Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Some Polish Guy

I know it's been a long time since I posted.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that I've been in a funk these past five + months and just didn't know what to write about.

The other 70% of why it took so long to blog is because I couldn't find the password to renew my URL for this website and just, you know, never really got around to do anything about it.  Regardless, everything is up and running again.  You can finally breath a sigh of relief.

What've I been doing besides blogging, you ask?  Netflix, mostly (if you haven't seen all of season 3 of House of Cards, then I don't think I want to know you).  Mixed in a with a bit of dating.  And I can tell you, dating in San Francisco at 29 is good for one thing only: the stories you get to tell your friends after.

Brace yourselves, because I'm about to tell you one story I've already told to everyone I know, so you've definitely already heard it.  I even called up my grandma to explain every last detail, realizing 30 minutes in she thought she was on the phone with her eye doctor.  But I'm going to tell it again anyway, because I want my grandkids to dig up this post and say to themselves, "Damn, Grandma was a slut!"  And then I'll rest easy in my grave, feeling vindicated that I was at least well known in the family for something worthwhile.

So: Once upon a time a few months ago, a friend of mine, whom we'll call Big G., told me he had found the perfect man for me.  The only problem was the man happened to exist in TV form.  And when you're on TV, you're not real people.

This worthy contender for my heart--who for the purposes of this story we'll refer to as Future TV Husband--turned out to work for a late-night comedy show.  Every now and then he has bits on said comedy show as a curmudgeonly, highly neurotic Europhile and pretentious coffee slut who has a dark, New Yorker look about him with soulless eyes and a hair swoosh that won't quit.  My friend really knows my type: it was love at first YouTube clip

The problem with falling in love with someone on TV is the romance is bound to be one-sided, considering they have no idea you exist.  Plus, I was pretty convinced the guy batted for the other team.

But when Big G. and I have an inside joke, we tend to go in way too deep and take things way too far, so on a dare I added Future TV Husband on Instagram.  He followed me back, and I never really thought anything more of it, except for the day I saw the skit announcing he was engaged.  To a girl.  And my entire world shattered before my eyes.

Anyway, flash forward about six months to last Saturday.  I go for a run and then post a picture of it on Instagram, because for some reason I feel like the world cares about my half-assed attempts at working out.  After the run, I drink wine, binge watch House of Cards season 3, and pass out (the reality of this whole scene is even less exotic than it sounds.)

I wake up the next morning to 11 (11!  A new record!) likes on the picture from my run, one of them being from Future TV Husband himself.  And not only has he liked my photo, but he's sent me a private message on Instagram informing me that he's in SF for the weekend, and did I have any good restaurant tips?

My first thought to all of this was utter confusion.  Future TV Husband isn't supposed to be a real person, and he's not supposed to actually contact me in any way. The sacred laws of celebrity crushdom had been completely violated. My next thought was, "Is this what this guy does? Just goes from city to city, hitting on girls on Instagram? What a sleaze."

But I couldn't NOT respond.  I mean, I have some really great restaurant recommendations.  I write him back an abridged Zagat guide, and he writes back asking me if I'll join him for dinner.

I ask Big G. if I should be worried about Future TV Husband being the future Bill Cosby, and was I putting my life at risk by saying yes? Big G. assured me that even if I was putting my life at risk, it would be worth it for the story I'd have after.  You can't argue with logic like that.

Future TV Husband and I meet at a trendy Italian restaurant in a part of the Financial District I never knew existed.  He's wearing Converse and a Dickie's jacket with a broken zipper.  He can't get it off and goes to the bathroom to remove it.  He comes back and asks me if I'm going to write about "the jacket incident" in my blog.  I tell him I will.

Future TV Husband is perfectly nice, keeps the conversation going, and is very generous with the wine refills. He wants to know where I grew up, where I've traveled, how many siblings I have.

I learn Future TV Husband is originally Polish, doesn't like cilantro, and doesn't know what a podcast is.  To be honest, it feels like the best Tinder date I've ever been on.  Just two strangers who happened to meet because I awkwardly stalked him on Instagram.

In fact, at one point during the evening, he asked me, "So, who tracked down whom on Instagram?"

"Oh, I tracked you down," I said with an air of nonchalant-ness I hoped would stop him from asking for details.

"Oh really?  And why did you do that?" he asked.

"Oh, because you seemed as neurotic as I am," I lied.  I felt it would be distasteful to mention this whole scenario was based on an inside joke between me and a friend, though why else would you meet up with someone from LA if it weren't based on a joke?

"Neurotic?" he flinched. "I'm not neurotic, I don't think."

"Trust me," I said, "you're neurotic."

"You know, if it weren't for you posting that run of yours on Instagram, you and I wouldn't be here right now, having dinner."

"I know," I nodded intelligently, "It's destiny."

Lesson to you all: the more you post about every minute detail of your boring lives on Instagram, the more likely you are to meet someone who works in Hollywood.

Future TV  Husband goes on to spout some cliched bullshit lines during the night that I try to roll my eyes at and get over because tired cliched lines is standard for his line of work.  Lines such as: "Leith Tem Sabi Mahoney-Maver?  I'll remember that.  I never remember names of people I don't find interesting, but when I find them interesting, I remember everything they say," and, "I feel like I've just told you more about my life than I've ever told anyone else."

I mean, I wouldn't fault him for finding me highly interesting, but anyone who knows me knows you aren't going to woo me with bullshit lines any hack with a Pickup Artist guide can string together.   I'm pretty sure I ended the night by telling him that if I were his fiancee, I would leave him.

Regardless, I decided to overlook the sleaze factor and appreciate the whole experience for what it was: a completely bizarre, great story.  Seeing him materialize in real life demotes him from some TV oddity to a real person with flaws, so no longer husband-worthy (if only I could meet Larry David now, he's the dream man) but a great night none the less.

The next day, I add his number to my phone under the name "Some Polish Guy."  When I tell him this, he tells me it should be the title of the blog post I write about him.  As you can see, I took his advice.

So that's the story of how an inside joke went way too far and turned into a three-course Italian dinner on Pacific Avenue.  Follow your dreams, kids.  Anything is possible with access to YouTube and an Instagram account.



Friday, January 9, 2015

Women just aren't as funny as men.

Here's me attempting to be funny and failing miserably, because I have a vagina.
Also because I was really drunk at the time.
Ugh.  I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this, mostly because I can't count very high.  And I can't really prove anyone wrong who says this, because my particular breed of cynical sarcasm will only make a select few laugh.  But all anyone has to do is watch a clip of Tina Fey mocking Sarah Palin or watch any of Nora Ephron's films to see that humor isn't something limited solely to the Y chromosome.

Still, a disgustingly high number of people still seem to believe that women, by nature, will just never be as funny as men.  And if a girl is as funny (or funnier!) than a man, she's going to die alone.  Yup, that's right: research shows that straight men find funny women a turn off.  Men (no, not all men, I've met a great many exceptions) like it when a woman can appreciate his good joke with hearty laughter, but he feels threatened when she upstages him with an even better joke of her own.

As if that weren't depressing enough, on my daily read-through of feminazi man-killer site Jezebel, I came across this article called "Hey, Men: I'm Funnier Than You."

To be fair, this was not the most well-written piece I've ever seen (by a long shot). In short, it was about how there have been several studies done by psychologists that prove, once and for all, that men are funnier than women.  Science, people!  Perhaps the same sort of science that proved, back in the day, that women are just naturally better at washing dishes than men.  These studies are never wrong, is my point.

Anyway, one trollish commenter in particular really made me say, "What a misogynistic asshole who has no idea he's a misogynistic asshole" to myself out loud.

Here's the comment:
And then here's his follow-up to another person's comment:
So in true dignified, man-hater fashion, I wrote a pretty heated "fuck you" comment in reply, but JEZEBEL WOULDN'T LET ME POST IT.  Must have been because it was too good for all those other losers on the Internet.

Ha, well joke's on you, because my blog publishes anything.  So here's what I wrote in response:

"But I'm not drawing conclusions so much as pointing out that you can't just assume that men and women are equally 'innately funny' and therefore all differences in our comedic talents is due to socialization."

And I'm pointing out that you cannot assume that genitalia makes someone innately funnier than someone else either. 
Not only would that be a ridiculous claim because of the fact that humor is highly subjective and differs widely across cultures, but a good sense of humor has everything to do with personality, not genitalia.  Having a penis doesn't automatically make you more outgoing, observant, or socialized than having a vagina does.  The only thing having a penis does is provide you more opportunity to assert yourself in public without getting told off for speaking out of turn or for being overtly crude for your sex.  
I think that's why a lot more humorous women stuck to writing back in the day (once women were given the right to publish, which is a rather new phenomenon, keep in mind): because they could publish under a pen name or work behind the scenes and not get in trouble for it.  Then people like Dorothy Parker came into the limelight.  And then there was Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore.  Slowly and surely more comediennes came out doing routines instead of sticking to the written word.  And these comediennes came out of the woods because it became socially acceptable to be a funny female, not because they ascribed to a more "masculine" sense of humor.  We owe an incredible amount of debt to these great pioneers of comedy. 
​Anyway, so now we're seeing more comediennes doing stand up and it's going to make people feel uncomfortable because it's new and different.  But in another hundred years it will be so normal that we'll look back and shake our heads at this whole debate, just like we have with giving women the right to vote.
I also think it's worth mentioning that people prefer characters they can identify with.  I prefer The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo slightly more than The Boondock Saints because I identify better with a female protagonist.  Stories with an all-male cast don't interest me nearly as much because I don't easily identify with any of the characters.  Which doesn't mean that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is any better of a film than Boondock Saints.  They're both excellent.  But I simply don't identify with any of the characters in Boondock Saints.  I do identify with Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander, though, because she understands fighting to be heard in a male-dominated world.
In much the same vein, I assume a movie like Bridesmaids doesn't have as much mass appeal to a straight male audience because there aren't many characters in that film a straight male could easily identify with.  There are, however, plenty of characters a straight white male could identify with in The Hangover, for example.  I've seen both films, and I got a lot more laughs out of Bridesmaids than I did The Hangover.  I didn't even bother watching Hangover 2 (or 3?  are there three now?). I just didn't find the franchise all that funny.
So here's a conundrum: a group of an equal number of females and males are watching both these films.  The females laugh more at Bridesmaids.  The males laugh more at The Hangover.  Which film is innately funnier?  Who gets to decide?  Why?

Contrary to how all this might sound, I'm not trying to say girls are naturally going to find girl comics funnier and guys are naturally going to find guy comics funnier. I'm just saying I'm not at all surprised when guys do find guy comics funnier, simply because they identify with the male experience more, which is completely fair.  
This isn't going to be across the board, of course.  For instance, I loved Borat.  A guy who thinks there are shape shifting Jews who can turn into cockroaches?  I laugh every time I think of that scene.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail is in my top 10 list of favorite films of all time.  Stephen Colbert is one of the funniest men on Earth.  But I would much rather watch 30 Rock than South Park, and I have a couple of guy friends who feel the same.  I find 30 Rock to be funnier because of its drier wit.  Not that I don't find South Park funny, because I do, but I find 30 Rock funnier.  This doesn't mean that it's innately better, but that it is simply my preferred humor.  Your preferred style might be more in-your-face slapstick.  Good for you.  Just because your preference is for slapstick doesn't prove it's funnier.  It just proves it's funnier to you.
Tl;dr: Females being allowed to be in the comedy world is a new phenomenon and some people don't realize they're still uncomfortable with it, so they try to prove that their discomfort is based in some scientific proof.  Just like anything else (marriage equality, women's suffrage, civil rights), people will come around and realize that women and men are in fact equals, in comedy as in anything else.  It's just going to take awhile for people to be ok with that, and some people will never come around.  There's always got to be at least one jackass in every group.

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The end.  Good.  I feel better getting that off my chest.  Your thoughts on the matter are greatly appreciated as well.  Feel free to comment below.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cheers to all the times we messed it all up.


From my plastic cup of $10 sparkling wine to yours, I'd like to make a toast:

Here's to all the tasks we didn't accomplish.
Here's to all the risks we didn't take.
Here's to all the things we wanted to say but never did.
Here's to all the things we said and then regretted after.
Here's to all the jokes that didn't get a laugh.
Here's to all the times we forgot someone's name.
Here's to all the times we said "no" because we were too much of a coward to say "yes."
Here's to all the times we almost didn't make our rent.
Here's to all the times we were sad.
Here's to all the Pinterest recipes we burned in the oven.
Here's to all the times we failed.

We're champions.  We fall down and get right back up and keep living.  And sometimes it's damn hard, but you know what?  We do it anyway.  And in the end, it's worth it.  So one last cheers to a new year of new mistakes, new failures, new memories, and of not knowing where we'll end up at the end of it.  Life is a pain in the ass and I love every minute of it.

Cheers to you!  Cheers to us!  Cheers to all the times we messed it all up!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

From this spinster to your perfect family, merry fucking Christmas.
This card inspired by this genius.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Let the Holiday Season Commence


Happy holidays, from my family to yours!  

Ok, so technically none of my immediately family is in this picture.   This is the blonde, female contingent (sans my sister, who is busy surviving the Chicago winter) but, you know, close enough.  

I'm looking forward to spending the next 24 days curling up in bed while listening to the rain and playing Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally on repeat.  I also plan on getting fat on egg nog.  Not sad at all.  What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?