Tuesday, October 27, 2015

quirks aren't compatibility: the wisdom of 500 days of summer

“Just because she likes the same bizarro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soulmate.”

The first time I saw the indie rom-com 500 Days of Summer, I barely paid attention to this line, which is delivered by protagonist Tom’s little sister, Rachel. However, in my subsequent viewings -- because, when you’re a single 20-something, there will be subsequent viewings -- I realized that it’s not only one of the movie’s key themes, but also a massive truth bomb that I never bothered to examine. 

Summer and Tom initially bond in their office elevator over a Smiths song, an exchange that sets the tone for their entire relationship. Tom is taken by Summer’s surface quirks, from her inexplicable love for Ringo Starr to her retro, hipster hairstyle (those blunt-cut bangs get ‘em every time). Though the film was released in 2009, well before the days of Tinder, their love story could have just as easily began with right swipes that were based on superficial appearances and shared Facebook interests. 

Of course, for any romance to get off of the ground, you’ve gotta have some intangible chemistry that usually stems from mutual physical attraction and at least a little bit of common ground. But it’s all too easy to get caught up in the fact that you share the same obscure favorite band, or that you both love the same Harry Potter book, or that you both went to Gathering of the Vibes in 2009. Don’t get me wrong; that stuff is important, and can often indicate the potential for a deeper connection. Getting too wrapped up in it, though, is a big mistake ... even if it’s unavoidable much of the time. 

I’m woefully guilty of doing this, over and over. A quirky dude who looks fantastic on paper -- and even better in a plaid flannel shirt -- might be great to shop for vinyl and go to shows and get stoned and fool around with, but not so great when it comes to being a serious life partner.  However, when you find such a niche similarity with someone, it can feel almost fated. And everyone knows that we Serendipity- and Notebook-addled millennial women looooove us some fate. Pretty soon, you’ve reached animated dance sequence status, and there’s no turning back. Who cares that he never holds the door for me and disappears for days on end? I’d never met anyone else who digs that random Swedish indie rock song!

With some hindsight and perspective, it all seems so silly. Still, anyone who claims that they’ve never “pulled a Tom” and fell for someone who was all sorts of wrong for them because of some frivolous characteristics is probably (okay, most definitely) lying. The best we can do is appreciate each relationship for what it was and what it taught us, pick up the pieces, and realize that the right person doesn't always have to own a Dinosaur Jr. t-shirt or a David Sedaris book.

... oh, and never, ever trust anyone who names Ringo Starr as their favorite Beatle.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

appy halloween

someone pay me, plz.

a crowdsourced trick-or-treat map

sure, there are legit apps that allow folks to announce whether or not they'll be giving out candy this year, but they can't say WHAT treats they're distributing, nor can kiddos report back on the quality of each stop. i say we start 'em young and train them to be the disgruntled, insufferable yelp reviewers of the future. however, i would agree that any house in possession of bit-o-honeys or mary janes should be avoided at ALL COSTS. disgusting.

shazam for ghosts

whenever there's a spirit sighting, the biggest gripe is that they never actually say anything, right? just knock shit over and possess your kids and stuff. wouldn't it be great if you could just point your phone at the next apparition you see and get their whole backstory? then, you'd be all like "yo, i totally feel your pain. i've never had typhoid fever, but it seems really intense, so i'd probably be haunting people, too."

a personal costume consultant

similar to cher's daily outfit program from clueless, this app would find the best costume for you and tell you where to get all the stuff you needed for it. as a bonus feature, it would also veto a "sexy" anything IMMEDIATELY. 

halloween tinder

i know, i know. it's hard to imagine anything more bone-chilling than actual tinder, but bear with me. this version only works on halloween, and displays your most compatible mates based on costume choice. kanye west? great, we'll pair you with kim kardashian! a lone hot dog? the hamburger of your dreams is at a party down the street! the best part: there won't be any issue with your matches looking different in person ... at least until the next morning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

where are they now? do i even care?

you know those d-thru-z-list celebs who occasionally pop into your head, that you don't have the energy and/or interest to research? i've got a bunch. in no particular order, i've wondered what happened to the following folks at some point, but have absolutely no desire to type their name into my google search bar:

da brat

leif garrett

former mtv vj jesse camp:

while we're at it, former mtv vj ray munns:

and, because i'm on an mtv roll, that redhead that co-hosted say what? karaoke with dave holmes (i think her name was laura, but can't even find a picture)


the nerdy guy from can't hardly wait/jack from hook

the boy band 5ive

samantha mumba:

the pizza guy from home alone

christian oliver, who played some cute swiss guy in the babysitters club movie and was in some reincarnation of saved by the bell (i think):

moira quirk, the referee from GUTS



devon gummersall, aka brian krakow from my so-called life

meg white

lou bega

everyone from the ghostwriter cast

evan and jaron:

ryan cabrera

the nerdy guy from sixteen candles who wasn't anthony michael hall or john cusack:

who are your picks?!