Woody Allen Marathon

One of the ways in which I define myself is as a lover of movies and identifier of obscure movie quotes. Despite my massive, 100+ DVD collection, I carry a secret shame about my movie-watching habits: I haven’t seen that many classics. The “modern classics” I have on lockdown: Forrest Gump, Titanic (don’t hate: it’s in the AFI Top 100!). If it has Gene Kelly in it, I’ve most likely seen it and gushed about it to you already. There was also that nebulous period in high school after the AP US History test where my teacher, Mr. Meissel (the greatest teacher to ever grace this earth  – he deserves a post of his own) just showed us some film noir classics like The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon. But in scanning the list of Top 100 Movies, I realize that most of them are all meshed together in my head: I know I’ve seen movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and North by Northwest, and God knows I have read the Internet enough to understand cultural references, but I haven’t really seen enough.

Nowhere is this more true than with Woody Allen movies. That man has produced approximately 1,692 movies per year for the last 100 years, and I’ve only seen a couple. No more do I want to just smile vaguely and nod sagely when people talk about Annie Hall, damnit! I want to be able to say something smart about it!

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With that in mind, I embarked on an epic quest of a WOODY ALLEN MARATHON with one of my favorite people, who just so happens to be temporarily living in New Hampshire (which works out for both of us so we are about equally as friendless and can easily cling to each other).

The most interesting part of this experiment is discovering how passionate people are about Woody Allen movies – mostly by disliking them. For example, my mother:

“I just don’t like Woody Allen on principle.”

I paused and stared at her for a moment as she laughed. I prodded, “Umm… more explanation, please?”

She immediately responded, “Well, after that movie where he was a sperm, I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

Screaming

Fair enough.

Given Woody’s 1,692 movies, this mighhhht take a while. But my friend and I kicked it off with some not-so-classic classics: Crimes and Misdemeanors and The Purple Rose of Cairo. We both agreed we are not nearly clever enough to fully comprehend C&M, although reading Ebert’s review after the fact definitely made up appreciate it more. We also decided that Sean would be a crummy reviewer because he would be terrified of making the actors anger with a poor review. His entire review would read: “I really enjoyed this movie. This actor wasn’t perfect, but you could see where he was going. Actually, I really liked him. DON’T BE MAD AT ME.” Sign him up, papes!

(Also, you should watch the Purple Rose of Cairo because it was magnificent. Plus it has the actor who plays Richard Gilmore except he’s 30+ years younger and it’s really amusing.)

Any favorite Woody movies I shouldn’t give a miss? Right now, the only one off the table is that sperm one. A lady has her limits.

The Art of Eavesdropping on an Awkward Date

I had every intention of doing a “postcards” style post of the favorite reading spots I’ve found in Boston, although that is probably interesting only to me because I read there and my mother because she gave birth to me and is forced to be interested in what I say. So instead, I am going to share with you a story about just how intrusive I can accidentally be.

Recently, on the eve of a rainy day, I made my way up to Harvard Square in order to acquire some rain boots from a nearby shop. As when I make any excursion to a new place, I hopped online beforehand to see if there were any good coffeeshops around there – during my unemployment period, I delighted in playing “America’s Next Top Coffeeshop” and trying out all the ones in my neighborhood, partly because I adore sitting in a cozy cafe reading and partly because it gave me a reason to leave the house. Lo and behold, I found a charming little place called Tealuxe around the corner.

I could go on and on about Tealuxe itself, a wonderful little teashop with a huge selection of teas, tea drawers stacked up to the ceiling, and the most wonderful aromas a tea-lover could ask for. But the real part of my experience was the possibly-a-couple on a possibly-a-date in the corner.

Let it be known that this is a tiny shop and they were speaking very loudly. One cannot help but overhear. To the best I could determine, they were either on a first date going really well or a second date — they clearly felt comfortable with each other and had good rapport, but were still trading pretty basic life information.

Popcorn

At first, their conversation was SO typically Harvard I actually rolled my eyes and thought, “HARVARD. Apparently not just clam bakes and trips to the Cape.” They were talking about, like, social darwinisms and the pros and cons of democratic republics and the current flaws in our governmental system or whatever. Either way, they knew how to sound lofty and important.

And then… it got a little weird. From social darwinism, they started talking about their own personalities (they are both introverts technically but consider themselves ambiverts) and different personality tests one can take to determine where you fall on the introvert-extravert scale. Still interesting but they kept going onnnn and onnnn.

And then, I don’t even know how, they fall into talking about various bodily ailments they have and, I kid you not, the woman said, “Yeah, I highly recommend custom orthopedic shoes, they really help me.”

Sheldon-No

I left before they did so unfortunately I cannot say how the date turned out, but if you feel comfortable enough throwing down the custom orthopedic line that early in a relationship, then more power to you, sister.

And in case anyone is wondering, I later went back and took that test to determine where fall on the introvert/extravert scale. I’m 45% an extravert/55% an introvert, which totally makes sense. Thank you, awkward daters, for introducing it to me.

How to finally nest (ish)

For someone who loves stability, I have been remarkably without a home for the past year+. I’ve thankfully always had a roof over my head and a bed(ish) to sleep in, but since I moved out of my last actual abode in May 2012, I’ve slept in – count em – twenty nine different beds/homes. The largest chunks of my time involved spending July 2012 in Boston (where I got to experience wonderful university housing beds – it was so uncomfortable I honestly had to go buy a foam padding thing from BBB the next day cause I’m a princess), August-December 2012 in London (another time spent in university housing, except I funnily enough had three single beds to call my own. I like to be crazy!), and April-July 2013 in the parental dwelling (where I stubbornly refused to give up my first comfy bed in a year unless it was to a worthy elder).

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to finally – FINALLY! – be able to unpack my bags for the final, foreseeable time, and unwrap my belongings that have been in storage since last May.

Alas and alack, we are not at that point yet. My first two months in Boston are consisting of me living with two very good friends of mine (it’s an awesome Three’s Company/Big Love kind of situation, except not actually) and then a month-long sublet with a rando who I literally agreed to live with because she laughed at my jokes and didn’t seem murdery. The person moving out (from whom I am subletting) has two cats and I was a inch away from saying, “…but can the cats stay?” I HAVE CAT NEEDS, PEOPLE.

How I inserted myself in with my friends/roomies/hosts, the married couple. I think they find me adorable

How I inserted myself in with my friends/roomies/hosts, the married couple. I think they find me adorable

Anyway. Come September 1, I have a home again! Where I actually live, and pay rent! And not sketchy back-alley rent but a rent attached to a lease! (At least, I think so. The property manager just scribbled out the name of my friend, since I’m taking over her lease, and handwrote mine in. I got panicked that the Boston Public Library wouldn’t accept that as a viable proof of residency and did some questionably-legal things to get that library card, but that’s a story for another day).

In the meantime, I have this whole nomadic thing down to a science. The basic rules:

  • When feeding off the teets of a friend’s generosity (yup), be sure to leave secret signs of yourself around the house. If you are staying with a married couple, even better! See above.
  • Never assume a plate is microwave-safe.
  • You haven’t really worn out your welcome until you’re accidentally blown the fuses in your nomadspot
  • There is no sadder thing than to excitedly unpack your backpack into a dresser of your week-long home, only to find that your three shirts don’t exactly need five drawers.
  • I like to believe I can sleep in most places, but I at least need a window. And wifi. And high standards of living. JUST KIDDING I really just need a window. Windowless rooms are the pits.
  • Laundry is for fancymen, and ain’t nobody got time for that. If it is not visibly dirty or have a five-foot-smell radius, it’s fine.
  • When you do have to get your laundry sent out since you don’t have a home and obviously don’t have a laundry machine, assume that something will get stolen/lost, and it will probably be the t-shirt present you got from your mom less than a month ago
  • Bedbugs aren’t that scary, you guys. Man up.
  • Most important one: you never realize how powerful your friendships are until you are in the wandering state of moving. I have relied on the kindness of several friends just to get me up to Boston, including and not limited to: a friend driving me to the airport, her wonderful parents taking my bags in their car since it wouldn’t fit in hers,  friends graciously hosting me immediately upon my arrival, a friend offering to lend me a sofa bed when I realized my August sublet option would only be an air mattress, and another friend sourcing a real bed for me to borrow and, without asking, volunteering to help me move it.

As much as I love traveling, I seriously can’t wait to stretch into a new joint and start nesting, y’all. Mainly because I picked up a blanket from the store that I proclaimed I loved more than my current hostess, and she threw it on the floor in anger. It’s a really good blanket.

(A week later, after she had accidentally had five limoncellos at dinner with her family, she came home and sheepishly told me the blanket was really good.)