Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

Jessie Has A New Interaction With A Different Chat Bot

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She says, “I like to think that Alvin is lonely somewhere in India. He’s secretly dying to tell me his real name.”

Dear Sarah Jessica Parker,

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I’m sorry I judged you so early for Did You Hear About The Morgans? In my defense, the trailer looked horrendous, and Hugh Grant’s face has gotten quite puffy. But truthfully, it was really your extremely awful hair that was clearly real but looked like a wig, that turned me off.

Yet, I added this film to my Netflix queue because it was a Rom Com, and I consider it my duty to watch all those Rom Coms that have made some sort of blip on the radar. Also, the nice tidy way that everything wraps up at the end of a Rom Com is remarkably soothing to my old, old soul.

And this, SJP, this I will admit reluctantly: Your hair was not that bad. I’m not saying you should make yourself ugly in yet another film. You rock the ugly-pretty like there is no tomorrow (see SATC). I’m only saying, this was a little too far in the ugly direction.

Sample Shot #1

I think this picture is deceivingly good. Your hair looks shinier here than it really did in the film. Still, it’s clear that this color is not the best on anyone.

Sample Shot #2

No one looks good with half-wet hair while being accosted by their estranged husband in the rain. But this could be better, still.

I’m sorry I have such high standards for you. That being said, the movie was actually somewhat okay. And who knew that Elizabeth Moss was going to play your secretary? Or that Real Estate agents were that loaded? If you had given me some of that in the trailer, perhaps I would have watched it earlier.

With warm regards,
Kate

Annie And The Fulton Fish Market I Knew

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Annie, as I never knew her


Annie, a Fulton Fish Market legend, has died. She had a far more interesting and complex life than I had ever known; my last memory of anything relating to her was when Nandria, our crazy neighbor from down the street, dressed up in a startlingly accurate costume of her for Halloween when I was probably no more than 8. I always thought she was just a famous homeless person, famous in the way that a character can be in a small neighborhood in New York. But I was too young to know better, and Dan Barry’s article is a beautiful reminder of everything that I remember about being a child in my neighborhood, with everything I didn’t know. Since I don’t have enough memories of her to share, below is the essay I wrote to get into UChicago, which I managed to dig up from my old Yahoo! account (a scary adventure, to say the least). I have not edited it, both for entertainment value and posterity’s sake, and perhaps to give us all some appreciation of what a few years of college can add (or not?) to an individual. There are many more memories about living in my neighborhood that are probably interesting enough for me to write down and share, and I realize I better do it sooner, rather than later. It seems likely I won’t remember them until someone reminds me again.

Kate Dries
AP Lit, Pd. 3
9/22/05
College Essay

Like all newborns, I was brought home from the hospital. But the sight that greeted me was not one of quiet streets and hushed hallways, ready to receive an infant child. It was dirty, fish-filled streets, and yelling men, beeping forklifts and early morning salt air. Because my home was not the average New York City apartment, on an average New York City street. My home was the only residental loft building in the middle of the Fulton Fish Market in downtown Manhattan.

Messing Fish Company occupied the first two floors of my building. And on that first day home, I met Harry, the kindest fish monger there. He was probably about sixty years old, a small, white-haired man with a booming voice and wide grin. As the story goes, he was estactic when my parents brought me home, and when I was older, he would give me a high-five every day on my way to school.

The thing about the fish market is that it is off the schedule that the city operates on. It opens late in the evening and ends late in the morning. So all night, while most of the city-that-never-sleeps is sleeping, these two blocks are filled with men buying and selling fish. The only really quiet time is the weekends, when the market is closed. But Sunday night, the big tractor-trailers from around the country start arriving, and it begins again.

There are so many things that I have lived with that I consider normal, that an average person in New York would find weird or unsettling. While other girls skipped along Park Ave off the bus after school, I’ve stepped over and around fish guts on the street, watching seagulls treat them as a delicacy. I’ve seen water wash through my front door because the East River had flooded, making it impossible for me to go to school, but the men in their high black boots just laughed at the water. I’ve seen burning scraps of wood shoved in old trash cans for warmth, the flames rising higher and higher in the cold morning air. I’ve dodged still-live crabs scuttling on the sidewalk.

Yet none of this ever occurred to me as being unusual. I couldn’t sleep when visiting friends upstate because, as my sister said, “The quiet is too loud.” I got used to asking men to please push aside tunas as large as me away from my front door so I could walk past. I went down to let my friends in because we didn’t have a buzzer, if my friends could even find the place. Supposedly, “look for a green door” is not a good enough description of the building you live in. But none of this bothered me, because once I stepped inside my loft, it was cozy and filled with light and the familar glow of my father’s paintings. And walking to and from my house was like an adventure. I got to step out into a part of a past New York that is missing from a lot of the city that my friends live in, and be a part of something that has been there for a long time, a life that other people lived.

My parents began to grumble about the constant light and noise outside our window every weeknight. I noticed that as I got older, the fish mongers got younger, and friendlier in a different way. Harry retired and then passed away. The storefront in our building emptied out. We got a new landlord, who asked my mom not to keep her bike in the entryway and installed a new-and-improved buzzer system. And for the past several years now, the fish market has been planning to move, up to Hunts Point in Queens. And yes, part of me will be glad to see it go. I’ve grown older, and quiet isn’t so loud anymore. I don’t like ruining new pants in dirty, sewage filled water.

But now, new people are going to move into the newly renovated loft spaces readily available on all sides of me. It’ll smell like sheetrock, not tuna. I recently saw a picture of Hunts Point in the newspaper. It’s indoors, and very clean. I can only hope that the new Fish Market lives up to the hustle and bustle its predecessor introduced to me. Its just too bad no one will get to live in the middle of it.

The REAL Real Housewives

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I had never watched an episode of any Real Housewives show until New Jersey, which was so captivating because these women actually knew each other. The drive to watch Beverly Hills was similar; they knew each other, and they are actually wealthy. Hence, some actual reality in this reality tv show. I need something to latch onto other than the drama they create; I’ve realized truth has to be located somewhere within all the nonsense. And I think I won’t be disappointed. Behold, a character list:

1) Lisa VanderPump
That’s her real name, we have not stepped into an Austin Powers movie. Also her daughter is named Pandora. Pandora VanderPump. Plus, she’s British and comes fully-loaded with her own personal “Cedric, Lisa’s permanent houseguest.” He seems so stuck there and she and her husband are so weird about him and how he’s followed them around the world that they are all definitely in some threesome type situation that no one will admit to unless drunk.

Working out.


Being gorgeous.

2) Camille Grammer
She has the bangingest body I have ever seen of someone her age, though who knows what that age is, it’s certainly not on the internet. Husband Kelsey Grammar informs us that he’s okay with the reality show because, “I think it’s time for Camille to get a little attention.” Kelsey, your mouth may say that, but your face says the opposite. FORESHADOWING. Kelsey and Camille are in the middle of a divorce, and he has recently shacked up with a 28 year old, who, until she miscarried, was carrying his fifth child of four women. I really feel for Spencer, his eldest, and the star and least talented member of the fabulous ABC Family show Greek.

3) Taylor godknowswhatherlastnameisorlegitimacyforbeingonthisshow
She says, “It would be much easier to not have such enormous aspirations.” What are these aspirations Taylor? All I have seen thus far are incredibly strained dinners with your “manly” husband (who is not manly, btw) and interviews where you constantly discuss how he is going to leave you for a younger woman.

4) Kim Richards
Describes her career as a child actress as follows: “I was quite famous.” She was the little girl in Escape From Witch Mountain, which I think influences my dreams in a creepy way. Something about a lunchbox and a map and aliens…
Anyway, Kim is Paris Hilton’s aunt. She describes her niece as follows: “Paris decided that she was going to go and be…something..for herself,” something being the operative word. She then tells an entirely fake story about the paparazzi knowing her and being more impressed with her than Paris. But she has a realtor named Monty, so all is forgiven.

4) Kyle Richards
Kim’s younger sister, also was a child-actress. Lisa VanderPump says she loves her because “She’s also got a handbag fetish, that everytime she finds a new handbag, she acts like she’s found the cure for cancer.” Which is a great reason to love someone, I am so down Lisa. Kyle is dismissive of Kim’s delusional idea that she needs a bigger house because she could have another kid. This is weird, because Kyle describes her own dealing with her own life problems in a similar fashion: “…if someone upsets me in this business, I just think, screw them, I’m going to have another baby.”

There’s also this woman Adrienne, who doesn’t seem that interesting, except that she seems strangely strong for such a small woman; her husband looks at her in terror when she demonstrates a self-defense technique on some unsuspecting young man.

FORECAST: Taylor (no important last name) is for sure going to be creating the drama, not actually experiencing anything remotely interesting, which is always the least fascinating part of the show, something the people who produce New York and Atlanta should realize. Her potential feud with Kim is likewise not captivating, because Kim is just sad and confused. To quote Lisa: “Maybe she went back to ‘Witch Mountain.'”

Historical Fiction, This Week

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1. I Might Break My No-Shopping Rule For This
American Eagle, I am astoundingly impressed with your ability to attempt to target so many markets with one product:

1) Civil War buffs
2) Miley Cyrus fans
3) Wannabe hipsters
4) Those people who have rediscovered Abe Lincoln because of Obama-fever
5) Bros who are patriotic to an excessive degree


“Little known fact, this was actually his campaign platform.” – AE website

AE Abe Lincoln T [American Eagle]

2. I Must Attend This Broadway Play
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson premiered at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater, “…and since Bloody Bloody portrays President Jackson in something of a revisionist light (tagline: ‘History just got all sexypants’), one of those questions was: Who is the sexiest historical figure? Not to disparage our other participants, but Anthony Mackie had the best answer: ‘Benjamin Franklin. He created the electric rod and just gave it away. “I’m such a pimp, I give you electricity.” You can’t beat that.'”

Party Lines Slideshow: Anthony Mackie, Mamie Gummer, Benjamin Walker, and More at the Opening Night of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson [NYMag]

3. I Don’t Know How I Missed This Internet Meme

Oh, The Humanity! [Dr. X’s Free Associations]

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