Wednesday, February 23, 2011

i miss the 90s.

so HBO is really trying to fuck my life up right now. as usual, my birthday debauchery (in this year's case, a NINE HOUR FUCKING BIRTHDAY PARTY) has resulted in some throat and head and lung plague. seriously, every year i wake up two days after my birthday with a head full of mucus and kathleen turner sotto voce. and while that is undoubtedly sexy, it gets in the way of the rest of my life. namely, getting drunk, restaurant week, and oh yeah, GOING TO WORK. i had 1 taco, 1/2 a cupcake, and approximately 97 cocktails within the first hour. because my friends are amazing people, they just kept handing me drinks. and i just kept drinking their drinks. my gorgeous girls lisa leone and were drinking beer with hot sauce in it, and i sipped a bunch of that. keely and my hot lesbian table were drinking tequila, and i sipped a bunch of THAT, too. then the rest of us, who were drowning in buffalo trace. i had to tap into my inner bulimic three fucking times, and that is gross. but i rallied, and the party that started at one ended at ten. then i got home and passed out on the bathroom floor before puking in the tub, after which i sat on the floor in there shivering like a crackhead until the sun came up. then i went to bed, and woke up later with a head cold. BALLS.

all that to say that 1 my birthday ruled and 2 i've been home a lot. which means some quality time with my husband slash indentured servant slash babysitter, the television. and i'll be damned if "reality bites" hasn't been cycling through one of my seventeen HBO channels (seriously, there are a LOT of them) on a continuous fucking loop, making me wax nostalgic for the simpler times when all that mattered was listening to Q101's ten at ten and picking out the most perfect grandpa sweater at the salvation army.

reality bites was a such a pivotal movie in my youth. i totally got sucked into all that nineties shit. i read coupland's "generation x," i had a million converse that had all been sharpied half to death, and SO MANY worn out flannel shirts. seriously. so many. i might have seen that movie in the theater three times, maybe four. i wanted to move to houston, have a houseful of roommates, spend my days in coffee shops, fold jeans at the gap, keep a notebook full of the names of random dudes i'd fucked, chain-smoke cigarettes, have "good times" trivia parties, spend my nights talking to telephone psychics, and eat gas station junk food. i was never particularly interested in documentary filmmaking, and at the time my friends weren't interesting enough to devote any camera time to anyway, but those people were effortlessly cool and glamorous in a totally accessible way. watching it now i think, "god, troy is SUCH a lazy piece of shit slacker and lelaina is a goddamned whiny brat," but sam circa 1994 was ENAMORED OF THOSE FRUITY HIPSTERS. i played that soundtrack 8 million times while wearing red lipstick and platform mary janes sitting on the floor of my bedroom. even now i think i could sing that lisa loeb song both forward and backward, start to finish.

i miss doc martens. being "in style" in the nineties was SO MUCH FUCKING EASIER than it is now. all you needed was a handful of flower print dresses and chunky shoes, some grandpa sweaters, and gigantic flared jeans. dressing grunge was fucking easy: flannel shirts and jeans that looked like you slept in them. IN A DUMPSTER. dressing hip hop was fucking easy: cross colors, karl kani, and as baggy as you could without your clothes falling off at the first sign of a stiff breeze. i thoroughly enjoyed my hip hop phase. nothing better for a self-conscious girl with overdeveloped breasts than slouchy clothes one might literally drown in. i fucking looked like grimace for half my freshman year of high school. goth and punk were easy enough, too, although neither of those was a trend i was ever really trying to embrace. nor was i ever into lycra or spandex, and the thought of wearing something on my body that would GODDAMNED CHANGE COLORS every time i got sweaty and overheated was repulsive to me, so i never wore any silly hyper colors, either. preppy wasn't my style, but it seemed easy enough for the bulk of my classmates, what with their interchangeable gap t-shirts and eddie bauer backpacks. i shaved my head the summer before senior year, and even that wasn't too out of place. i mean for cereal, how hard is it to fuck up a bunch of hemp necklaces and sweaters with worn-through elbows? every style was in style! but these skinny jeans and designer dresses are WEARING ME OUT today. which are you: disheveled or high fashion? I AM TOO OLD TO FIGURE IT OUT ON MY OWN. help meeeeeee. thank god i'm at the age at which wearing all black is totally acceptable and no one is checking the labels inside my goddamned clothes. how do you kids do it, just buy everything at american apparel and urban outfitters or whatever? no one has a job anymore, so from where are you getting all this money?!

was i the only one who really, REALLY wanted lelaina to choose michael?! come on, people, stop breaking my fucking heart. all of the saps i know had this overly romanticized view of greasy, dirty troy and his arrogant posturing posed as philosophical rhapsody, but i was OVER THAT SHIT. i know a broke, smelly loser when i see one. and i know he was in a band and everything, but COME ON. is that enough for you girls?! i can't stand a dude who talks in circles, i really fucking can't. i know a few dudes like that, vacuous assholes who speak like they're reading from a deepak chopra manuscript. and that's all good until you actually try to parse through all that flowery nonsense and get to the heart of their arguments. people like that usually do what they do because no one is blunt and horrible enough to point out the inconsistensies in the stupid generalizations they are wont to make. enough of these platitudes and truisms, dickballs, WHAT IS IT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY? regular people are either too nice or intimidated without reason so they never call these assholes on their shit, but not me. i relish a debate with some fruity armchair polemicist. listen, next time some obnoxious asshole is big-wording all up in your face, just ask, "what does that really mean?" every time he takes a breath. that's what i do, and it knocks them dead every time. for example, when some dickbag is spouting off in a bar about the fountainhead at you (always in a bar, GODDAMN), don't feel bad and flush with shame because he made fun of you for not having read that 900-page piece of garbage; just say, "well WHY is it a flawed yet prophetic work of literary genius?" and sit back while he tries to stammer out a plausible explanation in a room full of bitches just trying to get drunk. motherfuckers are dumb and full of horseshit, and it's not very hard to point out just how much.

i miss the radio and mtv. you know what stresses me the fuck out? trying to stay on top of the next new thing, the shit i should be watching and listening to. i miss having the next new thing dictated to me by whatever magazine was popular (and WIDELY AVAILABLE) at the time. all this discovering things and trying not to be left behind is EXHAUSTING. i have thousands and thousands of records and cds and mp3s, and despite this wealth of music i'm still up have the night scouring pitchfork and gorillavsbear trying to find some shit no one else i know is listening to. there's like this unspoken competition to see who among the people you know is riding the next music wave, or reading the edgiest undiscovered writer, or watching that little-known french film that's playing for one night only at the music box. just thinking about it makes me tired and, frankly, i'm too fucking old to even throw my hat in the ring. that shit is for kids with no job and free high-speed internet access. i can be all, "have you heard that fang island record?!" and some thirteen-year-old is rolling her heavily-lined eyes like, "bitch, that is SO two weeks ago." but i don't want to be old! i don't want to be happy listening to the mix and lite fm! i don't want to be playing elevator music in my car! i could give a shit about face lifts and collagen injections to stay young, but i will be damned to the pit of hell before my ipod rotation resembles that of the billboard 100. seriously, if you catch me with a maroon 5 record you have full permission to take a shotgun and blow my fucking head off. when i was a kid you could read rolling stone and listen to the radio and watch mtv and feel 100% au courant when it came to what was happening in the world of music. i want mtv to tell me that i should be listening to ska and caring about east coast rappers vs. west coast rappers. all this figuring shit out on my own is EXCRUCIATING. god, remember when vh1 was for old people?! now vh1 is for BITCHES MY AGE who remember why salt n' pepa are famous enough to have a reality show and mtv is FOR GODDAMNED TODDLERS. teen mom makes me want to asphyxiate on my own vomit and i feel my IQ lowering one point for every minute of jersey shore i consume. it's gross.

troy always represented to me the very worst in human male ethos. we're supposed to somehow believe that this shiftless misogynist also happens to be a sensitive, misunderstood artist and therefore have empathy for him while ignoring what a douchebag he is just because he strums a guitar and almost finished a degree in philosophy? YEAH FUCKING RIGHT. that dude was an asshole who used women and treated them like shit, and every single one of my teenage friends wanted to fuck the shit out of him. WITH THE LIGHTS ON. i was a caustic misanthrope as a young adult (as i remain now that i am an adult adult), and i wasn't having any part of that. then and now i'm picking the dude with a job who actually acts like he gives a shit about me. i can't pretend that i have never suffered fools gladly, nor can i act like i haven't lusted after some unattainable bag of dicks, but NEVER has either of those things happened at the expense of someone awesome waiting in my wings. throughout my history of plundering the bottom of the ocean for whatever i could coax into my net, there has never been an occasion on which i have chosen a floating piece of lifeless chum over a magnificent, glistening SHARK. the shark usually takes a giant bite out of my goddamned leg before shitting out a lesser fish and saying, "here you go, sam. date THAT."

i miss ricki lake. remember 1995? when you only had like two or three shows to keep track of? and everybody all watched the same shit? the only shit i watched with any regularity was 90210, melrose place, and martin. and i tried to keep up with the real world when we had cable. and when it was actually about real-ish people, and not wannabe celebrities transmitting herpes back and forth in the requisite in-house hot tub. back then if someone said "bruh man" while holding up four fingers you knew EXACTLY WHAT THE FUCK HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. nowadays every show has a "thing:" a catchphrase, a character, any little anything that manages to encapsulate the zeitgeist of right now. and by RIGHT NOW i mean "this five-minute chunk of our cultural history." because last week it was "yo quiero taco bell," and yesterday it was "let's hug it out," and today it's "GTL and DTF." who can even keep up anymore? and heaven forbid you be the out-of-touch asshole who still calls shit "DA BOMB" or tells people to "TAKE A CHILL PILL." no quicker way to alert the lifestyle police that your ass is painfully unhip and needs to have your street cred snatched away posthaste. i refuse to order a goddamned DVR for two reasons: 1 it's ten extra dollars a month and i'm on a budget, remember? (pfffft) and 2 i can't keep up with the shows i already fucking WATCH. i'm, like, eight weeks behind on gossip girl and five weeks behind on everything else except the bachelor, because that is appointment television, as you already know. i've resorted to just waiting until the end of the season and getting the whole thing from netflix for 90% of the shows i like; the other 10% is shit on HBO and bravo that run on repeat for a week until the next episode, giving jerks like me a chance to catch up. i mean, i would be all set if good shows came on at eleven on sunday mornings, but everything comes on during my getting drunk and eating dinner time. and sometimes even when i'm home i have to choose between two shows i totally wouldn't mind watching. just last week it almost broke my heart to pick FOREST WHITAKER'S NEW SHOW over law and order: svu. thank horus for you facebook bitches who tweet every plot twist and cliffhanger of every popular show. between you dudes and television without pity i manage to stay somewhat afloat. pffft.

when michael said, "i care about you, i want to make you happy" i nearly melted into a puddle. i was like, "fuck artistic integrity, gurrrrl, he loves you! AND he drives a convertible!!!" i couldn't believe she fucked troy after that, just because he selfishly admitted he looooved her. PSSSSH. the broke ones always do! and seriously, he only said that shit because he could feel her slipping away into the arms of a dude who could actually afford her 44 oz big gulp habit and didn't waste his time fucking around with tired-looking groupies. and that sex scene with troy was 100% BLARF, all greasy, stringy hair and scraggly hipster beard. and then he bailed in the morning! omg hate. you kittens better believe that i'd sell out immediately for a big enough paycheck. i couldn't stop rolling my eyes when lelaina threw that hissy fit at the premiere of her butchered-up reality show. you'd rather continue whoring out your dad's credit card to pay your phone bill, honey? to keep your credibility intact? good for you, gurl, but NOT ME. i like drinking and having clothes too much. i might be lame, but i have never understood that whole starving artist bullshit. of course i believe in independent art and music, and i also believe i should be able to write DICKHOLE as much as i goddamned want, but i also believe in slinging dog shit all day so my work can be my own. i don't sell my writing because in the age of the internets NO ONE IS BUYING, and last time i checked my landlord does not accept righteous indignation as payment for my living quarters. and i can't eat that shit, either. which is why i work for someone who can pay me. because i can't pay my goddamned self.

i miss cassette tapes. one of the things for which i am THE MOST THANKFUL is that, despite the fact that we were poor when i was a kid and could barely keep the electricity on, i am not a teenager in this new millenium. i still had a walkman when all of my peers had graduated to their compact disc counterparts, and i was listening to records on a record player NOT because i was so hip and retro before it was cool, but because that was all we fucking had. i used to spend my afternoons cross legged on the floor in front of our old record player with headphones on listening to my mom's old scratched-up barbra streisand and nina simone. and sometimes i would record those records onto tapes. i was the only kid on the playground listening to lou rawls on my walkman. i feel bad for these kids nowadays, because i have a full time fucking job yet can't keep up with the newest ipods and laptops and kindles and whateverthefuck else. i JUST got a smartphone. up until november i was the only bitch on earth using a thirty-pound rotary cell phone with no internet access! i can't even imagine what it must be like these days when every new technology is obsolete five seconds after it's introduced. i'm TERRIFIED to buy a new computer because i am convinced that the minute i do, and i really need to get a new one because my startup disk is fucking full and i CANNOT STOP downloading music and shit, whatever i buy will be out of date next week. and then what? two grand falls out of the sky? WRONG. i'm back in the computer dark ages again. HOLY BALLS. and you can't just give up and live off the grid; not if you're a person who enjoys having friends and going places, at least. it's pretty much a crime to tell someone "i'll check my email when i go home then get back to you." what does that even MEAN, old timer?! check your email when you get HOME? why isn't your email, date book, calendar, contact list, gps, camera, facebook, and entire music library in your pocket like mine is?! but i have to cave in to new technologies, lest i risk behing left behind. because "left behind" equals OLD. and no one ever wants to fucking be THAT.

when michael shows up at the coffee shop (or the bar maybe? i was always confused about what that place actually was, because they always referred to it as a coffee shop yet in this scene they're all drinking beers), two plane tickets to new york in hand to whisk lelaina off and undo his mistake, i always hope against all hope that she'll make the right decision and pick him. (goddamn ben stiller, can a bitch get an alternate ending?!) alas she never does, no matter how many times i sit and watch that shit all the way to the end. and i get totally mad at troy's bullshit "i might say mean things and i might hurt you" diatribe, and the way he ruins violent femmes' "add it up" (one of the greatest songs on one of the greatest records) is INFURIATING. that song is a jam, and he fucks it up. maddening.

but i'm a sucker for a fucking happy ending. yay vicky doesn't have AIDS! yay sammy comes out to his mom! yay lelaina and troy end up together! yay THE PHONE BILL GETS PAID! as a person with dead parents (and therefore a veritable expert), i am wary of the "parental death as catalyst for major personality overhaul" plot trick, so when troy shows up in that raggedy brown suit (blarf!) after burying his asshole of a father i was all "I STILL HATE HIM," but every other vagina i know was smiling and weeping, their faith in true hipster love collectively reaffirmed. man, i have to stop watching hbo. because it is obviously turning me into a crazy person. in the meantime, i'll just keep dancing in my bee costume to everclear and watching my vhs tape of the crow.