Friday, June 21, 2013

Sadwich Chronicles

I have a summer cold and for those of you who know me...which is all of probably know that I am the most misssserable sick person.  Ever. I know I am an absolute peach most of the time but when I am under the weather...let's just say that my brattitude turns into a sattitude and I cling and I whine like somebody that took the fussy train allll the way to crabby patty station.

Now let's both pretend that I didn't just type that.

Anyways, onwards and somewhere elsewards.

Oh look a self portrait.

Actually, this is a picture that my colleague drew for me during our staff retreat after I had received the following place card:

Upon seeing this, another colleague exclaimed: wow, it's like they knew you!

Yes.  It is like they knew me.  Because I am Wendy and I am sadwich.  And I'm even sadderwich with a sore throat and fuzzy head.

But don't worry, I have purchased some Skinny Girl White Peach Margarita (note: not the one I wanted but nothing good ever happens to an ole sadwich like me) and I have prescribed myself some of that this evening because A. it's Friday and B.because everyone knows that alcohol kills germs.

And babies apparently.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why Man of Steel is a great movie and why all the mixed reviews you've heard about it are wrong

You should listen to me because I'm an expert.  Don't believe me?  Just ask Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.  Who are they you ask?  Only the creators of Superman.  Check and mate.

Typically, I am pretty content to keep my comic book knowledge on the d.l., only revealing it during crucial moments when someone, usually a loud-mouth hipster/faux nerd who likes to pretend that he knows everything about everything, starts running his mouth about this superhero or that superhero's back story.  I encountered this particular type guy a lot in college and nothing satisfied me more than to put this smug bastard in his place.  Much like a superhero, I like to think that I used my secret power for the greater good.

Now, on to the Man of Steel.  I am really sorry if you didn't like it.  Nothing is worse than spending $13+, only to learn the bitter truth that the world will always betray you (because naturally everyone is as dramatic as I am).    That sure is terrible and I would feel bad for you except that you are wrong.  The Man of Steel is a great movie and here is why:

First, Superman is not Batman. You need to just get over it.  Superman will never have the oh-so-compelling internal struggles and tortured psyche that the Dark Knight does.  Nor will he have the tragic back story or the seductive inclinations towards brooding.  That's just not his character.  It was always going to be a different movie than Batman Begins and if you went into it with those expectations than you were bound to be disappointed.

Second, Superman needs some subtly if we are going to get any complexity.  The danger with Superman (and Batman to some extent) is that he can so easily become a one dimensional snore-fest of a character.  He is strong.  He is perfect.  He will win every fight unless krypotonite is involved and then he will either become totally incapacitated (booooring) or go cuckoo for cocoa puffs (less boring but equally stupid).

A lot of people seemed to take issue with how long the movie is and how many dull, quiet scenes it has.  But never once when I was sitting in the chilly darkened theater did I ever feel its length and I'm a relatively antsy movie-goer (especially when I can't pepper my fellow movie-goer with my trademark obnoxious line of questioning).

Also, it is in all those "dull, quiet" moments that we really learn about Kal-El, that his character begins to take shape, that we glimpse both intricacy and depth.  We see that even from a young age he has a strong moral center, instilled in part by his adoptive parents but at times, at odds with his adoptive parents'.  We see how self-conscious he is about being different.  He doesn't have an easy life in Smallville; he is teased and taunted by his classmates but that doesn't harden him.  We see how conflicted he is as a teenager about leading a small insignificant life.  He wants to do something greater, yet is not fully able to understand what that means.  We see all the sacrifices he makes for anonymity and how without laud, without recompense, he risks exposing himself  in an effort to help others.

Maybe this is all very tedious to you.  Maybe you think the good guy archetype is always less interesting than the villain.  And in most cases you'd be right; you need only look at Iago or Satan from Paradise Lost.  But I would argue that magnanimity is always interesting, because it requires so much.  Why would anyone choose to act outside of their self-interest?  What does it cost them and what do they ultimately gain?  When Superman rescues the men from the oil rig, there is nothing in it for him and while he is not in danger of dying, he is in danger of losing his life.  After all Superman is a freak, an alien, and we all know how accepting human beings generally are of those who are different...


Third, Henry Cavill.  The role of Superman has been entirely miscast up until this point.  He has either been too wimpy or too gangly or too from the Keanu Reeves School of Acting.  There was even brief but horrific talk of Nick Cage playing Superman in Tim Burton weirdfest reboot.

The first time I ever saw Henry Cavill in a movie I thought: he would make a great Superman.  And he did.  He is the essence of Superman from his jet black hair to his cleft chin to the square cut of this jaw to his burly build.  Even hard hearted Moses fawned a little bit when he saw stills of Cavill's Superman before the film's release.

Gosh, hit the gym already Cavill.  You have some BIG shoes to fill.

Fourth, Superman's relationship with his adoptive father.  If you had told me when I was watching Message in a Bottle last weekend that Kevin Costner could act and would make an excellent Pa Kent, I would have asked you who you are and what you are doing in my apartment while I am watching my stories.  Then I would have recommended that you cut down on your regiment of crazy pills.

But I would have been wrong.

Pa Kent often serves as a catalyst for Clark but I wasn't expecting to find Clark's relationship with his father to be so illuminating, so tender, and so humanizing.  So much about Superman's character is developed through his conversations with Pa Kent, which is fitting because who are we really without the influence of our parents?  And Pa Kent's understated midwestern wisdom is just so...real. I feel like I grew up knowing strong, soft-spoken, hard working men like Pa Kent.  I cannot stress enough just how amazed I am that Kevin Costner of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves fame elicited any emotional response from me besides amusement or pity.

And last, SPOILER ALERT!!!!, a loooot of people were unhappy that Superman kills Zod because, as the argument goes, everyone knows that Superman never kills anyone.  Well, it didn't shock me at all when it happened.  The Phantom Zone was out and Zod was getting pretty genocide-y; the only way to stop him was to kill him.  And I think they made it quite clear that Superman was very distraught in having to do this.  It was about on par with this...

I was certainly glad to not have to deal with any bumbling version of Clark Kent and I'm really hopeful that for the next one they will portray the public as still leery of Superman, especially considering that he caused trillions of dollars of property damage to Metropolis during his epic fight with Zod.  I think the tension created by this distrust adds an interesting dynamic to Superman's story.

So for those of you who haven't seen it: don't believe a word of the critics who say that "Superman fails to take flight."  I would caution you in general to remain dubious of any criticism relying on puns.

For those of you who have seen it and have not liked it: I hope that my time preaching from this soapbox/blog post has shown you the errors of your ways and that you are now converted to the right way of thinking.   If not, I will ask you to kindly take your blaspheming elsewhere

Now I will end this entry before it officially reaches bible length.

Too late.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Curiouser and curiouser (Blogoversary 2.0)

Well it's official.  As of today, I've kept this blog alive for two whole years now.  What kind of metal do I get?  None?  I'll take it.

What's especially nice about an auspicious occasion such as this one is that I can finally stop caring.  Doesn't that always happen after the second anniversary?  No?  Well don't tell that to my pet goldfish.  Just kidding, you can't.  They're dead.

Well, I guess I can always just feign interest in this for a few more years.  And at the blog follower rate I'm going, one up since last year(!), that will put me thiiiis close to taking over the blog world.  If such a thing actually exists.  Just call me Pinky--Moses is clearly my Brain counterpart.

Speech speech speech speech!

Oh, I guess that's to me.

Well, I like this blog.  I guess that sort of goes without saying since I'm still doing it, but I like that it's small and somewhat obscure.  Because that's how I like to think of myself.  Because I like to think of myself as Jane Eyre.  Doesn't everyone?  Oh, they like to think of themselves as fun attractive people?  Rats, wrong again.

I don't mind that I don't have stalkers (much) or random blog trolls that leave comments accusing me of being a grade A hipster douche bag.  And I like that all of my friends and family members are the ones reading this, because--news flash--they're my audience.  They are who I care about.  I like that they get to read all my musings and quandaries and laugh at my neuroses.  Laugh with me? (She says hopefully.)  Nope, don't kid yourself, Kozak.

There is something very cathartic about all of this, something I haven't really felt to such a degree since I was writing all the time and keeping a journal.  It's nice to have the validating "likes" on Facebook or my mom emailing me and telling me that she liked my most recent post but that's not what all this is about.  Except that it is, so keep it is coming...

It's just nice to have a space to collect and shape my thoughts and share my adventures, however small and seemingly insignificant, especially since I am slightly withholding about doing that in person.  I guess this is the one place that I allow myself to be a bit of exhibitionist; I would be mortified if I ever was like that in real life.  I even sometimes cringe when I picture big life events in the future (like the ones I was talking about in yesterday's post), because then everyone would looking at me and that will be sooooo weiiiiird.  I mean, I feel embarrassed when people sing happy birthday to me.

Maybe it comes from being in a big family.  My youngest brother Isaiah was born when I was eighteen, probably one of the more selfish times in a young gal's life.  I was happy for him to the have the attention over me (still am).  I was happy for people to fuss over Isaiah, instead of fussing over me for graduating high school and going to college.  I was happy to hold him and play with him over going out every night of that summer and getting drunk off Smirnoff ice with my friends.  Not that Goody Two Shoes Kozak would normally do that anyways...

I don't really have a list of lessons learned like I did last year and I think I've hit my (and my readership's) limit for introspective tangents. Soooo...I will leave you here.

Thanks for reading these two years.  I vow to continue to be a sassmouth bass (trademarked by Moses) until I die.

Oh and a happy early Father's Day to my dad, Deacon George.  As I am sure you all know, he is the absolute best father and I owe him a lot of my cleverness as well as my vast knowledge of comic books and theology that I often get to lord over other people.

In honor of my father, I am going to go see a movie tonight about his favorite super hero: the Man of Steel.  Also, I really just want to see it.

So a happy Father's Day to my dad--I love you--and to the equally sassy and loveable Dan Wilks and a happy birthday to this little old blog that could.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Arrested Development

No.  This is not a critique of the new episodes.  I am sure you can fill up on that hatred elsewhere.  That is all that I will say on this matter.  Good day, sir.

I had a student email me recently who kept calling me sir, even after like a five email exchange (where my signature was clearly displayed for all to read). Sir, can you help me?  Thank you, sir.  How are you, sir?  You seem like a nice man, sir.

I've always fancied myself as a Peppermint Patty, so it seemed appropriate.
My hair cut sucks!

Speaking of hatred, I saw this shirt in the store the other day and was thisss close to buying it

 ...until I turned it over and saw the front.

Thanks but I'd rather die.

This morning, I was running about twenty minutes late to work, which I thought I would celebrate by stopping to buy an unbudgeted for americano.  I know, get your Wendy Gone Wild cameras ready but whatever, it's a Friday and I thought I would live a little.  Judge away.

One of my good friends from high school once said that if the world were ending, I would calmly pause and say "just give me five minutes" and I would head to the nearest coffee shop.  Yes, that is me.  I accept monuments in Bronze and Marble.

Also, I think my outfit today is borderline Brat Dollzish.  I don't know how that happened (maybe the hoop earrings?) and I regretted my outfit choice the second I stepped out of my apartment but I was already 20 minutes late and I didn't feel like tacking on another three hours to my etd for a wardrobe change. Do people still use the term hoochie?  I didn't think so...

Enough of the randomness, now onto the goods.  Things are happening.  Not to me.  At all, really.  (So clearly, I should blog about it...)  But man, if they aren't happening to other people.  I guess I've just gotten to that age where significant things are perpetually happening to everyone in my peer group.  And I do mean e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.  My facebook news feed has become an unceasing cascade of wedding pictures and baby pictures and graduation pictures and new house pictures, punctuated by photos from a few former students who remind me that watching Game of Thrones with a glass of red wine and a microwaved s'more does not, in fact, constitute a rockin' Friday evening.  I still beg to differ but I have the social aspirations of a senior citizen apparently so...whatever.

Anyways, these weddings and babies and houses are all very nice and I am genuinely happy for everyone involved.  I know that that sounds super sarcastic but I swear it's not.

It's just that, I somehow seem to have landed in the "slow" life development group, which for a chronic overachiever like myself is sort of bonkers.  In a way, its not totally surprising; I am not exactly what you would classify as conventional.  But to be fair, I don't think that anybody likes to think of themselves as conventional or maybe they do and the fact that I think that they don't is just more of a testament to how unconventional I am.  But don't worry, my parents DO understand me, so you can put away that Dashboard Confessionals CD.  Because Dashboard Confessionals is totally still a relevant band and everyone definitely still owns CDs or else what would you play in your disc man?


That's right...

Jokes about rapidly advancing technology aside, what I mean to say is that my life trajectory has never really matched those around me.  Not that I am special or anything--it just hasn't.  I took a year off from college. I chose a ridiculously antiquated major that I loved but that had no clear career path. I worked late nights waitressing while my friends went to frat parties. I fell in love with a buddy from high school and we moved across country together.  I went to graduate school but am now working in a moderately unrelated field.  My goals have wavered and shifted and transformed so much that I feel like I don't have any--or at least, not any left that are particularly attainable. (Who doesn't have big dreams of coming into a surprise inheritance?)  It doesn't make me sad exactly, it just makes me feel stagnant and slightly awkward.  But then of course, everything does.  (Including that statement).

But just you wait.  I will get pregnant, publish a book, buy a house, graduate with a Ph to the D, and get married all in the same year and then everyone will have to fuss over ME.  Just as God and nature intended.

Oh you know, just channeling my best Verruca Salt here on this fine Friday evening.

Incidentally, when I was younger, I used to go into my brother Scott's room, wearing my red party dress, and reenact the Verruca Salt musical number from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  I'm not sure why I did this or why it had to be in Scott's room but I am sure I had a very well thought out and logical reason.

And by "when I was younger," I mean three days ago.

Peace out.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The boy's a star, I tell you

Okay, one blog post and then I swear I will exercise and clean my apartment.

Okay, I don't swear but I really will try.  Yes, I said I will yes.

Random Joyce references aside, Moses just won the--cue the copying and pasting function from Facebook because I am lame and don't know what it's actually called--Society of Nuclear Medicine's Young Investigator Award, which is super awesome and really couldn't have come at a better time.  Moses has been so busy, working so hard to finish the ole doctorate of science and this just confirms that that work is meaningful (da-uh) and that soon all his dreams of dog ownership and decent paying jobs will come true. 

And all my dreams of riding the hell off of Moses' coattails are that much closer to fruition.  

Oh don't mind him, he's just here to make me look more successful.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A list of things I totally didn't do this weekend...

1. Got nostalgic and watched episodes of the 1990 Babysitters Club series on Netflix.

2. Went to Time Warner Cable twice in a three hour period.  First to return my cable box.  Then to retrieve my PS-3 power cord that I accidentally returned alongside said cable box.

3. Went to the Forever 21 store close to Time Warner Cable twice in a three hour period.  First to buy a pair of sunglasses. Then to purchase a dress that I had tried on earlier and subsequently couldn't stop thinking about.

4. Did a cardio circuit off of Jillian Michaels' Body Revolution that was described by her as the most "vicious" work out she has ever created.

4. Almost died.

5. Met friends at a fire pit on the beach in Playa Del Rey to watch grunions mate.  (And grunions are fish not mythical trolls, despite what the name suggests.)

6.  Ate two hot dogs, four s'mores, and took sips of wine out of my Kinnect Credit Union water bottle.

7. Witnessed approximately zero grunions mate.

8. Slept with a night light (Moses is out of town at a conference).

9. Checked my closet, pantry, and shower for hiding intruders/rapists/serial killers before bed (see above).

10. Considered watching a documentary about the Manson murders but thought better of it (see above).

11. Went to a local deli and paid $4 for a large americano only to receive a small americano half an hour later.

12. Only asked about my americano, thirty minutes after I ordered and felt so mortified by the whole thing that I almost cried.

13. Read an article about Steve Berry's book The King's Deception, mistook it for work based on a real theory by a real historian but learned, upon further investigation, that it was a DaVinci Code-esque book written by a thriller/mystery novelist.

14. Felt grateful that my natural default is skepticism.

15. Ignored the sunshine that peaked out from behind the clouds around noon and continued to stay indoors while watching movies based on Nicholas Sparks novels and making plans to buy and consume Skinny Girl pre-made cocktails.

Oh, you thought I had shame?  You thought wrong.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hellooo adulthood!

Who has two thumbs and has been super schizo about all things blog design related?

5:30PM - Jammied already and not a moment too soon.

This gal.

When I was little, I would change my outfit no fewer than twelve times a day.  I fear that this is a relic of that. [Insert sad emoticon here.]

And yes, the Hair Cut is doing much better, thanks for asking.  I was able to put it up into something vaguely resembling a bun-like shape today and I no longer harbor secret fantasies of buzzing it all off and starting afresh or getting J-Lo-esque hair extensions (because I'm not extreme at all), so I would call that progress.

Let's see what else is happening?  Ah yes.  I realize that I am in the vast minority here, but I really don't get the whole obsession with Tanning Chatum. Or Channing Tatum.  Whatever.  Get a real name hippy, this isn't a Joan Collins novel.

Luckily, Moses and I canceled our cable so I now won't be tempted to watch E! news on a regular basis and subsequently have to suffer through all sorts of useless updates about him and his abs and his newly expelled offspring.

No, you heard right.  Mose and I have canceled our cable.  I'll give you a moment to fetch your smelling salts.


Oh good.  You're back.

I won't pretend that our steadily escalating monthly rate hasn't been giving me the vegas eye twitch for the past six months or so, but that wasn't the reason.  It actually happened very suddenly.  There I was, in our living room, maybe or maybe not reading the comment section of a gossip blog, listening to soft purr of Castle reruns on TNT, when I saw a trailer for Real Housewives of New Jersey pop up on my computer screen.  I apologize to everyone everywhere for this but you kind of have to see it to understand.

When it finished playing, I felt similarly to how junkies must feel when they catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and are shocked by the wretched and unrecognizable person staring back at them.

And right then and there, after peering into the haggard face of my own cautionary tale, I decided that el cable box had to go.

Given my deep passion for trashier than thou Bravo t.v. shows, it's almost poetic that it ended this way.

I like to think though, that this is only part of a larger trend: I'm budgeting, I am exercising daily, I'm taking vitamins, I'm grocery shopping sparingly and only buying what I need, and when I take out the recycling every couple of weeks, it no longer resembles the purging of the contents of a bevmo warehouse.

Everything is finally coming up Wendy and I like it!

Sure, maybe it won't last--maybe I will fall back into my old ways of watching marathons of Snapped on Oxygen, polishing off my fourth glass of cab, and googling the symptoms of soft tissue sarcomas but I feel pretty certain that I am finally starting to shuffle off the bad habits cultivated by the wear and tear of the ulcer inducing stress of post-collegiate life.

I guess it is true what they say: what doesn't kill you makes you...seriously consider what would be the best way to die.  Me?  I choose old age or death by freak extreme ironing accident.