refuses to watch anything which presents the actual personality of the actor/actress.  She explained that if they said something that rubbed her the wrong way or if she saw them in a different light than what she envisioned in her mind, it would ruin the entertainment part of it.  I thought it was a little silly at first, but looking back, I can’t say I disagree.

The last thing I want to do is create a political debate, but I find that when celebrities that I’d typically really enjoy on screen, back politicians I don’t support or if they make bad choices in general, it really does affect my enjoyment of their work.  I guess I should elaborate.  The guys and gals of Hollywood who cheat on their spouses, I just have a difficult time seeing them in romantic roles after that.  Ashton Kutcher for example, used to be a goofy, sort of cute Midwest guy who I now see as a sleaze ball.  Don’t try to reel me into a romantic comedy about how he is the down and out guy who needs love but keeps getting rejected.  I won’t buy into it.  And I could care less about Demi Moore mind you, I just won’t be able to believe the characters they intend to portray.

This is stupid for several reasons, because:

A)     We are all entitled to our own beliefs and lifestyles, as you and I are.

B)      Why I believe they need to appease my feelings so I watch their show is beyond me.

C)      They are just people who should not be glorified in any way, anyway.

Now, trust me when I say that I do not glorify celebrities, particularly since I don’t have the time to sit down and watch enough pop culture to really know who half the celebrities are today as it is.  But I think because I’m a realist, I just like to see people for who they are.  I have a very difficult time letting them trick me into believing they are an alternate character.  I don’t know if I’m proud of that or I’m just a fool for simply not taking entertainment for exactly what it is supposed to be; entertainment.

This is the cheesiest post I’ve ever written.  If my main complaint today is that I can’t envision a romantic comedy with the lead played by an adulterer, life must be pretty good.

Photos courtesty of catalogs.com and Star magazine.

ABBA, J. Peterman and New York

I missed posting yesterday, but for good reason.  I was lucky enough to join my Aunt to New York to see a Broadway show.  She had won tickets to Mamma Mia.  I am a huge fan of New York City, but of Abba?  Not so much.  I do love many forms of art and stage, so I did not turn down the opportunity and in the end, I was really pleasantly surprised.

My musical taste skips the Abba and spandex generation altogether, but since I’m not technically a musician, I feel I have no place to judge the taste of others.  These people wrote the music that millions know and love today.  You should have seen the crowd at the end.  People of all ages compelled to jump out of their seats and frantically wave their hands and sing along.  I could’ve gone that far if I had a couple drinks from the bar first, but I did clap in attempt to maintain rhythm.

Speaking of which, it’s been some time since I’d been to a Broadway show and I was unaware that there were rolling bar carts next to the candy guy and the program sellers.  Maybe it’s one of the details you don’t notice at a younger age.  I suppose it’s a very good thing that I wasn’t scouting out the pinot grigio before Beauty and the Beast during my school field trip to the theater.  Regardless, I had anticipated a dated show and instead the updated one-liners and costumes gave the show a more current ambiance.

New York was chilly, and the fresh chill and flurries were a good reminder that even though the Northeast has had a spring-like winter, spring is not yet upon us. There’s still plenty of time to pull out the gloves and my nemesis, the ice scraper.  Still the train ride up was easy and the company enjoyable.  This paragraph is making me feel like I’m writing a J. Peterman catalog narrative from Seinfeld.  Wool peacock blue coat, large retro matching buttons, dark jeans and boots that both emulate New York style and provide walking comfort.  I hope someone gets why I just wrote that.

Seinfeld is Still Relevant

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Seinfeld is still current, despite the fact that it officially ended almost 14 years ago, don’t you think?  I think there is probably at least one occasion a day that something happens, which is immediately followed by, “That’s like on that Seinfeld episode when….”

  • Kramer has that idea to open a “Make Your Own Pizza” shop
  • George fought all day for a parking spot on principle
  • George had to erase that embarrassing message off that answering machine
  • that guy in Elaine’s office was hard of hearing, or was he?  Or the germophobe was afraid of her because she was promiscuous
  • that girl had a “Tractor Story”
  • the brain played chess with the…you know, a certain male bodypart

Ok, so maybe these aren’t the most obvious choices to you, but I challenge you to make some comparisons as you go about your daily routine.

I was reminded of the episode where Elaine is supposed to call her friend to console her and she chooses moments when she’s on the move or distracted, on a “mobile” phone and not really giving her time the attention she deserves.  She spends the whole episode trying to get ahold of her while Jerry tells her how rude it is to make calls like that on the go.  Whoops.  Either times are different now or everyone I know is a jerk.

Even on the comedy Sirius stations, I’ll hear Jerry now and then and his stand-up still holds true.  His puns are so obvious and simple, but always coming from a valid observation.  Only now, I can picture a little bumble bee telling jokes instead of Jerry himself.  The high pitched squealing excitement that sounds slightly panicked at all times.

Do you think he relays his day in the same way when he goes home and talks to his wife?

“You’ll never believe this, the guy, down the hallway, he thinks he can walk past me and just nod without saying hello?  Well I’ll show him, next time we get on the elevator, I’m going to push all the buttons and make he talk to me.  Helllllloooo, la la la.”

Maybe he has a little laugh track app on his phone to follow up his little daily puns or observations when he walks around his home.  He seems like he might be cheesy like that.  I also imagine him to be pretty OCD, keeping his cereal boxes in alphabetical order.

Seinfeld was one of those things that any age could relate to, because the humor was pretty universal but put in odd character situations and usually embarrassing ones.  The routine always went full circle, so it was impossible to get lost and who doesn’t like goofy keyboard music?  My 97 year old Great-Grandmom and I used to watch it together and laugh.  “Oh, that George” she’d say.  I suppose we are avid fans.  My husband went far enough to make a festivus pole for laughs last year.  Grandmom insists it’s a stripper pole.

Thank goodness for syndication.

Nothing has really come close to it since.