Friday, June 29, 2012

So I'm really into Game of Thrones lately.


Because I'm nothing if not a follower of pop culture trends.

Although I'm not really sure if Game of Thrones is "pop culture." It's more "just under the surface" culture. Where people brag about liking something because it sounds really unknown/hip/meta/"you wouldn't have heard of it"

But actually... a ton of people like it. Just not the grand majority. It's not Rihanna... but it might be Gotye. Mainstream hipster.

Other examples of this phenomena include:

1) People who brag about liking Lord of the Rings or Star Wars  or Star Trek. But they aren't like... REALLY into it. They aren't getting dressed up for them or anything. They haven't learned elvish. They just like the movies and maybe they read a book or two. (This is me).

2) People who complain that PBR got so expensive once everyone started calling it the hipster beer. But they liked it before it was cool. (This is also me).

3) Saying things like, "Oh my god I love this Mumford and Sons song." (Me).

4) Or, "I wish Downton Abbey would fall back into obscurity" (obviously me).

5) Talking about how much you like Calvin and Hobbes. (Yup).

6) Referencing 1984 or On the Road or Kurt Vonnegut novels. (We can just safely assume that all of these refer to me).

7) Getting bangs. (Hi. Me).

8) Wearing thick framed glasses. (yeah...)

Anyway, before I so rudely interrupted myself to start making a startling realization about my personality, I was talking about Game of Thrones.

My reaction when someone turns down ice cream when it's offered

I think the reason that I love Game of Thrones is that it isn't afraid to just kill off a character or completely change the plot. Usually you figure out who the main characters are and you assume they'll succeed in the end and it will be happy. But in Game of Thrones, you never know. Suddenly they could be stampeded by a pack of wild boars. (I don't know if that actually happens, I'm just guessing).

It's the same reason I liked the last Harry Potter book. JK Rowling was killing off main characters like it was her job (which I suppose it was). You were never safe in assuming anything. So everything was a surprise.

However! I would not like to recommend Game of Thrones as fiercely as I recommended Downton Abbey. This is for a couple of reasons.

1) It is on HBO, and therefore impossible to watch unless you pay for HBO. (Maybe Mr. Moneybags  over there can afford HBO. I definitely cannot).
2) Because it's on HBO, it of course includes graphic death scenes and sex scenes. Maybe this is a plus for you, maybe it isn't. But I know some people (mostly my mom) who hated Lord of the Rings as soon as the hobbits left the Shire because the movie got too violent.

For example, in the first season, one dude is killed by another guy pouring molten gold(?) all over his head until it hardens and he hits the ground with a thud. Plus, the director really seems to enjoy filming scenes where horses die. And nothing depresses me more than horse deaths.


My only real problem with Game of Thrones is that it keeps being broadcasted as if it has all this girl power. But I aint seeing it. I accept that the show is set in some quasi-medieval time period and women didn't have a lot of power. I'm forced to accept this in pretty much every single movie/TV show that is set in pre-1980s.

But don't go around acting like you're making some stand for women, because you aren't. Arya is not some advocate for women's rights, she's a little girl who pretends to be a boy for a while.

Lady Stark frustrates me more than any other character because she has a huge opportunity to wield her power and does nothing. And Sansa is stupid.

Shut up, Sansa. 

Pretty much every other female character is a prostitute. Maybe the dragon queen will turn out cool. I don't know.

She's got some potential.

I will leave you with this final realization:

DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?! The insufferable King Joffrey is the adorable little kid from Batman Begins! The kid that's like, "Batman you're awesome! I want to be just like you!" Or something like that. I haven't seen the movie in a while.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"So how's the job search coming?"

Here's the scene that goes through my mind whenever someone asks me that question:

Ah, Charlie Kelly. You speak to my soul. Not for the first time, and certainly not the last.

I'm at that awkward time in my life where I'm graduated from college but I have no marketable skills and no company wants to waste their time and money educating me in the ways of the real world.

Basically what every interviewer has said to me: "Do you have 5-10 years of experience in anything? No? Well it looks like it's unpaid internships for the rest of your life, then. Carry on."

God I hate unpaid internships. But I don't want to rant, lets move on. Lets not make this about unpaid internships. Which are terrible. And benefit the affluent who don't need any more benefits. I SAID MOVING ON.

Here's the thing. Lately, when I get back together with my friends, two questions are immediately asked:

1) How's the job search coming?
2) How is (insert name of significant other) doing?

And I'm not saying that I'm blameless here. I'm pretty much the biggest perpetrator. I ask these questions like they're going out of style. At grad parties, it feel like it's what I'm meant to say. I am a robot programmed to ask innocuous questions. I think that's why people drink at these things. In the hopes that they may become relaxed enough to ask more sincere questions.

But the thing is, if I had found a job, everyone would know about it. I would be spreading that news like wildfire. I'm not trying to be modest over here. So if I don't immediately break out in a squeal that I've found my true calling in life, it's probably safe to assume that I haven't. And that asking me will send me into a shame spiral.

I'm pretty sure that almost none of my friends have jobs figured out. We're all just... hanging out. In fact, I don't trust people that have it all together. This is my general reaction to someone who says they start work in June and it's their dream job:

Followed closely by:

As for the second question, it amazes me how often I ask people about their significant others before I ask them about themselves. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's my WASPy blood that keeps me from asking directly personal questions about another person.

This is almost every conversation with someone I haven't seen in a while:

Me: Oh heeeeeeey *awkward hug, butts out* Wow! I haven't seen you in forever!
Anastasia Beaverhausen: Yeah! It's been way too long!
Me: Yeah. *panic. out of things to say* So how's Mr. Beaverhausen?

At some point I want to have a conversation that goes like this:

Art Vandelay: Hey Hannah! Long time, no see! How's that boyfriend of yours?
Me: Why do you ask? IS MY LIFE NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH FOR YOU?! *run away sobbing*

It would, of course, have to be a friend that I would be okay with never speaking to again.

So I say, lets get past these two questions because in 10-20 years we're just going to have to move on to the next set:

1) How's work?
2) How are (names of various children) doing?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Madison Bucket List IV: Journey Through the Lists

If you didn't catch that, the title was in reference to Land Before Time IV: Journey Through the Mists.

I think I'm going to continue this list until I am unable to find hilarious movie/TV title puns that kind of rhyme with "list." Once those titles run out, the dream is over. Actually, I would probably run out of things to do in Madison before I run out of Land Before Time sequels.

Madison Bucket List

Day 18: Go to the challah street block party

scrumptious challah

So I've been volunteering on-and-off for a group called "Challah for Hunger" for a couple of years. The group sells challah bread and all the proceeds go towards hunger and disaster relief. It's run through Hillel, the hub for Jewish campus life.

Q: Are you Jewish?
A: Well no, I suppose I am not.

Q: Did you know that Challah is a bread traditionally enjoyed by those of the Jewish persuasion?
A: No.

Q: Before volunteering, did you have any idea that Hillel or challah bread had anything to do with the Jewish faith?
A: That would be another no.

Q: When a girl made a remark about how you're Jewish did you get immediately get flustered, but instead of pointing out that you aren't Jewish did you go along with it and let them think, for an entire year, that you're Jewish?
A: I think we both know the answer to that question is obviously yes.

Yeah. I walked in one day, and I was like "my name is Hannah!" And they were all "haha there's already two Hannahs here, and I'm Rachel. Isn't that just SOOOO typical? We're such a stereotype. Hahahahah."

Except I'm a nervous laugher so before I could figure out what was going on I was already laughing with them. I couldn't go back. We'd shared laughs. So I just crossed my fingers and hoped that they wouldn't ask me what day Hanukkah starts.

Shmanyway. Challah for Hunger hosted a "Challah Street Block Party" and they had about 15 kinds of challah breads and challah grilled cheese and challah french toast.

Obviously I gorged uncontrollably. No regrets. Everyone should go. Free samples.

Day 19: Take a kickboxing class at 9Round

Yeah. I kick box now. Do you want to fight abut it? No. Obviously you don't. Because I'm such an awesome kick boxer I'd kick your butt. Check out the boxing wrap that I just learned how to use. 

The gym involves moving from station to station and punching, kicking, jabbing, etc. It makes me feel awesome, even though I'm the least experienced person in the gym. By far.

We're asked to have an intense nickname to write down if we ever do a certain set in record time or with record reps (HA HA HA... not happening). But I did get to read some nickname doozies like "Ross the Boss," "Miller Time" and "DrZaius." 

These muscular, intimidating people always seem to catch up to me while I'm doing something way too difficult for my skill level, like round kicking a 100 pound bag. It hurts a lot. I don't think I'm doing it right. Here's a conversation from yesterday.

Rippling muscle man : "Hey."
Me: (pant, struggle, sweat, minimal tears, wince) "Hnnnggggghhey."
RMM: You don't own your own gloves? They're only about $35!
Me: (Mr. Moneybags over here thinks I have $35 to throw around. Bro, if I had $35 to throw around I would not be standing before you in my ripped-up high school band t-shirt) "Ha ha... yeah (sweat dripping)....I just don't really (pant pant)... have them..."
RMM: "Ohhh ho ho! Well keep working and one day you'll beat my score ha ha ha ha"
Me: (shut up, moneybags. Just.. shut up.) Ha ha! One day! (But first I should figure out what a "jab" is). 

So yeah. I'm pretty much an awesome kick boxer.

Day 20: Bike through arboretum

I tried this once before on a 40-year-old tandem bike. The brakes didn't actually "work" and the handlebars didn't really "steer." The results were... not great. But this time I went back on a normal bike, and the ride was gorgeous. Turns out, there are enormous houses hidden back there and oh mah gah I want to live there. One day when I become an NBA basketball star I'll be able to afford it.

However, I was not prepared for some of the hills back there. When it was flat land and I was biking like a champ, there was no one around for miles. But every time I panted up a hill like a wounded boar the entire freaking UW-Madison bicycling team rode by. And they would sneer back at me as if to say, "Ah yes. That poor girl and her Diamondback bike. Her handlebars don't even point down. They point up. And where are her yellow lycra shorts? Fool."

On the very last hill, when I was at my most pathetic, this old man who was on his way down the hill rang his little bike bell in encouragement. And I swear my first thought was, "I DON'T NEED YOUR PITY, OLD MAN." But then I realized I'm a terrible person and I continued with my bike ride.

What I'm trying to say here is, this is my new attitude towards trying to be athletic: