For all things Tooks, and some things, er, relating to other people. As well as to other things. You get the picture.

22 February 2004

two syllables: 1) cop- and 2) out.

i'm referring, of course, to the last episode of sex and the city.

i'll preface these remarks by saying that the rest of the show's characters progressed and finished very satisfactorily. miranda, for instance, bathing her stroke-afflicted mother-in-law? very nice--far from the woman who panicked at having to move to brooklyn. (brooklyn? the horror!)

but the fact is, the ending for carrie infuriated me. the writers cut short the arc of her character, and even deprived her of a sort of feminist heroism they had halfway contrived for her. not only did she end up with the man who broke her heart countless times, and left the man she moved halfway across the world for, just because they had a disagreement, but the reason she moved back to new york was for that dirty heart-breaker, and not for her friends. i could stand things not working out with petrovsky and her moving back to the city if she had done it for the right reasons--realizing her life was with the women she loved in the city she loved. but instead she had one fight with her boyfriend and runs away towards the convenience of an old flame and a familiar life. cheesy, at best; pitiful at worst.

my perspective on the mr. big situation (whose name turns out to be john--another cop-out) is that a person who screws you over once will screw you over a hundred thousand times. so he showed up out of the blue again and told her he loves her--again. easily said and easily done. so he flew out to paris to find her. for a multimillionaire, also equally done. but where's the evidence that anything's different? carrie had a slight, culture-shock-induced setback, and she ran away, right into the arms of another heartbreak. and that's the real tragedy: she didn't progress as a character beyond the juvenile fantasy of "true love" with big. instead, she fled from the risk and the opportunity for growth presented by a major life-change, and retreated to the safety of the past. how disappointing. this was supposed to be the show that debunked all the myths of how women live, love, and think. but if this last episode represents the truth, i feel sorry for all the women i know (and love). if they're still clinging to those tired ideas about the one man out there who a girl is destined to be with, no matter how much he stomps on her heart, they need to get their heads examined. for my money, you learn from your experiences and you make choices that affirm you as a person, not ones that set you up for future failure born of past failures. carrie was supposed to be this modern woman who was breaking the conventions and taking no prisoners. instead, she just fell into the same old tired pattern of a woman beholden to the life she's led and the men leading her. for shame.

but here's to the women i know, who wear less ridiculous outfits, spend less ridiculous sums on shoes and drinks and cabs, live real lives, work real jobs, and make real choices in this life. any fantasy they live is their own, and god bless them for it. i just hope they turn out to be mirandas, samanthas or charlottes, and not the tired retread that is carrie bradshaw.

find another show on sunday night with me,

19 February 2004

for starters: an awesome blog by someone we don't know (or at least i don't):

now, today's installment:

i went to the hipster laundromat today, on the chic end of duval rd., down by asti and the freshplus. i didn't want to go there, but this couple was monopolizing the few working washers at the washeteria (by "few" i mean ten or twelve, which was startling and irritating to me--why would just two people need to use every functional machine in the joint?), i had to go to option two. i was at first intimidated, since there were many pretty young things in low-cut chuck taylors and highwaters, short-haired, multiply pierced and many-tattoed, wearing small, pseudo-dorky black-rimmed glasses, and reading comic books. there was also this pair of video game designers who were talking about games they were developing. (one of them was explaining a big mission to mars idea that sounded kinda lame to me. (hilariously, though, the guy blurted out an authentic abe-ism when he said the music for the game was going to be kinda like 1950s sci-fi movie music, but more "electronical." beautiful).)

then i realized that i was a young twentysomething in a strange t-shirt my sister made for me (thanks, sis, it's very cool) and italian jeans (don't mock me; i bought them in italy); that i was not in the office at three in the afternoon; and that, having just crossed the street to the freshplus to break a twenty dollar bill, i had bought a half-gallon of soy milk.

i was, therefore, the hipster i had so feared when i entered. i walked out a changed man--the man i was all along.

stick to the washeteria with me,

17 February 2004

sometimes it's hard living a long way away from massachusetts. for instance, i missed out on a lot of super bowl hype, and so i had to get myself psyched up for the big game. and the joy i felt when my patriots won their second crown in three years was not really appreciated by the rest of central texas.

however, at least no one here really cares that much about the a-rod deal, from what i can tell. or at least no one's talking about it. in boston, i gather (from steiner's misery-soaked blog on the topic) that people are beside themselves from the never-ending treachery of the bronx bozos. here, though, people don't seem to care. granted, i don't spend time with any baseball fans, and i don't read the newspaper, (except for the ny times, which featured a stunningly idiotic article yesterday detailing why the yankees always beat the red sox in everything). but still, i don't have to deal on a daily basis with the shame and humiliation that are very probably washing over boston right now in an all-too-familiar tidal wave. sometimes it's better just to sigh once and try to put it out of your mind, and it's a lot easier to do that when the folks in your neighborhood aren't on suicide watch because of the whole kerfuffle (thanks, lizzie).

i kind of wish i were home, though, just to commiserate with those long-suffering die-hards we all know (and are). misery loves company, and misery loves the red sox.

although i'm a relative newcomer to the red sox pain game, especially compared to my dad and grandfather, who have been hurting for decades now, i would like to forward a theory. the trick to limiting the suffering you feel as a result of red sox setbacks, losses, blunders and heartbreaks, is never to think, "at least it can't get any worse." you have to be stoic, patiently endure, and never expect any improvement. you have to be prepared for the other shoe to drop. i am not recommending that a person delight in or even perversely hope for bad news, but rather never commit the fatal mistake of assuming the worst is over. for example, in october, when we came within an inning of doing what nobody could imagine and then threw it away in the most heart-annihilating fashion, if you thought to yourself at that point, "well, this is as bad as it can get," you probably were disproportionately distressed at this week's bad news about the-rod (thanks, abe). however, if you were expecting more pain not too far down the road, you probaby just thought, oh, ok, here we go. this, i believe, is the key to the least-painful, most-sustainable state of red sox fandom.

deep in our hearts, though, deep down, where no one could ever touch, not even if they tortured us with white-hot irons on the insides of our eyelids, deep deep deep down dwells the never-diminished hope that one day, someday, the red sox will beat the yankees in the alcs and will then win the world series. each fresh mound of suffering heaped onto us with each fresh disaster only feeds that hope, though this may be hard for non-believers to understand. heartbreak and hope are not opposites; they are not even connected. our hearts may (and probably will) break over and over and over, but our hope will never fade. come jeter or highwater, a-rod or the apocalypse, we will be waiting, rally caps on.

go sox with me,

12 February 2004

this is not a lie: cat is in training for her new job, and the guy training her is named sylvester. get it? sylvester - cat?


in other news, i went running in sweatpants today since it was chilly out (in the high 30s/low 40s, believe it or not) and since i don't have my bancroft soccer warm-up pants (they're in rutland). the sweatpants i have are the old-school Champion heather gray kind, bought for $9.99 at Wal-Mart. i thought i would look cool, like rocky when he's runs up the steps. instead i looked like a fat person. not in terms of girth, mind you. just style-wise. i don't know why, but in the image i have of a fat person out running, he/she is invariably clad in sweatpants of exactly that kind, or maybe forest green ones. either way, i looked absurd. i need my warm-ups. i could have mama and papa ruderman send them to me; it would probably be easier, though, just to go to the old navy two minutes from my apartment and buy another pair for $15.

anyway. a random observation: john kerry reminds me of the old man in the mountain, that craggy rock formation in new hampshire that fell down not so long ago. he's very craggy in the face, kerry is. he looks presidential. craggily presidential.

admire the craggy candidate with me,

11 February 2004

the people are many, and they have spoken.

"tell us about austin," they say.

only at your own risk do you deny the people what they want.

so here:

in austin, the freeway is king of the road.

in austin, people say "y'all." that means "you all" and it is used to address two or more people.

in austin, people gripe about the cold when it's colder than 60 degrees. they drive crazy when it rains.

in austin, pickles are sold in movie theaters (see blog from 5 january.)

in austin, many, many people have bands that play live music. some of these bands are talented and entertaining.

in austin, 30% of the population is hispanic.

in austin, there are many, many restaurants that serve mexican food. many of these serve authentic mexican salsa. the authentic mexican salsa that they serve is hot. very hot. they don't ask you whether you want it hot. they just put it there on the table and go away. and you eat it, and it is hot, and you like it.

in austin, you can play ultimate frisbee in short sleeves and shorts in january and not be cold. and you're happy, despite the yarfing.

in austin, they like lbj, but dubya isn't that popular. (this may surprise you, but it's true.)

in austin is the world headquarters of whole foods, inc.

in austin, approximately one of every ten cars has a sticker on it saying "keep austin weird."

that's just a taste of austin, of course; and after six weeks here, that's about all i've digested. i'll keep y'all posted, though.

bask in the reflected glory of the commenting millions with me,

10 February 2004

my blogging is so sporadic these days. the problem is twofold: one, i don't even have a computer at my apartment, much less internet, so my blogtime is limited to work and being at cat's house. since i don't have a mindless job, i have very little downtime at my desk, and so blogging is not practical, except for during lunchtime, when i eat. and i'm only at cat's house a few hours each week, during which i'm usually watching their enormous television and drinking beer.

the situation boils down to this: i am lazy. and i feel that although my life is more or less interesting, the effort it takes to convey in an interesting way the things that happen to me is just too great to bother with. with all the information-age self-promotion/self-confession/self-flagellation/exhibitionism out there, it's hard to feel that i amuse, or even hold the collective attention (or what little of it that i might attract) for very long.

additionally, i sense (or project) that the inability of the enlows to heckle me--due to the absence of comment capability-- frustrates them, and this frustration, coupled with the general infrequency of my blogs, detracts even more from my already-limited readership. i may as well, i feel, be writing to myself. these little keystrokes, so many ones and zeroes, may as well be winking and blipping off toward the andromeda galaxy or the cat's eye nebula or some other astronomical phenomenon photographed by the hubble space telescope that you see on the nasa website. ("this is ground control to major tom...")

then again, as dave eggers taught us in his magnificent a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, as long as it is acutely and wryly self-aware, self-aggrandizement is its own reward in this po-po-mo landscape. after all, in a roomful of hyperactive children, the one that screams loudest, runs fastest and bites hardest always gets the attention. and the one that gets the attention is the one who gets the most love.

take your ritalin with me,

08 February 2004

this will amuse those of you who have ever coached me or played with me in bancroft sports, especially those who ran with me or observed me running those first two complexes of soccer preseason (and lacrosse preseason, too, now that i think of it):

last week i had my first two games of spring league ultimate in austin. and during the first game, excruciatingly true to form, i yarfed.

some things never change. like the fact that i let myself get so badly out of shape, then yarf the first time i have to run and jump for any sustained period of time.

oh well. at least i didn't yarf into my helmet* like i did that time at berwick. jonny d. is still laughing about that one, wherever he is.

get in shape with me,

*to pre-empt all the smarty-pantses who would be commenting (despite the lack of commentability on this blog) that nobody wears a helmet in ultimate, i would like to state that i was trying to draw a comparison regarding the relative disgustingness and embarrassment of vomiting during those two occasions, and the fact that the helmet i was wearing during the berwick lacrosse experience was far worse than the recent, helmetless austin experience.