“There is no tangible incarnation of our antagonist - no ghostly presence, no serial killer. And it still is hard to imagine anything more terrifying than crouching, unprotected, in these hostile woods. Not alone. They hear Josh call like a siren in the nights after that, echoing from all directions. They crawl out of the tent and scream for him. You scan the woods with them and you begin to see things. Is that someone hunched down? Is that a body? Is that a face?”—
One time I went downstairs for lunch to the café where I normally get my morning coffee. I went down in a haze, my head filled with numbers and figures and charts, and ordered a slice of cheddar broccoli quiche. As I went to pay I realized I had forgotten my wallet.
“It’s okay,” said the guy behind the counter. “It’s okay, you can get it later. Take it, take it.”
“Are you sure? I’ll come right back down.”
“No, it’s okay. Just take it.”
I rushed upstairs and rushed back down, money in hand.
“I’m so sorry,” I said breathlessly.
“It’s okay,” he said, although he seemed annoyed, like he had wanted me to accept his generosity, his act of kindness.
I gave him the money and thanked him and left.
The other day I went there and ordered my regular morning coffee – large, skim milk. They give out little stamp cards there so if you buy 10 you can get a drink on the house. I paid and then remembered my card. “I almost forgot,” I said as I pulled it out of my wallet. I realized that it was him again, the one who had almost given me a free lunch.
“You always forget,” he said with a little smile. Like he knew me now.
When I was in high school, there was a hazing ceremony that was in the final stages of its existence. In it, some senior girls would choose girls from the junior class, lead them down to a beach, blindfold them, and torture/humiliate them (mildly, like making them…
Tess wrote a great piece on Carrie and you should read it. Please.
“It was definitely worthwhile to spend my money on senior activities because money can come and go, but memories last a lifetime. Prom expenses put a bit of a strain on me, but the other senior activities didn’t because my parents helped me financially. My school did as much as it could to lower the expenses. If the costs were cheaper, it would be great, but that’s just the way it is.”—
MICHELLE SAID, 17, Agoura High School
Yes, I said that.
I have absolutely no recollection of providing this quote to the LA Times when I was 17 years old. Therefore, I was totally wrong and I should not have spent that money on my extra-flouncy, silver Jessica McClintock prom dress or our extra-lame senior week. Memories do not last a lifetime. Maybe (maaaaaaaaybe) they last like 5 years or so. I hardly remember any of it. I have vague memories of my prom date falling asleep on the beach and people getting annoyed during the game of truth or dare when one of my friends accused one of my other friends of having an eating disorder. But I don’t talk to any of those people anymore, so the point is moot and I could not care less.
I believe this is what is known as an IDEALISTIC TEENAGE PAST FAIL.
At least I will be forever quoted in the LA Times. AT LEAST THERE’S THAT.
If I met my dad in high school, I think our meeting would go something like this.
“Hey,” I would say to my future dad.
“Hey,” would say my future dad. He would be tall (really tall, taller than all the other kids) and he would probably be wearing his blue-and-gold letterman jacket from Terra Linda High School. I think this would be before the sideburn phase he went through in the 1970s when he married my mom, although I am not entirely sure. I haven’t seen a lot of pictures of him from high school.
“So,” I would say, getting to the point, “You should probably marry that girl Margo you are going to meet in college. You’ll meet her at freshman orientation and you’ll be going out off-and-on for about five years before you get married at 23.”
“Twenty-three?” he would say, aghast. “That seems pretty young.”
“Oh, yeah,” I would say. “It is, I guess. But you guys are good together. Really good together.”
I think he would probably nod, taking this all in. “How do you know this?” he would say, and look at me funny.
Then I would change the subject with a piece of generic advice (“Try not to get too stressed out by the little things.”) and/or walk away. It’s a pretty tough subject for just meeting someone, you know.
That’s basically the idea that inspired Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis to write Back to the Future. Thank god they did, since it’s the best movie ever created. I am of the staunch opinion that if you don’t like it, there is something wrong with you. Although I am usually equanimous and respectful of other people’s opinions, I just can’t allow leeway for people who dislike this movie. This is a film that seamlessly mixes Jules Verne with Sherman and Peabody from Rocky and Bullwinkle, with a dash of high-stakes Cyrano de Bergerac and Oedipus Rex for good measure. I have seen it so many times I could probably recite it off to you line-by-line. (Although I promise not to.)
I can’t remember the first time I watched it. I was three when it came out, so TBS has been playing it on Saturday afternoons for almost my entire life. It’s the movie that was on in the background while I learned long division, while wearing metal brackets on my teeth, while getting ready for my first driving lesson. In the back of my mind, it’s always 1985.
The weird part is, I have never really stopped to think why this movie speaks to me on such a deep level. I know that when I first started watching it obsessively it was more to do with my crush on Michael J. Fox than anything else. One look into his dreamy pool-blue eyes and I was lost. The fact that he was short and married didn’t really factor into the equation. After all, I was short (I was 9) and everybody knew Hollywood marriages didn’t last. By the time I was 18, I was sure I would somehow meet him and make him fall in love with me.
Somewhere along the line, I realized this ironclad plan was probably not going to come to fruition. And yet, my love for the movie had grown tenfold. I will admit, I am a sucker for a good gimmick—a souped-up time-travelling Delorean is right up my alley. The jokes are fun, and easy. (People in 1955 don’t know about things that exist in 1985! Hilarity!) The characters are broadly drawn and easy to identify (Biff is a bully, George is a geek, Marty is a hero, Doc is an eccentric). But it is because the movie has these archetypes that it is able to survive (and thrive) in repeats.
Upon revisiting, it’s weird to think that this was such a studio-sponsored blockbuster. Sure, there were some gentle green-screen effects and some corporate tie-ins (Pepsi-sponsored and Toyota-approved), but for the most part it’s just an old-fashioned film. That happened to be produced by Steven Spielberg.
I think Back to the Future’s most stunning achievement is its timelessness. Although it is clearly a period movie—everything in the film highlights and underlines that this is a 1985 movie for 1985 audiences—it stands up over time. The in-jokes shouldn’t still be funny 25 years later. Marty plays horrible 80s rock, the fashion is ridiculous (although it has, remarkably, found a resurgence in certain groups as of late), and the jokes about the old-fashioned 1950s seem silly seeing how the movie makes 1985 seem just as ancient. (How many kids today even know Ronald Reagan used to be an actor?) And, how close we are to 2015, the year they travel to in the second film! It’s downright adorable to see how we thought we would be in flying cars, how we hadn’t even contemplated the internet, how different it all is from how we thought it might be. …I want my hoverboard.
But that’s all for another discussion.
Like I said, I had never really contemplated why I loved this movie so much as a kid or why I still love it so much as an adult. I mean, I still think it’s incredibly well done and well-written. But that’s not the reason I have held it so closely for so many years. I’ve realized that what brings me back to having Back to the Future as my all-time favorite movie is that message that we all have control over our own destiny, that no matter what, it is our actions that determine our own fate. It’s that cheesy, oft-heard cry of the 1980s, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” It’s the message Doc Brown gave to Marty who gave it to his father which gave him the confidence to pursue a career in writing and get the girl. It’s the message I keep forgetting in the day-to-day shuffle. But just by watching Back to the Future I remember it, and remember myself, and try a little harder.
Michelle Said is a writer living in New York who still kind of thinks Michael J. Fox is the best. She tumbls here.
Stoltz was cast as Marty McFly and made it through five weeks of shooting before the people in charge decided to go in another direction. The clip is interesting—even the brief glimpses of Stoltz’s scenes reveal that the movie would have had a very different tone.
Dude. It’s like staring into the abyss and seeing yourself and yourself is Eric Stoltz!
Sometimes I forget that this thing is public to all of my family and friends and (bonus!) under my name. So when someone references something I’ve written on here, I look at them blankly and start feeling paranoid, even though it’s my own fault. It’s kind of the same scenario like when I run into somebody on the street and I’m not expecting them. I cannot mentally comprehend that someone I know is treading the same sidewalk I’ve decided to tread at the exact same time without prior agreement. It feels like a glitch in the matrix. I want to chase them around with a broom and say, “No! Dammit! Stay in the boxes I’ve put you in! STAY!”
So this is just to say that if you see me and you want to bring up something I’ve written on my blog, please don’t. I might break.
At the risk of this seeming like an attack against dear Meaghano, (I last night sleepily tried to type “Mealissao” into my address bar, apparently planning to check both of their tumblrs at once), I think these notes make Ms. Moore seem mostly pompous and boring. And I’ve seen her read…
I was there on Friday. These notes are totally taken out of context (and, in some instances, totally contrary to what she actually said). Loorie Moore was fucking awesome, whereas the person writing these notes seems petty and jealous. I could do a point-by-point rebuttal, but they were taping it so I’m pretty sure that everybody who is interested will see Loorie Moore in her own words eventually.
Anyway, to fans of Loorie Moore: she’s still awesome, don’t worry.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. If you’re going to take notes, get ‘em right.
I once dated a guy who told me that his friends had a code when picking up girls. If a girl had a boyfriend but the guy was an asshole to her, then it was okay to try and woo her. I thought that was the most horrible thing I’d…
You guys, today is awesome because:
Our internet died at work so I got to come home and work on this rainy day, which means I am doing my work in pajamas. Auto-awesome.
My roommate picked up Grimaldi’s pizza yesterday so I got to have it for lunch. And I’m planning to have it for dinner.
I’ve discovered Scribblenauts on the DS, which I am borrowing from a friend, and it is like the best thing I’ve ever discovered in my entire life.
I had this really important thing to say about the little loopy things women have on their dresses that I thought was really vital to womankind.
I discovered this while I was brushing my teeth tonight. I thought, “Wow, those little loopy things are really only for women, aren’t they? And aren’t they indicative of something? Like a greater female issue? Those little loopy things? I mean, aren’t they?”
I was brushing with Crest Pro-Health, in case you were wondering, and an Oral-B brush. These were probably not relative to my epiphany, but I feel the need to state them here for you, just in case.
I noticed that the loopy things are not standard with H&M clothing, because they prefer to use the one BIG loopy thing that you loop around the hanger itself. Does this have anything to do with Swedish culture? Does this have anything to do with Lisbeth Salander? I bet she would have zero patience for loopy things. Or even less than zero patience! I bet she would have Less Than Zero patience for Bret Easton Ellis too. She would probably cynically observe the fuck out of a Bret Easton Ellis novel.
Anyway. Loopy things. Do they have a name? They should. They should call them Supremes. Because they keep them hanging on. (Whoa-oh-whoa-ah.)
I wish I could pretend like the five years of Jimmy Eat World worship didn’t happen, but that would be like denying a part of myself, you know? Blink-182 was my first concert. It’s not like I chose to be a pop-punk teenager. It just happened, okay?