January 29, 2013

10 Things I’m In A Complicated Relationship With

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1. Chipotle

Like the “How to Hack Chipotle” guy, I’m not only obsessed with Chipotle (God’s gift to fast food chains), I’m obsessed with getting the best possible deal out of my burrito. I should feel ashamed about it, but I’m surprisingly not. I want bang for my buck double-wrapped flour tortillas and ready to go. If that burrito isn’t falling apart or exploding as I eat it, I’m not satisfied. I personally go for the vegetarian burrito, only because I don’t want to have to pay extra for guacamole.

Call it First World Problems, but I think charging extra for one of the most delicious substances known to man is just downright fascist. Did we learn nothing from the American Revolution? No taxation without guacamole. Besides, both the guac and the pinto beans both have bacon in them, so if you want that hint of meat without the extra charge, look no further. This is America.

2. Friday Night Lights

My relationship with one of the greatest TV dramas of all time has gotten so deep that I’ve recently started having FNL-related dreams. Last night, I dreamt that I was Tami Taylor (I felt infinitely hotter), and before this, I fantasized that the Taylors were my real parents. My non-dream parents then found out about my true paternity and, understandably, got upset about it, screaming at me, “What? Are you going to change your last name to Taylor now?” I shouted back, “Maybe I will! Maybe I will!” In my dreams, I apparently act exactly like Julie Taylor.

I don’t know what Friday Night Lights has done to my subconscious, but I feel the damage may be irreparable. I’m not that sad about it.

3. Fiona Apple

Fiona, I love you, but why do you make me so sad? All I want to do is be giddy and twee and live in a world filled with sunshine and rainbows, but Fiona won’t let me. Fiona Apple hates your happiness, America.

4. Cake

Last week, my man-friend decided that he didn’t want to date anymore for vague, textbook reasons that I’m pretty sure he was reading off a teleprompter. (It’s really called: He just wanted sex.) The day before this occurrence, my roommate bought a chocolate cake from Whole Foods for a potluck we had, which everyone barely touched. Sensing an opportunity here, I then grabbed its entire remains and took them into bed with me. If you guessed that I did not grab a fork for this endeavor, you would be correct. In these situations, I always ask, “What would Bridget Jones do? Would she grab a fork?” No, sir, she would not.

Bridget Jones does not back down.

5. Zooey Deschanel and Taylor Swift

I lumped these two together because on any given day I might feel differently about them than I did the last day. Like the existence of Lena Dunham or the politics of Django Unchained, they take a while to process your feelings about. And just when I think I’m fed up with Taylor Swift, she has to go and make something like “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which I moved from hating to hating myself for liking. As a person, I’ve given Zooey Deschanel up to Jesus — as she seems insistent on playing into this weird caricature of her own image, like her own SNL spoof — but by God, I adore She & Him. Did you hear their Christmas album? It’s the only thing that made being around my family this year bearable.

Honorable Mention: Scarlett Johansson, who I both love because of Ghost World and Lost in Translation but hate because of almost everything else she’s ever done? Did you have to suffer through The Spirit or Scoop? If so, you likely have some feelings about her, too.

6. Baths

Technically, baths are disgusting. Have you ever objectively pondered what you are doing when you take a bath? You are stewing in a giant cesspool of your own filth — wistfully lounging as pieces of your dead skin and butt particles float around you. But somehow, it doesn’t matter. Like eating foie gras or childbirth, baths are easiest to appreciate if you don’t think about the mechanics involved. Just pour yourself some bubble bath, close your eyes and let Sade take you away.

7. Nicolas Cage

Does he make some of the worst movies in Hollywood? Yes. Does he wear hideously bad wigs that look like they were pulled out of the Bette Davis Fright Collection? Yes. Does he take almost every single project offered to him? Obviously, or a film as ludicrously titled as Bangkok Dangerous would have never happened. However, Cage also makes some of the most deliriously ridiculous movies in existence — which are so committed to being crazy that they approach an art form. Did you see The Wicker Man? That scene where he dresses up in a bear suit and punches Leelee Sobieski in the face: both horrifying, strangely hypnotic and priceless. Much like Cage’s entire late career.

8. Winter

Winter, I love you, and Imma let you finish, but you seriously need to decide whether you want to be 50 degrees or 20. It’s like Steven Soderbergh’s consistent promises to retire — after he commits to five more projects. I don’t care which one you pick, just be consistent.

9. The novels of Henry Miller

When discussing The New Normal, a professor of mine once told me that you can like something and find it extremely problematic at the same time. I personally hate that show, but I’m a huge fan of Sixteen Candles — one of the more openly racist movies I’ve ever seen. (Long Duk Dong, seriously?) There are a few novelists with whom I have this sort of tortured relationship: Bret Easton Ellis, whose work vacillates between being a critique of misogyny and misogynistic; Ernest Hemingway, that endearing anti-Semite; and Henry Miller, who it seems has an ax to grind against everyone. Jews, women, gays — if your name isn’t Henry Miller, Henry doesn’t care for you much, even though the ladies love him. Almost every woman Miller has sex with thinks he’s the second coming, despite the fact that all he talks about are his fleas and lack of showering. In a review of Miller’s work, Gore Vidal once remarked that he wanted nothing more than — instead of telling him he’s “the best, baby” — for one of Miller’s hookups to turn to him and say, “Henry, you’re full of shit.”

Miller might be full of shit, but he also writes some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read. Some of it just happens to be about sticking a frog in his girlfriend’s vagina. You take the good with the weird.

10. Catfish

So, I technically really hate Catfish. I hate that show, that film and its creators like I hate few things — the rage that some people reserve for Chris Brown or for Tom Brady’s perfection. (A friend of mine recently said that he wishes nothing more than to get drunk on the tears of Tom Brady.) But like a car crash or the show Newsroom, I also can’t look away, and my hatred somehow fuels my obsession with it more. Like Ann Coulter, my hatred toward Catfish and the smarmy opportunism of its creators sustains me. It gives me a reason to be. TC mark

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