Tag - humor

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The 20-Week Scan
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How Big is Your Baby?
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Broad City … Once You’re In, There’s No Pulling Out
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The Problem with The 100 (SPOILER ALERT)
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3 Little Details That Made the Movie VICE so, so Bad
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How I Know It’s Not a Writing Day
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5 Things That Would Make Me Throw a Book Against the Wall
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How I Met Mr. Cow
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How I Nearly Ripped My Brother’s Penis Off
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5 Things NOT To Include If You Set Your Story In Seattle

The 20-Week Scan

Getting a scan done is always an exciting thing. It’s awesome getting to see how the bebe has grown. Are her legs still little nubs that resemble green beans? Will we finally be able to see her wee face?

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The 20-week scan is probably the most exciting one, because it’s also known as the anomaly scan, where the doctor will check for, well, anomalies. Is your baby’s heart developing well? Her brains? Her liver? Her spine? It’s also the first scan where you might catch a glimpse of her actual face.

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False expectations? Never. All I expect is the cutest little baby in the whole entire universe who comes out clutching a TI-84 calculator (because obviously she’s been doing calculus in my uterus like a good little Asian baby).

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Like Christmas morning.

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As it turns out, the picture we got wasn’t quite what I’d expected.

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Doctor, I think there’s a mistake. You’ve given me a poster of the latest Hellraiser movie.

At least Mr. Cow didn’t seem that bothered by it.

s_HelloWaterColor(12)Oh well. Onwards and upwards until the next scan!

How Big is Your Baby?

When you get pregnant for the first time, you’ll find that many pregnancy websites and apps attempt to give you a weekly update to help you visualize the size of your fetus. Most of the time, they do this using fruit. Which isn’t as helpful as one might think, because of this:

s_HelloWaterColorLet’s face it, it’s not the most accurate system out there. They also tend to give you the exact measurements in inches and/or cm, but that doesn’t quite cut it in terms of imagining the size of your bebe. And it’s suddenly an imperative to know just exactly how big is this thing growing in your uterus, so you come up with your own ways of visualizing its size. Except sometimes, your partner doesn’t quite appreciate your creativity.

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s_HelloWaterColor(2)s_HelloWaterColor(3)And when your partner takes the initiative, you might not appreciate his creativity.

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Broad City … Once You’re In, There’s No Pulling Out

 

Two young, goofy women deal with daily life in NYC—not the most original premise, but the humor of the TV show Broad City is all fresh. Less serious than Girls and less quirky than Portlandia, but funnier than both. Like Seinfeld, Broad City is a show that seems to be about nothing yet mines comedic gold out of the most pedestrian grounds.

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, who created and star in the show, are best friends whose specialty is getting into situations that go wrong. Ilana “works” at a company that promotes internet deals, yet the only time she produces results is when she hires free interns to do her work. Abbi is an artist, but her day job is cleaning endless disasters in the restrooms of an obnoxiously positive fitness club. “Oh Abbi, hey, I know you’re not working today, but we could really use some Abbi magic. There’s a pube situation in the locker room that is unprecedented.” Hahahaha. Yes, I’m juvenile.

One of the funniest scenes is in the premiere episode of season two, when Abbi mutters a double entendre about “pulling out.” Pure comedic beauty.

Broad City is not afraid to push satire into risky territory, touching upon ethnicity, rape, sex offenders, and anal sex. And this is the deftness of the show’s style: it embeds subversiveness into humor and teases out absurdities from serious matters. Under the jokey veneer are thought-provoking takes on the complexities of taboos. Their jokes don’t usually have political content (maybe they do, and I’m just too dense to get the nuances). It’s always funny first, then implicitly asks you what you think.

Any twit can babble commentary (you’re reading it now). Smart commentary is hard. Funny commentary is harder. Smart and funny—that’s the hardest. Glazer and Jacobson are subtle enough to not seem like they’re trying to prove how smart and funny they are. I kinda have crushes on them both.

Seinfeld was the last pure comedy (i.e. not comedy mixed with drama) I loved on network TV. Since then, the best pure comedies have been non-networks, e.g. The Daily Show, South Park, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David ended his show, and to my distress, Jon Stewart will be leaving soon (please change your mind, Jon). Good thing Broad City has come along. On Comedy Central, of course.

The show has gotten great reviews, with the second season even better than the first. Though still a bit under the radar, Broad City deserves many more seasons to come. The Comedy Central website has locked all of the episodes except the first one of the second season.  It’s only twenty minutes, and I’d watch it just for that one joke. I probably replayed the scene five times already, giggling like a doofus each time. Yes, that’s how mature I is.

I watch Broad City on Hulu Plus, where you can stream all the epis. I’m also watching The Vikings and Twin Peaks, and about to start on Empire. Between Netflix and Hulu, there’s really no time for anything else in life.

The Problem with The 100 (SPOILER ALERT)

WARNING: This contains SPOILERS for Season One of The 100.

What it’s like watching Season One.

14241926331751424193838223This is one of the main reasons why I can’t get into The 100. The frikkin’ false tension means that whenever a major character supposedly dies, I assume they’re still alive somehow. So far, I’ve been proven right, although that does mean the show delivers zero tension for me. Maybe Season Two gets better?

3 Little Details That Made the Movie VICE so, so Bad

This is not a movie review. I thought of doing a review of Vice, but in the end, I realized I didn’t care about it enough to do a proper review. And here’s why.

1. Every other guy ever is a murderous, raping scumbag. Those who aren’t rapists or murderers seem to need a reason to not rape or murder anyone (one is still in love with his dead wife and the other’s a cop).

Post11cI mean, seriously, given a place where you can do anything you want, why does the go-to have to be violence towards women? What happened to healthy fun stuff like parasailing naked or doing gymnastics atop elephants or trying to eat fifty cronuts? Portraying men as scum and women as victims is SO 2014, you guys.

2. Armed, trained guards can’t shoot to save their lives. Not even a graze to the heroes throughout the entire movie.

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Where are they finding these guards?? They are useless. FIRE THEM.

3. THIS happened.

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This was where I proceeded to turn my brain off. From that point on, there were no more shits given to any of the mains. Because anyone who is stupid enough to turn down a full mind-and-body upgrade while there is an army after them does not deserve to live. In fact, I wanted to kill them myself.

Aaand that’s why I couldn’t take anything about Vice seriously. What was the last movie you couldn’t take seriously?

How I Know It’s Not a Writing Day

Any writer knows. Some days you feel it, some days you don’t. Today was a no-feels day. Here’s how I knew:

I spent the first two hours of daylight with my laptop open in front of me while I stared out the window. See, a bird couple was investigating the birdhouse. They’ve come to check the place three days in a row now, but have yet to take up residence. I started making up stories about them. I decided they’re picky house hunters trying to incite a seller’s war. “You won’t get a year’s supply of premium seed from me, chickadees!” 

 

I told myself to buckle down. I opened my current chapter and typed one sentence. I got stuck on a word. I opened Thesaurus.com. I opened Twitter. I opened Seahawks.com. I opened Dogshaming.com. I critiqued a query at a writer’s website I frequent. I got hungry. I went to the kitchen and ate a handful of Swedish Fish. I craved salt. I went back to the kitchen for potato chips. I wanted chocolate. I went back to the kitchen for a piece of Ghirardelli sea salt milk chocolate. I got a sugar rush.

I sat my butt back down. I looked at my sentence. The stuck word was still stuck. I looked at the clock. It was 9 AM.

I thought about needing to write. I wondered how warm it was outside. I watched funny videos people linked on Twitter. I did dishes.

I thought about cleaning the spare bathroom.

…..

…….!!

 

That’s when I knew I was done for.

 

5 Things That Would Make Me Throw a Book Against the Wall

* Note: All these things are inspired by books I recently read, but I’m not going to specifically name any of the books because karma is a scary, scary beast. Yes, yes, I’m a cow…ard. Hur hur. Geddit, geddit? Uh, moving on…

1. Unhealthy relationships which are hailed as awesome ones.

Look, I get it. I get that no relationship is perfect. Mr. Cow and I fight quite a bit (mostly his fault, of course), but at the end of the day, we love and support each other and we make sacrifices which we don’t rub into each other’s faces, at least not unless we feel like it. But recently, this happened in a book:

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I thought this was a good conflict, because you know, sometimes people behave like dicks. What is NOT good is the fact that the MC totally fell apart because of her assholey husband, dropped everything including the Once in a Lifetime chance, and flew across the country to make up with this man-baby, and that was the happy ending. Just, no.

2. Major subplots which are never resolved.

Post10bI don’t usually mind questions that are left with vague answers, but in this case, it happened with a major subplot — I could even argue that this is the main plot because it was mentioned in the blurb — and there was no answer, not even a vague one. I still have no clue what the heck happened, which might be okay for small subplots, but not ones which are a selling point to the book. (I mean, I picked up the book because this very plotline sounded so interesting. BWARGH.)

3. Books without meaningful female characters.

Post10cBy “meaningful”, I don’t mean female characters need to be the main characters, but they do need to exist for reasons which are completely independent of their male counterparts. I’m not interested in books which delegate one-dimensional roles to the female characters, like “the wife/girlfriend/LI”. Also, can we please have more than just the ONE token female character? We do make up half the world’s population, after all.

4. Books that are obviously wish fulfillment for the author.

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These kinds of books become embarrassing to read, because I feel like I’m taking a peek into some hormonal teen’s diary. I blame the beta readers, the agent, and the various editors at the publishing house for this. I mean, really, at some point, did no one think to point out that 100 pages of sex with a wood nymph goddess thingy is kind of gratuitous?

5. Good guys are good, bad guys are bad.

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I hate black and white morality. Mostly because I feel that such simplicity insults my intelligence as a reader. Most people aren’t all good or all bad. I like complex characters, flawed MCs who do shitty stuff and antagonists who give you pause and make you think, “S/he has a point…” Give me your despicable good guys and compassionate baddies anytime.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to books?

How I Met Mr. Cow

After graduating from college, I decided to pursue a Masters degree. I applied to eleven schools, and was accepted to one. The school that accepted me was celebrated throughout the world for being all that and a bag of chips, so, full of wide-eyed excitement, I packed up my bags and left. I’d lived in three different countries prior to moving there, so I foolishly thought I’d settle in just fine.

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How I Nearly Ripped My Brother’s Penis Off

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I was about 3, Brother Cow was 5. Mama Cow drew a bath for us and then had to grab more towels from the bedroom. While she was gone . . . Read More

5 Things NOT To Include If You Set Your Story In Seattle

5. Do not use the phrase sleepless in Seattle or any variation thereof.

There’s a shitload of sleeping in Seattle. In December we barely have daytime. The sun doesn’t peek up until, like, 8 in the morning and it’s gone again at 4 o’clock, and during every one of those 8 hours it’s behind a cloud-deck that starts at the tops of the trees and goes to infinity.  Most Seattleites suffer from the depressive effects of SAD. All we want to do is sleep. Why do you think we drink so much coffee?

 

4. Never have any character say anything about Fraiser.

Fraiser and Eddie didn’t film here. Neither did those Gray’s Anatomy people. (Oh, Patrick Dempsey, why do you shun us?) They just used us for our background shots. However, if you need a Seattle-ish TV reference you could drop in Twin Peaks because…Twin Peaks.

 

3. Employment at Amazon, Starbucks or Microsoft.

Hundreds of Seattle residents DON’T work at these companies. Tens of hundreds.

If you need a good job for your character, we have a remarkable number of bikini barista stands, and a large number of  undercover cops staking out bikini barista stands. (And also creepy people checking out the cops and the baristas.)

Don’t worry, it’s not sexist. There are men working as bikini baristas, too.

 

2. A romantic dinner at the Space Needle.

Yeah, fine. It’s kinda cool to have on our skyline, but the Space Needle is a tourist magnet. The ONLY reason Seattle residents actually go there is because we get a rise out of our out-of-town guests saying “Oooh. Ahhh.”

Or prom.  I guess the Space Needle’s a popular place to go for Senior Prom. So…mayyyybe if you’re writing YA…

No, I take it back. Just don’t do it.

 

And the Number One thing NOT to include…

Rain. Rain!

Fine. It rains here. We get it. Screw you, Lewis and Clark for making such a big deal out of it. You came from Washington DC. They get more rain than Seattle. Manhattan gets 9 more inches of rain a year than Seattle. 

It’s sunny here. I swear. *crosses fingers under North Face raincoat*

What does rain add to a narrative, anyway? Straggly hair and beads of moisture on your MCs polar fleece is about it. It’s so passe to have your character begin an internal monologue while watching raindrops inch down a picture window, don’t you think? Go for something more original. Have your Seattle-based character gasp in alarm because of the thick band of dog snot she sees when the sun slants through the glass. Monologue? There’s no time for monologue! Where’s the Windex?

 

I’m sure I left a few NOTs out. Feel free to add to the list in the comment section.  Think of it this way: You could be saving a future novelist, cartoonist or playwright from making a grave Seattle error.

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