Friday, July 15, 2011

Theater of Yesterday*

I'm watching the first season of Ally McBeal on Netflix. I watched most of this show when it first aired, though I stopped at some point. Whatever shark they jumped was so boring that I can't even remember what the shark was. Oh was when she suddenly had an eight year old daughter out of nowhere! At that point I think that Sex & the City was on the air, and everyone had stopped watching poor Ally.

In fact, it's really interesting watching the show in that context...S&tC aired just a shade after Ally premiered. Fall of '97 vs. spring of '98. Network television vs. cable. Both shows were about single women finding love, but say what you want about S&tC, it resonated with women in a way that few shows have. Possibly because it showed different types of women. If you didn't like Carrie, you might still identify with Miranda or Samantha. Ally McBeal is what happens when a show is centered on Charlotte. And although there are different types of women on Ally McBeal, they all still agree that single = lonely = sad. Even Renee, Ally's sassy and confident best friend, will say things like "She's marrying him because she just turned 30." "We hate weddings because we're single." "If you're not careful you're going to end up alone." The S&tC crew were allowed to be happy without men. To this day my friends and I will be talking about a situation and be able to relate it to a S&tC episode (seeing that the show went off the air in 2004, this says a lot about the need for a new show centered on women), but no one ever says, "That's just like the time Ally had a meltdown in public and smacked someone for saying her skirt was too short!"

That makes it sound like I think the show sucks. Well, I think that Ally sucks, but everyone does. Did anyone ever like Ally? The show ran on the steam provided by the secondary characters. I've been squeeing over John Cage listening to the bells, and the first time he dances to Barry White in the co-ed bathroom. Richard Fish (who I have decided is basically who Jeff Winger was when he was a lawyer, before he had to go back to community college because he didn't really pass law school) with his "Fishisms" and brushing off everything with "bygones". Jane Krakowski's portrayal of Elaine, the attention seeking secretary, which is the exact same character she plays on 30 Rock, and I find myself not minding. The beautiful thing about this show was that it was about very odd, quirky people, and that's why it worked. In fact, I think we should bring back "bygones." Say there's a huge blow up in an internet chatroom. Just write "bygones", and it'll all be diffused. And it goes without saying that there should be more impromptu dance parties. Maybe not in public bathrooms, but hey, that's where the mirrors are.

I've forgotten almost everything except for the main plotline (Ally finds herself working with her first love and his wife, hijinks ensue!), but there's one plot that everyone remembers whether they watched the show or not. The dancing baby. Full disclosure, I do not have a biological clock. Trench and I have agreed that we're mad about each other enough that we don't want any tiny being taking our attention away from the other. I finally got to the dancing baby episode, and it scared the crap out of me!

Honestly, I don't even think the lack of biological clock has anything to do with it. This is very early CGI we're talking about. That baby is terrifying! Remember when that was on everyone's screen saver for awhile? What the hell were they thinking? The baby is Ally's biological clock hallucination. This hallucination happens because she has sex for the FIRST TIME ALL SEASON with someone just because he was hot and she feels guilty about that. Yep, this is definitely pre-S&tC. She's standing in the office, and suddenly the pitter-pat of little feet goes off like a gunshot. And then there's the OOGA CHAKA OOGA CHAKA from Paul Simon's "Hooked On a Feeling." And that CGI baby runs out and starts dancing in this very jerky way, moving its limbs in ways that limbs were never meant to move. I screamed. And for the rest of the episode, every time I heard the pitter pat or the OOGA CHAKA, I screamed and lifted my feet off the ground, as if the baby would run out and grab me.

Think I'm exaggerating? Check it out here, if you dare. Just don't blame me if you aren't able to sleep tonight. But if you think the baby is cute...that you found Ally dancing with her biological clock to be liberating...that it was your screen saver back in the 90's...well, what can I say? Bygones.

*Title stolen from Rebecca T. Thanks Bekka!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

shoe lust

So I saw these shoes recently at a shoe store close to where I work that regularly gets me into trouble. They've been hanging around for awhile, but I didn't pay them too much attention, assuming they were too ostentatious/expensive/uncomfortable. So I fawned my attention over a different pair of wedges. Recently I tried the wedges on, but on my foot it wasn't love. So "just for fun", I tried these on.

Oh goodness.

Wedges can be uncomfortable for the same reason heels are uncomfortable...your foot is in an unnatural tip toe position. Platform wedges, however? Are a whole different story. My foot was supported and cushioned. The shoes were light instead of heavy. And when I looked in the mirror? The style worked on me! And why wouldn't they? Hell, when I was in my 20's, I wore Creepers for comfort. Suddenly, I had a new shoe lust. They would be mine!

However, like a sensible woman, I decided to wait another paycheck to be sure I could afford them. Then June hit like a ton of bricks. I got sick and missed a whole week of work. My car broke down and then got stolen, in that order. I had to take rental cars to my summer class out in the burbs. Trench and I are still trying to catch back up from our June From Hell.

Today I went back to go "visit" my shoes, and see if they were still there. I can't afford them, but I thought I'd take another look and see if they were as fabulous as I remembered. I shouldn't have been surprised that my size was gone. Unfortunately instead of being all "c'est la vie, that's how it goes!" it put me into hunter mode. This is when I start scouring the internet for the perfect shoes that I want. I even thought that maybe I could find them a little cheaper. I learned that apparently the store by my work was THE ONLY STORE IN THE WORLD THAT CARRIED THIS SHOE! Learning this made me panicky. Can I afford these shoes right now? Absolutely not! Are there a billion other things I should be spending my money on? Of course! Should I not be spending money on anything, and instead be saving so my checking account will start looking healthy again? Hell yeah! However, none of this matters as I have turned into Gollum and I must have the PRECIOUSSSSSSS!

Hear that sound? That is the sound of the Universe kicking me in the ass and telling me to save my damn money.

Monday, July 4, 2011


*dusts off blog* Hello, outside world, it's been awhile. What with starting grad school, I haven't had a lot of time for creative writing. Right now I'm on summer vacation for the next two months so I don't have an excuse not to update. Besides the fact of not knowing what the hell to write about. Which is ridiculous, because there's all sorts of things going on. Last week there was dancing at a club in which suburban 20-something girls started doing the limbo on the dance floor without realizing that's a bad idea when you're wearing short dresses. There was a two day visit from an old friend that I haven't seen in a year, and we barbecued salmon on our tiny new grill on our deck. There was sangria drinking and cheese-nomming at Ravinia while watching an Abba cover band last night. Tonight my BFF is having a French-Canadian themed get together for 4th of July (all just an excuse to eat poutine). Then this Thursday we're going to watch a live performance of the Care Bears movie, something we saw about four years ago and it was one of the funniest things we'd ever seen. Oh summer, how I wish you'd last forever.