379: mind the gap

I find that I’m forgetting things in the short-term, like exactly what day was it that I saw that hipster story on Fox News in Philadelphia, or the fact that I got a manicure last Wednesday. I totally forgot that last Wednesday was my friend Chris’s birthday *and* the first official outing organized by the “Asian mafia” at work.

    Occasion: Chris’s 28th birthday (12/7)
    Venue: Vong’s Thai Kitchen
    Hosts: Jim, Vince, Jed, and Jacalyn (the only non-Asian member of the “Asian mafia”)

Chris works in the New York office, so it is a real treat to have him around. When he isn’t distracting Jacalyn, we have nice chats in my office between the demos and workshops he often presents when in town. Being on the cusp of 30 myself, I spent the blessed day wishing him a happy 30th birthday, at which point he’d yell in mock anguish “I’m only 28!” and pretend to chase after me. I found this all highly amusing. The festivities didn’t start until 8, so I had plenty of time to go with Cynthia to her nail appointment. I got a basic yuppietastic manicure (nails just past the tip, squarish in shape, shade is Essie polish #510 ‘Fit Me on the Jitney’) while Cynthia got a fill. I’m still not entirely clear on what a fill is. As long as Cynthia never gets one of those crazy manicures that looks like a Frito dipped in typewriter correction fluid (see http://www.sxm-services.com/pronails/french.jpg), we’re good.

The party went well. Joanna kept nudging me to flirt with the guy from OE. And when I say “nudging” I mean “barreling into me to shove me in his path”. Way to bring the subtlety, J. I ate a lot of nibbly things on sticks and had a Sapporo (or two). Folks yelled a lot and did shots, so it’s a good thing we had a room to ourselves.

Thursday (12/8) was considerably quieter. Hung out with Cynthia while she tried on shoes galore at Field’s, then met up with Molly for a live taping of “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” I spent the time sitting in our seats, waiting for the show to begin, by evaluating the occurrences of the following in the audience:

  • crusty-looking middle-aged couples
  • smug hipster couples
  • couples consisting of tall skinny White boy paired with tiny Asian girl
  • non-East Asian people of color
  • persons carrying canvas tote bags advertising their allegiance (and a modest donation) to one of the following: Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, PBS, HRC, or Whole Foods.
  • Hipster girls knitting Christmas scarves

Seriously, it’s all too precious. It’s always times like this that bring out something adversarial in me — I feel superior and patronized at the same time. All is forgotten, though, as the show begins with Peter Sagal, Carl Kassell, P.J. O’Rourke, Roxanne Roberts, and Mo Rocca bounding onto the stage to a taped introduction which sounds like what you hear when the Bulls take the court at the United Center. There is even a strobe light. The show begins, quizzes are administered, Harold Ramis comes out and entertains a room of people who braved the first major snow of the season to sit at the feet of a man who wrote immortal lines such as Now, she should be good-looking, but we’re willing to trade looks for a certain… morally casual attitude. I would remember more except that I spent the balance of the evening sending top secret waves of geeky love to Mo Rocca, dashing in a pair of bright red pants. Sadly, I think a few other people in the audience were, too. During the post-show Q&A session, a girl asked Mo if he’d gotten her e-mail inviting him out to karaoke, and why didn’t he respond? How’d he like to go out that night? I, being a sucker, am not so bold.

Now skip ahead to *this* Thursday night (12/15), I went to a thingie at Marina Rinaldi. And when I “thingie”, I mean “eat strawberries, drink Champagne, and paw fancy clothes I cannot afford.” Somehow, I manage to find, like, the perfect white shirt, and on sale — it doesn’t look like a smock because it’s actually tailored and shit. I roll into work Friday looking all cute in my new shirt, pearl necklace slung around my neck at a jaunty angle, but I still manage to have a crap day as I kinda fucked up something. I spend Friday afternoon doing work and moping in my office, so when Rozi e-mails me to see if I want dinner then Brokeback Mountain with her and Andrew, I say yes immediately. Andrew is at his company holiday party, so Rozi and I get some dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe (where a shirtless man, possibly a newly fired or quit chef, jumps about before being chased out by some managers and cooks), then meet Andrew at the theater. The place is packed — “Brokeback” is showing every hour on the hour. Shows don’t seem to be selling out, but come awfully close. We end up kind of close to the screen, but not so much that we are forced to look up Jake Gyllenhaal’s perfect nostrils.

So my thoughts on the movie: loved it. Not because of the hot sex (of which there is little, though still satisfying in that sort of “this is an Ang Lee movie so you know the happiness won’t last long so enjoy it, bitches, enjoy it” way) but because, well, I love the stories about which I am most ambivalent. Love the emotion, the violence of Jack and Ennis’s passion, hate the fact that the story demands that there be no happy ending, and the trauma their affair leaves in its wake. I’m going to go out a limb and say that I’ve never been in love, and I found the movie useful. I learn from their mistakes and failures, am a little jealous when they are happy, and am bitter when it all comes to an end.

Other movies that make me feel this way, sorta:

Also, the whole experience of going to see this movie in a theater full of people of varying ages, colors, sizes, marital statuses, and orientations, I couldn’t help but wonder at everybody’s motivations. The night felt like that time in fifth grade, and a girl in my class had gotten her older sister to borrow Judy Blume’s Forever. She’d already dog-eared the page for us to flip to immediately, the one where Katherine does “it” for the first time with her boyfriend Michael. An unexpected, illicit thrill, simultaneously private and public, which delivers more than I expected.

On a much lighter and, I suspect, more welcome note, I started thinking about stereotypes for the screenplay I will actually begin early next year. Let’s see if you can guess what these folks might look, sound, and act like, dig?

    Chinky McGongGong
    Jewy McHebrew (which is totally cribbed from David Rakoff)
    Sassy McSista
    Drunky van Wasp
    Cracker McTrailer
    Queeny St. Bender


I applaud anyone so sharp they run the risk of cutting themselves.
[Kevin Pearce]

Earth Wind & Fire – Sing A Song; Shandi – He’s A Dream; Missy Elliott – We Run This; Fred Astaire – Change Partners; The System – Don’t Disturb This Groove



~ by Jasmine on December 17, 2005.

2 Responses to “379: mind the gap”

  1. Another movie for the list (and I still can’t believe I forgot it, as it is one of my all-time favorites) is Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love.

  2. Or maybe it should be Drunky von Wasperstein? Waspy Drunkington?

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