“Sometimes you gotta run naked”: Thoughts on the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest

It has been well established on this blog (and my Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram…) that I am a huge “Gilmore Girls” fan. And this past weekend, my mom and I got to partake in something pretty special: the Gilmore … Continue reading

I always knew Andy Dwyer was my Spirit Animal

I recently started a 6-week summer job, which means I’m back in my office for office hours. Those first office hours always seem to drag on, as most students don’t come to office hours the day after their first session and I have no papers to grade yet. So, what did I do to pass the time? In addition to some class planning and other busy work, I took this quiz, of course.

I answered truthfully instead of trying to manipulate the outcome (it’s so easy to get the result you want on these stupid quizzes), so the fact that I got Andy Dwyer means A LOT. What does it mean, exactly? It means that ANDY DWYER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL.

I loved Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy, but Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer is still my favorite thing. I think it’s awesome that he has found such success as an action star–just like it’s amazing the success that Melissa McCarthy has found after “starting out” on GG–but goofy, good-natured, hopelessly helpless (most of the time) Andy is my favorite character.

PLUS, HE IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. Here’s how I know, expressed in GIF form, of course.

When I’m running in a 1,000 degree heat for the half marathon my friend Cassie and I signed up to run in September: 

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Why we decided to train for a race in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SUMMER, I will never know. Or, better yet, why the marathon people decided to hold a race that forces participants to train in the MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SUMMER.
In all honesty, my runs have actually been very frustrating lately. Like, discouraging to the point that I dread a run, which has never happened before. Sure, I’ve not wanted to run sometimes, but I’ve never dreaded it. The only way I was FINALLY able to run three miles yesterday without stopping was by watching “Parks & Rec” on TV. 

When I explain to anyone that will listen (because I talk a lot) why I’d never be able to do any of those crazy diets because I love cheese too much:

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Seriously. I love cheese. And diets are stupid. (Tell that to Katherine who ate pizza twice on Saturday…#oops #noregrets)

Whenever I surprise someone with my intellect:

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Whenever I try to do anything related to technology in anyway: 

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Technological related things Rahul has had to help me with in the past: losing my entire iTunes library, not being able to figure out how to set up new pages on WordPress, signing up for HBOGo and then not being able to access it on my computer, getting locked out of my Verizon account, 1,000 other things I can’t think of right now…he’s very patient when it comes to me and my lack of technology knowledge.

Whenever I try to do things in general: 

anigif_enhanced-11666-1406775913-1OK, I’m maybe not THIS bad, but I have broken two wine glasses this year, a plate, spilled my water bottle in my bag and on student papers more times that I can count, broken a fourth of the blinds in my apartment (they’re really crappy blinds!), and other general problems.

When I realize how frustrated I am at my current lack of creativity:

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This is actually a serious, legitimate one. I’ve been in a major creative rut lately. I can’t seem to land on a story idea that I like enough to keep writing. Also, all of my recent ideas have become too long, and I really, REALLY just want to write some short stories right now until I feel up to finishing my thesis project, which is a novel-length project. I feel like I used to have SO MANY story ideas and, lately, I’ve had nothing. It’s very frustrating and upsetting and makes me question my abilities as a writer. A lot of the stories I’ve started recently start to feel POINTLESS because I don’t know where they’re going or what to do with them. Plus, all of my plot lines become too serious and too bizarre, and I just want simple storytelling. I loved the first season of the TV show “Broadchurch” (seriously, go watch it now if you haven’t) for many reasons, but one of the main reasons I loved it was because of the last episode. The whole season centers around a young boy’s death in a really small town, where everyone knows everyone. Thus, the idea of a killer among them was hard for the townspeople to grasp. Instead of the show leading up to a serial killer or killing someone to cover up a secret (kind of like in “The Killing”), the death was caused by pure human error. It was caused by a character who was experiencing something he didn’t fully understand, which caused him to do something he never expected to do. I’m speaking cryptically because I don’t want to give anything away, but I LOVED this about the show. Even though the mysteriousness of his death kept me watching, I loved (I can’t stop saying that word) that his death was caused by humanity, in a sense. So, all of that to say, I’m trying to find a way to do that in my writing, and it’s hard. And it makes me feel like the above gif. Sigh.

Whenever I try to explain science-related things:

anigif_enhanced-21527-1406774805-3 (2)Also, on a related note, I love snacks. Written while I shovel popcorn into my mouth. I LOVE this popcorn but I can’t find it in my grocery store anymore, but their website says it should be in stock there…LIES!

Whenever I miss Bella and try to convince Rahul we need a cat:

Plo5yPpBecause cats are the best…

Whenever I’m at the grocery store and I forget the difference between 1% milk and skim (read: every time):

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Whenever I drive in D.C. and get upset at the terrible, mean, type-A drivers who clearly all have more important places to be than anyone else on the road and I consider throwing my  car into the Potomac (because I have superpowers like that):

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Whenever I accidentally find myself in a conversation about politics or anything government related: 

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Lastly, whenever I’m freaking out about my medical complications, which happened a lot this past year. 

I used the phrase “they took my blood away for science” WAY too many times. But hey, it kept me laughing during my super anxious moments, as did this!

Source for above GIFs: NBC via Imgur & Buzzfeed.

 

 

Looking Back at my 25 Year Old Goals as a 28 Year Old

For the past little while, I’ve noticed that a blog post from 2012, 25 Life Goals from a 25 Year Old, has been getting a lot of viewership. I don’t know the reason for this, because I also don’t fully understand how the internet works. Either way, I thought I’d revisit these goals, written a little over three years ago, to see which ones I’m sticking to, which ones I think are completely bonkers (or don’t make sense), and any new goals I have.

Reading a three-year old post was delightful and entertaining. These goals are definitely the ones of a young, optimistic person. There’s nothing wrong with them, but many of them seem a little too hippy-dippy for my current state. Some also seem crafted and written specifically for a blog post, instead of realistic, true goals. Again, nothing wrong with that, but if I had written this today, I would have surely used different language.

Something I’ve realized in the three years since I turned 25 is that life is magical and ever-evolving. After turning 25, I experienced a life crisis of sorts. In college, 25 seemed so old. I expected to have everything figured out by 25 and that I would basically be a billionaire living on the ocean in an exotic country or something. Since turning 25, I’ve adjusted my worldview and come to understand that life is often a slow burn (in a good way) and that things take time. Also, I’ve realized that age is just a number. Sure, there are certain things that I should be doing by 28–like saying thank you, or doing things I want to do, and a handful of other things on this list–but most of these are just general being-a-decent-person life goals. I set these goals at 25 as a reminder to myself to take ownership of my life, and that mindset is still just as prevalent today. So, in a way, they’re life goals from my 25-year-old self that I can stick to and adapt and mold for as long as I want.

New Goals:

1. Find ways to work on my anxiety. I’ve developed a lot of anxiety over the past year (thanks, fractured leg), and I’m trying to find ways to reign it in.

2. Get out of my apartment and stop wasting time. I waste so much time, especially when school is out for the summer.

3. Never get tired of my surroundings. DC is a great city, and I never want to feel like I’m just “tolerating” it.

4. Don’t underestimate or undervalue myself. I’ve had a revelation of sorts lately where I realized the reason why I hardly ever spoke in any of my classes as a student was because I was underestimating myself, not the other way around. I’m learning to value my voice more, as well as my own opinion, and finding ways to more thoughtfully engage in conversations.

5. Write write write write write!!!

The Original List: 

1. Write thank you cards. Say thank you.
I’ve done okay on this one. I usually remember to send thank you cards, and try to always say thank you when I feel genuinely thankful for someone’s help, advice, you name it. 

2. Take a moment to calm down when overly emotional. Re-consider your thoughts.
Eh. What can I say? It’s that quarter-Italian in me. My brain has this funny way of going into overdrive when I have something interesting to say, or I’m trying to make it point, and takes over my calm, rational side. 

3. Never make decisions when you’re emotional.
Again, I’ve done so-so on this one. I’m pretty impulsive by nature and when I realize I need to do something, I want to do it RIGHT AWAY! But, I have gotten more practical about my decision making, usually allowing things to sit before completely deciding. 

4. Read books for pleasure.
Yes! It’s a slow process, but I have done this one. When I made this goal, I was in the middle of my first year of my MFA, which required a total of 20 books per semester for the lit classes I was taking. Ah! The back-to-back reading turned me into a very, very slow reader, as I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing anything potentially important while reading. Let me tell you, that’s not a fun way to read. I’ve been working on bouncing back from that. I have little time to read during the school year because I’m up to my ears in papers to grade, but I’ve managed to read The Secret HistoryThe Girl on the Train, and Station Eleven, and I loved all of them. Just finished Everything I Never Told You, which was amazing. AH-MAZE-ING. This book will stick with me for a while. Do yourself a favor and add it to your reading list now. 

5. Open your windows. Go outside.
This one seems kind of silly, but I am trying to do this instead of lounging on my couch all day…which has happened a lot, unfortunately. BUT I’m finally running outside again, post-leg injury (knock on wood). I also take advantage of the apartment’s pool, as well as walking to the grocery store instead of driving. Even though it’s blazing hot, it’s nice to get outside. Plus, I have huge windows which make my apartment feel luxurious. 

6. Stop making excuses.
Eh. I’ve gotten better at this, but I still come up with the excuses in my mind, even if I don’t use them. Since I’m sort of anxious/shy by nature, I’ll often think of reasons not to do something, even if it’s just meeting friends for a drink. BUT I will say that I didn’t use my broken leg as an excuse to not grade my classes, other than for the day I was actually in the hospital. 

7. Allow yourself to have free time, even if it’s 10 minutes of coffee in the morning, 2 minutes to play Scramble with Friends, or a date with your boyfriend to watch Titanic. Don’t laugh—Rahul and I totally did this the other night.
Free time is my best friend. I probably take too much advantage of it. How else am I going to watch all of my favorite TV shows constantly? 

8. Celebrate something at least once a day, if not more.
This is hard to track. I am trying to get better about focusing on things I DO do during the day–cue Chandler Bing–instead of things I haven’t done. Doing this helps cut my anxiety and also helps me enjoy my days a little more. 

9. Catch up with a different friend once a week.
THIS IS SO HARD and I’m also really bad at it. I’m the queen of texting, but suck at phone calls. I’ve kept up with friends, but it’s more sporadic than scheduled, which is actually fine with me. 

10. Keep your attitude in check, always. Be intentional in what you say.
I’m good about this when talking with my students, but sometimes bad when talking to friends or family. Working on it! 

11.Listen to others. Take notes. Remember.
Again, another one that is so-so. I definitely haven’t taken notes (come on, 25 year old Katherine), but I do try to be a conscious, observant listener. 

12. Don’t be scared of confrontation, when necessary.
Hmm. If I was making this last now, I would change it to “Don’t be scared to hold your ground.” I definitely struggle with this in my teaching–at my core, I want to help each student be their best, but I’ve had to acknowledge and understand that it sometimes just doesn’t work that way. 

13. When you make a mistake, never, ever blame it on someone else.
I’m pretty good at this. I had a teacher in college that would never take the blame for mistakes he made (i.e., we would put something in the newspaper because he said we could, and then go back on his word, etc), so I vowed to never be like this because it’s so disrespectful and wishy-washy. 

14. Laugh at yourself.
Um, yeah. All the time. 

15. Do things YOU want to do.
Also all the time. Stay tuned for my coffee shop series to see an example of this!

16. Don’t say sorry when it’s not your fault, and do say sorry when it is.
This is a hard one, especially since I say sorry all the time for stupid reasons. 

17. Engage.
What? As in get engaged? Okay, yeah, I did that. : ) 

18. Talk to strangers, or someone you wish to get to know better.
HAHA! I’m definitely the type to have few, close friends, instead of a 1,000 friends. Of those people, I try to ENGAGE and get to know them better. I definitely don’t talk to strangers. This was definitely written by optimistic Katherine. 

19. Do things that remind you of what you love in the world.
I really try to stick to this, especially living near such an awesome city! Since writing this blog, I’ve traveled to some beautiful places (India, Paris, London, New Orleans, Provincetown, just to name a few), which definitely reminds me what I love in this world. Visiting and doing things in DC allows me to take advantage and enjoy a city I love, even if it’s just driving to the Trader Joe’s on U Street. 

20. Try new things. My recent fascination: baking and cake decorating. Sorry, Mary Beth, but I’m probably going to ask to use your kitchen a lot this summer.
Mary Beth, do you remember if this happened? I don’t know. BUT I did get into a serious baking frenzy after moving to my new apartment. My masterpiece is banana chocolate chip bread. 

21. Don’t bullshit. Ever.
I’m pretty good with this, but this is also so broad. Don’t bullshit about what? I’m not sure what I was thinking here. 

22. Embrace who you are, even if you sometimes don’t like who you are.
OH BOY. I’ve had some ups and downs in the past three years. I’ve had many moments where I didn’t like myself, and many moments where I did. However, I think that’s natural for most people. Regardless, I am working on embracing the parts of me that are inherent, and changing the things I can change. 

23. Tell people what you think of them at every chance you get, whether it’s “You’re a rockstar” or “I appreciate you” or “You inspire me” or “I love you.”
I do try to do this! If it’s my students, I let them know when they’ve done good work. I tell my family and Rahul how much they mean to me and how much I love them constantly (so they don’t forget, haha). When someone helps me out, I try to say thank you or that I’m appreciative. 

24. Don’t waste a day with a bad mood. Find things to cheer you up.
I wish I knew what this video was, but the account has been deleted! oops. But I do try to do this, although when I get in a REALLY bad mood, it’s hard for me to come out. Usually it’s because I’m freakin’ stubborn and want to sulk. 

25. Love.
Yes! 

And an extra one because I have problems with limits (even when they’re my own):

Don’t complain about things you can control. This is a MAJOR one to remember for me as of late.
OH MY GOSH, I still struggle with this SO MUCH. The kid taking too much time at the water fountain, the traffic on the way to school, you name it. I’ve really tried to work on these things and let these complaints go, because, when I do, I feel lighter and happier. But sometimes I just want to be mad at the world. 

My Favorite Moments from the “Gilmore Girls” Reunion

The original post was updated once I realized the original panel I watched was EDITED. WHAT THE HELL, EW. I have since watched the whole damn thing. 

There’s a lot of these posts going around right now, but what the heck. Since it’s already been CLEARLY established that I’m a “Gilmore Girls” fan, generation 1 (since season 2, baby!), I want to share some of my favorite moments from the ATX TV festival reunion.
Disclaimer: I’m aware of the Today show interview as well, but have not had a chance to watch it. 

First, let me establish my ethos.* This is what I teach my students, so it’s only right that I do it myself, right?

I discovered “Gilmore Girls” right at the end of its first season. If I remember correctly, I caught the very last episode of season 1 after a “7th Heaven” episode. (I know, I know, my family and I used to watch “7th Heaven,” let’s just all accept it and move on.) I don’t know why, but the show clicked with me. My soon-to-be high school self just knew it was a show I would love.6f910260-bb5d-0131-1add-120afe85a4f5So when the second season was about to start (remember that? anxiously waiting for seasons, back in the pre-Hulu and Netflix days when you couldn’t just watch the old seasons on repeat during the summer?) I told my mom I wanted to watch the show. She agreed to watch it with me and, soon, Tuesdays nights were GG nights in our household. My mom, sister, and I would gather around the TV and watch the newest episode.

One thing I wish the second generation of fans could appreciate is the true experience of watching “Gilmore Girls” as it originally aired. The anxiety of waiting between seasons 2 and 3 to see what was going to happen with Rory and Jess. The pure joy of watching season 3, knowing every episode was special and hilarious. The treat of watching the town of Stars Hollow develop and grow as the show did. When Rory graduated from high school, I had just finished the 10th grade, but I still remember my mom crying at Rory’s graduation speech and itching for that special day to arrive for me. (Even though I wasn’t valedictorian).

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The sheer pain of watching the end of season 4 and beginning of season 5 as Rory and Lorelai fought, mixed with the PURE ELATION at Lorelai and Luke FINALLY KISSING. Season 6 aired during my first year of college, and I hated the episodes where Rory and Lorelai weren’t talking, as their relationship was the lifeblood of the show. I continued to come home every week to watch the show with my mom (I went to college in my hometown), sticking by its side even as it grew weary and tired in the 7th season, it’s wind (and Amy S-P) knocked out of its sails.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who adore and love a show, yet pretend certain seasons don’t exist. Sure, season 7 is a far, far cry from the other six (watch season 7 and then go back immediately to season 1 for a hilarious treat), but it’s still part of the show. To continue on with my ship metaphor–I’ll go down with the ship even if it sinks, because I LOVE THE SHIP SO MUCH!

“Gilmore Girls” was truly a formative show for me. Obviously, I understood that the show was fiction and I lived in reality (sadly), but I grew in so many ways just from watching GG. Through listening to their fast-paced, sharp dialogue, I grew as a writer. Even now, the dialogue amazes me. Through listening to the quick-witted Lorelai and Rory, I gained a quick wit of my own (although it’s pretty rusty at times). Through absorbing the cultural references on the show, I learned about many, many different things that I would not have had access to otherwise. Even now, when I watch the show, I’ll catch a quick reference to something that I can understand and appreciate in new ways. (Plus, for you first generation fans, I totally looked through those “cultural guides” in the DVD collections.) The show was the biggest cultural impact for me as a teenager/young adult and, even now, as I realize how shitty of a boyfriend/person Dean is; as I understand how snobby and pretentious Rory became when she started Yale; as I see how thick-headed and stubborn Lorelai could be with her relationship with her parents; I LOVE THIS SHOW AND I WILL LOVE IT FOREVER.

Okay, now that my ethos is THOROUGHLY established, let’s go through some of my favorite moments from the ATX reunion. 

1.  Lauren Graham mouthing “he was in insurance? I don’t remember that” when Amy S-P stated their reasoning behind why Richard was an insurance man. Clearly, she hasn’t been marathoning the show on Netflix with the rest of us….

2. A Canadian Dean?

3. I love that 1) Milo V. called Matt Czuchry “Mattie,” 2)Matt C. and Jared P. are both team Jess, 3) Matt C. interrupted Amy S-P’s discussion about what kind of character she wanted Logan to be by saying he was “kind of a dick”, 4) Alexis Bledel refused to pick and instead talked about what good actors they were, and 5) Scott Patterson ended the whole conversation by saying “none of you are good enough for Rory.”

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THANK YOU SCOTT P. YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN REMINDED US THAT A WOMAN’S LIFE (OR, IN THIS CASE, A FICTIONAL CHARACTER’S LIFE) SHOULD NOT REVOLVE AROUND WHICH MAN IS BETTER FOR HER. THIS IS AN OLIVIA POPE SITUATION ALL OVER AGAIN:

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4. Amy S-P stating that “at least she got this” about “Gilmore Girls” and her career. Never a better reminder that we owe literally ALL of this to her.

5. Lauren Graham saying “does he have a girlfriend?” when Scott Patterson was musing where Luke was in life. The answer he gave (she comes out for fly-fishing lessons?) was so strange and also so not-Lorelai.

6. Yanic Truesdale saying he never really understood why Michel was in Stars Hollow in the first place. Ha! Good point.

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7. Liz Torres calling Stars Hollow “Scott’s Hollow.” Eh, close enough.

8. I love that Liza Weil stated she was really freaked out about the Paris character and that they created it specifically for her…watching the show, you would never know! She’s Paris through and through.

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9. Alexis and Lauren (yes, we’re on a first name basis now) whispering to each other about what happened on the first day of set to confirm before sharing. Also, even though I’ve read this somewhere else before, I still love the fact that Lauren had to essentially carry Alexis around the set to help her meet her marks.

10. Scott Patterson admitting his age, whether he meant to or not, by expressing shock that his comments on the podcast “Gilmore Guys” went viral on the internet. By saying, “it was just a little podcast,” he definitely demonstrated that he does not know how the internet works.
But I do agree with his comment that “it’s kinda time” for a TV/movie “Gilmore Girls” reunion.

11. When Kelly Bishop stated that “I know this woman” about her desire to play Emily Gilmore. Just as good as Lauren Graham stating she didn’t want ANYONE ELSE playing Lorelai.

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12. Amy S-P stating that an on-screen reunion would have to be done “right,” and then saying, “the good thing is that no one here hates each other.” Whew, I was worried.

13. They saved a seat for Edward Herrmann. Hearts.

14. Lauren Graham asking why “Oy with the poodles already” is so popular and then saying “that’s so funny” when the audience explained the phrase and its inception on the show. I especially love how Amy S-P responded with “oh, now it’s funny!” Similarly, Alexis Bledel stating “What’s copper boom?” Then pretending she remembered…seriously, the two have the same memory of filming the show that I do of high school. I.e., nothing is remembered.

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15. This statement from Keiko Agena makes me sad and laugh at the same time: “We didn’t know it [the show] was ending, I would have stole so much!” It makes me sad to be reminded that the actors didn’t know the show was ending, even though the seventh season sucked, but also laugh that the characters took things.
But seriously, though. The show could have had a “Community” style comeback, a la season 5. Dan Harmon got to come back, why can’t Amy S-P? 

16. Amy S-P stating “they would validate my parking” when asked how the show’s pitch would be received now. So true, though. With the end of shows like “30 Rock” and the move of “The Mindy Project” to Hulu and “Community” to Yahoo, it’s very clear that a show has to either be “classically” funny or created by Shonda Rhimes to make it on network television.

17. I swear, Lauren Graham is my spirit animal. When she said, “If I could stop talking about Bobby Flay, I’d say they’re [Lorelai and Luke] still together, 100%,” I knew, once again, that our babbling capabilities are equal.

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18. I loved, LOVED that Lauren stated the rift between Lorelai and Rory was hard to deal with as an actor on the show, but also that Amy S-P defended the need for the rift on the show. As she said, it was time for Lorelai to pull out the mom card and for Rory to act out. Still, so hard to watch!

19. I loved hearing Amy S-P speak a little on writing for the show, specifically on how she wrote lines and jokes for each character. Her discussions of jokes working for multiple characters not being good writing is a great reminder oh how important character development is. Plus, let’s be real, this statement of hers was a true testament to all writers everywhere:  “I’m a writer, man, it’s what I gotta do! I can’t do open heart surgery, I got no other skills. If I didn’t do that shit, who’s gonna watch the show?

20. Lastly, I’m so glad Lauren Graham put an end to the questioning about what the final four words of the show were going to be, if Amy S-P had stayed on. I was already kind of annoyed at the moderator, but I got REALLY annoyed when she asked Amy’s husband if he wanted to share the final four words.

That’s like getting a no from one parent about going out, or whatever, and then immediately turning to the other parent to hopefully get a different answer. Rude and uncalled for. I’m glad Lauren stated she didn’t want to know the last four words unless she was speaking them or hearing them spoken to her. With that comment, I believe the mother voice has spoken and we should all stop harassing them about it. I mean, also, think about it: what if the last four lines are “you’re dead to me” or something like that? Then we’ll wish we never asked to hear them in the first place.

Bonus: I had NO IDEA that there’s a GILMORE GIRLS DRINKING GAME. Also, I loved the sassy kid who asked the very last question. When Amy S-P stated she would not buy him beer, he responded “Well that wasn’t my question, thank you very much.” So much sass. So great.

That’s all, folks.

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*As further proof of my ethos, I obviously aced this quiz.

Conflicted over Interstellar

Rahul and I have been making pretty good use of our weekends since he’s been here. We’ve been to housewarming parties, been to comedy shows, been ice skating, been lazy, and (been to) saw Interstellar last weekend.
I had to keep the “been” thing going.

Interstellar is one of those movies that has been on everyone’s radar for months, because, you know, CHRISTOPHER NOLAN. Oh, CHRISTOPHER NOLAN makes the best movies. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN can produce trailers to movies that make no f**king sense yet we all go to the movies anyway. Oh, CHRISTOPHER NOLAN can turn us all into mindless humans willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money to see his movies in IMAX.
And what is IMAX? Please, someone, answer this question for me. 

Okay, let me back up, because this post is not a rant about Christopher Nolan. Rahul and I were definitely two of those eager movie goers, because the previews looked awesome and because Inception. So, previous track record in support, we went to the movies expecting a show.

And got one, we did. But here’s the rub: I still have no idea how I feel about the movie, almost a week later.

3ZH4ZZ8Also, you should stop reading here if you are not a fan of SPOILERS.

When I say no idea, I mean I’m conflicted as hell. Immediately after the movie, I was laughing at some of the latter scenes (the library thing? Come on) and disappointed in the “love” theme that was supposed to carry a huge portion of the movie.
I’ll say now that I was NOT gunning for Anne Hathaway’s demise, like Rahul was. 

I was also disappointed at how nicely everything wrapped up in the end, even if it was sad that Murph had aged and Cooper had not. But, seriously, they might as well have packaged the whole movie in a box and wrapped it with a big, shiny bow, because that’s how the ending felt.

At the same time, I was also fascinated by the set-up, specifically the “changed the textbooks to reflect the truth” thing. I was loving Cooper and Murph’s relationship and the whole family thing. (Better love than Amelia’s mystery man that we NEVER see). I was enthralled as the space adventure begin and saddened (or, as one of my student said, “struck in the feels”) when Miller’s wave planet lost them 23 years on Earth in a matter of about 2 hours.

And then Matt Damon happened.

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t it exactly, but it was like the movie LOST IT! The best way I could phrase it immediately post-movie was “it was trying to be too many things at once.” But seriously. A space movie, a romance, an end of the world movie, a funny movie (I did like the robots), etc etc. I lost track! And I get it now, with the movie starting with a view of the bookshelf, but I CAN NOT GET OVER HOW CHEESY THAT PART OF THE MOVIE IS! It just didn’t work for me. I’m all on board with the 23 years passing, I’m sad, I want to get back to my family, etc. But looking through the bookshelf in some other dimension? I just wasn’t feeling it. Honestly, I would have been happy if his character had died–which Rahul tells me is silly to wish because it’s a Blockbuster. But happy endings, much, Nolan? Sheesh.

After the movie, I read a couple of reviews and articles to feel better about the fact that I didn’t absolutely love a movie that everyone else (at least now) is claiming to love. It’s much easier for Rahul, he just decides and that’s that. But, knowing that this was a Nolan movie and supposedly AMAZING and BEST MOVIE EVER and ETC GOOD THINGS ETC, I felt compelled to find reviews that were as conflicted about the movie as I was. My favorite? The one that called Nolan out on his inability to create strong female characters who aren’t  bound in some way by the men in their lives. The author is spot on when she points out that Amelia, while being the only female astronaut on the mission, is “literally only on the spaceship so that she can go see her boyfriend and have babies.” She tries to derail the mission for her own personal means, looooove. Even Murph in this movie is defined by the “loss” of her father and her conflicted relationship with her brother.

After discussing it with Rahul, reading/watching stuff online, discussing it with my students, and thinking about it in my spare time (read: long drives to work), I still don’t know how I feel about it. It’s one of the movies I want to like but I just don’t know if I do, or if I can.

If you’ve also seen it and have similar thoughts, please share. I’d love to hear what others are thinking.

Go On, Girl!

If you like movie versions of great books, you know something long-awaited for happened over the weekend: the movie version of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl premiered.
Of course, if you also watch TV on a semi-regular basis, you would know from that as well. They were playing those previews NON STOP. On top of that, I wanted to post this last weekend, but work and grading (so much grading) had to come first during the week, so it took me about 4 days to actually finish this post. 

I read the book a year ago and loved it. I was absolutely blown away by Flynn’s ability to write a character like Amy and, like most people, loved the suspenseful nature of the book that didn’t feel so mystery-aisle-ish. Her characters were complex and struggled with an interesting mix of personal problems.

Once I finished reading the book, Rahul added something special to my Mom’s copy: an “autograph” from Gillian Flynn telling me to “gon’ girl.” Thus the title of this blog post.

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However, this post isn’t a book review. Also, I’ll say NOW that I HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE SO NO SPOILERS PLEASE. Rahul found out some very exciting news last week and, long story short, will be arriving soon to spend 12 weeks in the DC area. So I’m waiting until his arrival to see the movie.

This post is about the location much of the movie was shot. You see, another thing I really loved about the book was its setting: a small town in Missouri. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, then you know I used to live in a small town in Missouri, Cape Girardeau. This little riverfront town is not only the setting of my MFA thesis, but also the setting for the movie version of Gone Girl.

While the movie was filming there last year, I suffered through countless photos on Facebook of friends spotting Ben Affleck or Tyler Perry; photos of Nick Dunne’s bar that they built on the very same street I usually frequented on Friday and Saturday nights; essentially photos of everything Gone Girl. While this made me extremely jealous, of course, I’m able to look past this. Even though the Cape Girardeau that will appear in Fincher’s movie will undoubtly look and feel different from the one I know, I’m so beyond excited to see this favorite town of mine appear on the big screen that I can hardly stand it.

Jackson is my home, but Cape Girardeau is the first place I lived on my own. I earned a degree there and taught for the first time, but the town was so much more than that to me. I made amazing friends, learned to appreciate and love the beauty of the Mississippi river, bike rode for miles and miles in the countryside, and, as cheesy as this sounds, became an adult.

Even though I love living near D.C., and love having all the amenities of a major city, there’s still something about the countryside that makes me feel light inside. When my friend Jessica and I would go on bike rides in the country, that’s all it was, for miles and miles: endless Missouri countryside, with blue skies everywhere. On top of that, the Mississippi River is a thing of beauty, and one you really can’t appreciate until it becomes a part of you, because you are a part of it. The town was small in a wonderful way; small enough that my friends and I could visit the same bar every Thursday and see the same people; small enough that you made friends with people just by being in the same place; small enough that those friends became your lifeline. If you haven’t caught on by now, the best part about living in Cape Girardeau were the people I met, whether it be through my teaching program, my Masters, my time working at Outback Steakhouse, or our weekly visits to Celebrations, our “drinking spot”: the people were the greatest, and I miss that part about Cape Girardeau often.

Beyond that, it’s a beautiful river town that David Fincher turned into the run-down North Carthage. I’m excited to see it on the big screen.

THE DAY IS FINALLY HERE!

Okay, so I’m a day late with this blog post, but my Wednesdays are always ridiculous. But that’s not the point. The point is #GilmoreGirlsonNetflix has finally arrived and this is everything I feel inside right now:

Now if only I had my mom here right now to crash into in excitement and celebration, this would be perfect!

I woke up early(ish) on Wednesday to technically grade papers, but it turned it to me watching “Gilmore Girls” drinking coffee out of my GG mug. And since the quote on the mug is from the 1st episode of the 1st season, I think it’s especially appropriate.

Even though I have “Gilmore Girls” classic (the individual DVD sets), Netflix presents a whole new watching opportunity of being able to do WATCH ANYWHERE. So, you know, that’s good, because some days call for emergency GG viewing sessions.

I also managed to incorporate #GilmoreGirlstoNetflix in every single class I teach, including the SAT classes I tutor. When one student asked why the show was so great, I shared with him the typical answers–smart, witty, funny, other one-word descriptions, and also said “the women are stronger female characters than Olivia Pope.” Another student took great offense to this, but SERIOUSLY. Don’t get me started on Olivia Pope.

In other news, whatever the equivalent of intellectually frustrated is in teacher language, I’ve been experiencing that this week. I guess as Hannah Montana says, “everybody has those days,” but in this case it has evolved into several days. I know it will pass, but it’s a lot of emotions to add on top of everything else.

I’ve made some strides in my grading, only to look forward to MORE GRADING this weekend. But I have three free days in a row (read: no teaching or commitments of any kind), which right now feels like a blessing from the gods.

A student in a SAT class I tutored reviewed me as “loud, nice” after an 8-hour, full day tutoring session. Last night I got “smart, funny” at the end of a 4-hour session. I’m thinking of collecting these to have a list of happy words to make me feel better on those frustrated days. Too silly?

Alright. Back to Gilmoring–err, I mean grading–it is.

“Oh, I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and walking and the words putting-into-sentence doing.”

If you haven’t seen the news in the past week (the entertainment news, not the real stuff), the greatest thing ever happened: Netflix announced that “Gilmore Girls” will be joining its ranks on October 1.
Excuse me for a moment while I scream in excitement.

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Ok, I’m back. Like any diehard fan, I have the entire series on DVD. I even replaced my season 1 DVD when it was too scratched to play anymore. Yes, ladies and gents, that’s how serious I am about this show. I’ve been known to read articles like this, hoping I’ll learn something new about the show, only to realize that I KNOW IT ALL. I found GG right after its 1st season and quickly convinced my mom and sister to watch it with me. That soon became our Tuesday night tradition, and we never missed an episode. If we had to, I made sure to videotape because oh, THAT’S RIGHT, this was pre-Hulu time. That’s how serious I was (and still am) about this show, guys. Even when it was going down the shitter in the 7th season, I stuck through to the end, because that’s what a true fan does.

That being said, I’m glad to see Netflix FINALLY realized GG needed to be streamed for the masses. Plus, it will make binge-watching that much easier.

Okay, now that I’m done labeling myself as the greatest “Gilmore Girls” fan of all time (and I know I’m not the only one to claim this), I’ll leave you with some of my favorite GIFs from the show. I know Buzzfeed has been ALLLL over this, as seen on Facebook, but I have been on a Buzzfeed break since returning from Paris. I had a major Buzzfeed addiction, and the separation was the best idea for me, health-wise and time-wise and just general ridding myself of unnecessary information-wise.

These perfectly describe most of my days:

Oh, and these too:

GG has so many moments that perfectly describe life and for a very, very long time I referenced this show in my daily life in an Abed Nadir-unhealthy way. But when you’ve had a sucky day, GG is always there. When you want to laugh or cry, GG is there. When you’re upset about the current state of something, your fiancé knows that GG will be the perfect remedy and will watch it with you (which he has been known to do!). When you need a witty comment or cultural reference, GG is there. When you want to make yourself feel better about how much coffee you are drinking, GG is there. Oh, GG is DEFINITELY there.

I can’t praise this show enough. It’s the the most comforting show in the best way. Beyond that, it’s one of the best-written shows (excluding the last season, of course) that’s ACTUALLY FUNNY and doesn’t make the typical wisecrack-laugh track jokes to please the masses. Plus, Lorelai Gilmore should be an inspiration to women everywhere, despite her bad choices when it came to men (marrying Chris? Give me a break) and her bad attitude toward Rory applying for Yale (I still can’t get over that). She’s strong, humorous, relatable, and one of the few TV characters that I don’t grow to dislike after watching a show over and over and over. Rory, on the other hand, is a different story.

If you hadn’t figured it out by now, this is still my favorite show of all time. And even after I started noticing some of the inaccuracies in the show as I got older, and realized how much of a spoiled brat Rory turns out to be (seriously, her transition from Jess-Rory to Logan-Rory is ridiculous, she completely forgets her upbringing), and screamed at my computer at other fans who love Dean (DEAN!? Are you kidding me? He was totes a jerk, at least Logan ATTEMPTED to be nice), and screamed at the TV when Lorelai and Luke not only break up but she also feels the need to sleep with Christopher for some reason, and laughed when noticing HOW MUCH BETTER the show is in season 1 than season 7, I’ll still stick by its side to the end. #GGforever

But really, watch season 7, suffer through the PAIN of how bad and poorly written that season is, and then immediately watch season 1. It’s laughable how much better the first season is.

GG GIF DUMP!

Oh, and this.

#sixseasonsandamovie

The news is about a day old now, but let me just say HOW (INSERT PAY CHANNEL LANGUAGE HERE) EXCITED I am that “Community” is returning for a 6th season.

Like with any good show, I didn’t start watching it until last summer when I was in India, where I proceeded to watch most of the show over a 6-week period. I was excited to finally watch the show in real time, only to have NBC crush my soul when they cancelled it…

Thank you, Troy, for expressing so accurately what I could not.

But I mean SERIOUSLY, how do you cancel a show like “Community” and keep crap like  “Scandal” and “The Walking Dead”? Two shows I also watch, BTW, but as a fan can acknowledge have become CRAP lately.

Community’s moments of brilliance are too many to count. Just last night, I caught the Jeff narcissism episode on TV, which features one of the greatest moments between Jeff Winger and the Dean. And what about the pillow and blanket forts? And the Dean’s Dalmatian obsession? And “shut up Leonard?” And Changnesia? And Troy & Abed in the morning (nights)? And all the episodes where they go on adventures together, and then the episode where Jeff recounts all their adventures and talks about some WE HAVE NEVER EVEN SEEN, giving us the allusion of a great and strange friendship!?!?!? And the episode where we learn how Magnitude got his catch phrase?!?

I can’t go on.
Oh, except to say the Abed-Nic Cage crossover was one of my all time favorites. 

I mean, come on. That is funny shit.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you Yahoo TV–something I was not previously aware existed–for keeping “Community” in our lives for a little while longer.

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Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Community gifs, let me just say that Shirley has perfectly captured how I feel when I have to drive through roundabouts in D.C.:

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Let’s face it, finding gifs for a blog post is probably more fun than anything else I do with my time. Except maybe watching “Community.” See what I did there?

Swanson’s Got Swagger the Size of Big Ben Clock

This past Thursday, I was able to spend ten glorious hours in good ol’ London town. My last flight to India was direct, but this one had a layover in London. And I have to say, I give a big … Continue reading