Archives for the month of: May, 2017

oprah lohan

I’m not a big hugger. I don’t know what it is about physical contact, but I generally just.. don’t like it. I like people, I like my friends, but I don’t usually want to be wrapped up in anyone’s arms if I can help it. I will try to avoid your friendship tentacles even if you mean a lot to me and we haven’t seen each other in a while (sorry), but if you DO grab me – I tend to go limp and do a quick pat before breaking our embrace after like 10 seconds because I feel too awkward.

So it was a relief years ago when I found yet another way to be inspired by Oprah – someone worshipped by the people but rarely touched by them – who would much rather give out a car than a hug. I watched as she ’embraced’ guests on her show (and Lindsay Lohan in the above pic): giving them the illusion of a hug but actually keeping her arms extended in a “Don’t move any closer” stance of love.

I respect this move a lot and have started to use it. People feel like they’re getting something kind of resembling a hug, and you feel like you get some distance.

Cheers (but not hugs) to you, Oprah.

 

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Even though I am uncoordinated, have a weak right ankle, and at the age of 25 still can’t REALLY roller-skate without toppling over: I’ve always had this desire to have a disco roller rink moment with a playlist featuring songs from David Bowie, Donna Summer and the Village People (who I am embarrassingly love).

The above photo is from a roller-rink in Brooklyn that my then roommate and I visited in 2014. It was actually really fun to try to learn to balance on skates (…again, I feel like I should know this by now..) and the instructors would skate up to you, offer helpful advice, and try to make you feel like less of an idiot when you inevitably BIT IT in front of everyone. I remember crawling to the bench at one point, my bruised up shins hurt so bad, and then giving myself a permanent time-out while my roommate skated loops around me and my throbbing legs.

Anyway, the point of this post -fluffy and kind of pointless…just like disco- is that I’m making a public commitment to learn how to roller-skate without embarrassing myself.

 

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They say not to meet your idols because they will only disappoint, but not everyone’s idol is the self-described ‘Pope of Trash’ and author of the following quote: “To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about. If someone vomits during one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation.”

I was able to give John Waters a standing ovation -not the vomit kind- after his performance on his annual Christmas speaking tour: because he was insightful, hilarious, and entertaining, and -most importantly – lived up to all of my (high) expectations.

I’ve been fascinated and delighted by Mr. Waters since I was a kid – growing up not far from Baltimore and always feeling like a weirdo. In all honesty, “Hairspray” never really did it for me, but once I got older and started to read JW’s books and see his other movies (meaning, all the ones in “category: other”), my fondness for Mr. Waters and his Dreamland began to grow.

I love(d) his dark, twisted sense of humor and his off-beat intelligence and felt the need to read everything he’s written. I’ve also seen most everything that he’s directed- including Pink Flamingos (…which I don’t have any desire to see again).

I would even study John Waters’ work in school at Marymount Manhattan College in a  class on “Trauma in Literature and Film” taught by a brilliant and creative professor, Michael Colvin, whom I would consider to be a fellow ‘John Waters scholar’. The class explored how various forms of art depicted and dealt with trauma, and the John Waters’ unit, where we read Shock Value and watched Female Trouble was, of course, my favorite part.

So after loving and even studying John Waters work, I was thrilled to buy tickets to his Christmas tour where I knew he’d share his bleak take on this stressful holiday and ease my own December discomfort. (I’m not always a total Grinch but the ONLY Christmas song that I don’t completely loathe is U2’s cover of “Baby Please Come Home“.)

Therefore, the idea of seeing my own Jesus (I mean… if I HAD to pick one) felt like a Christmas miracle, and observing John’s holiday hilarity in its full glory will now always be one of my favorite ‘Christmas’ memories…

I remember JW offering such ‘advice’ as filling your medicine cabinets with marbles for nosy guests, and, after a few cocktails, I somewhat hazily remember getting to ask him a question from the audience.
Mr. Waters has said that he was quite the LSD user in his youth, so I asked “Have you ever had an acid flashback?” and was told “No, and I loved acid. I never had a bad experience in my life. I used to take acid once a week. My mother said not to tell young people that but I just did…”

Then, after the show, I stood in line to get “Shock Value” signed and got to meet John Waters himself. I introduced myself and told him that I was a writer, to which he replied “Wonderful! Keep writing!” and happily signed my book and posed for the photo.
It was an unforgetable night. And I still haven’t gotten over the shock value of meeting him.

*PS: The remake of “Hairspray” is only worth turning on to creep everyone out because John Travolta’s fat suit makes his eyes look squished together and his face like a bloated gerbil*

Next we wandered over to The National Museum of Natural History which, speaking of booger-handed tots, is probably the best museum to take kiddos to as it has sparkly gems for the little ladies and dinosaur bones for the boys. Yes, I know it’s 2017 and boys can like gems, girls like dinosaurs, etc; but I’m going off of my experience, which is that Brendan (boy) was way more excited about the dinosaurs, and I (girl) was way more excited by the gems. Pretty stones like:

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The Hope Diamond: which is way more interesting when you read about its curse and how it once belonged to Marie Antionette (…while she still had a neck to wear it).

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This mineral rainbow that was basically made to be Instagrammed

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Something cooked by Walter White

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This black hole looking crystal in the gift shop

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A reassuring sign (yes – they do)

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And my australopithecus friend Lucy, who was named after the Beatles song, and probably had better posture than me.

The other day Brendan and I went to The Smithsonian and did some learnin’. The first thing that HE learned is how stressful driving in DC is, with all those traffic circles and confused tourists looking at cherry blossoms instead of oncoming traffic.

The first thing that *I* learned was that The Smithsonian is more than three museums (I thought it was, you know- art, history, and the space one). This is particularly sad as I have been to more than 5 or 6 of them at some point in my childhood, on school field trips or with family, but none of that rang any bells and Wikipedia told me that there are actually 19 Smithsonian museums.   So, first we went to “the history one” which was The National Museum of American History.

It had:

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This light up thing in an exhibit for kids. (Thousands of booger-handed tots had pushed on those buttons before us and yet I get shit for carrying Purell everywhere…. ) Anyway,

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This terrifying suit from a NOT funny example of “crop dusting”

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A VHS tape of Jumanji aka My childhood

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Bert & Ernie from 1969. No jokes come to mind.

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And two happy campers taking a selfie on an old iPhone that will be in the museum shortly…