Willy Wonka and the Freak Factory

I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking about this movie/book a lot. I think I saw a picture of Gene Wilder? Who knows why thoughts appear, they just do. Also it’s maybe because my friend and I (hi, Nicole) are trying to think of a project and I’m remembering how we met. Our other friend Megan said, “do you guys know each other? Because you should.” She had no idea what she was creating. Then we bonded over a buzzfeed quiz about which character you would be from Willy Wonka. We both got Grandpa Joe and Grandpa Joe is such a bitch. He’s super lazy, won’t help bring in money for his extremely poor family, and then when he gets the golden ticket he’s like, “check this somersault, d-bags, I’m getting chocolate.” I mean, it is very clear WHY I got that result, but I was still mad about it.

If I were to answer for us, I would think Nicole would get the fat German kid. She eats A LOT of candy and definitely would have fallen in the chocolate river. I would assume I’d get Veruca Salt because I am very difficult to be around.

Anyway, so where this train of thought was going was I wonder if the other kids in the story made it out alive or if they died. At the end, Wonka hands the factory over to Charlie and he’s like, “peace, I’m out.” Do you think Charlie said, “oh, let them go, it was all harmless fun!” Or do you think he said, “okay, that one can suffocate in that tube, she can burn in the incinerator, he can stay in that television.” I feel like he probably had a lot of rage for the fact that they made difficult what could have been a very easy tour of a candy factory. He would have let Violet out because she would get a TLC show. The Giant Blueberry Girl and Her Trip to a Chocolate Factory. It would give Charlie publicity, and any publicity is good publicity. People would line up for miles to get in because people like a lot of things that aren’t good for them. Have you ever heard of cigarettes?

I learned that cigarettes are bad from watching Mad Men. Everything I need to know about life I learned from television. Like that it never rains in California because I don’t remember it raining on 90210 and Dylan McKay would never lie to me.

Anyway, I am pretty sure those other kids are dead, even though we are completely ignoring the fact that Charlie also partook of some product and that fizzy cola scene is 100% of the reason I hate that movie. It’s a stupid scene! Don’t at me. I am firm in this stance. Also ignoring the fact that Roald Dahl was likely a Nazi sympathizer and ISN’T IT STRANGE that the winner of the factory is the blond-haired blue-eyed boy. HMMMM.

Disclaimer: I have never read the book.

One time when I was googling Roald Dahl and Nazi sympathizing, because I always want to be thorough before I start saying stuff (lol, no, I’ll say anything), I came across the greatest quote about any human ever:

“Even from his earliest days, he was a hateful little fuck.”

I didn’t click the link so I don’t know who said it or if it is in fact accurate, but as I said, I’ll say anything and I love that and want to say it about everyone I know. Sorry everyone I know. No hard feelings.

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Here Are Some Things You May Not Know About Me

I’m 60% convinced that when I fly I keep the plane in the air with the power of my mind and that is why I can’t sleep on planes. There is always someone on the plane who keeps it in the sky and when I’m on the plane, it’s me. You’re welcome.

I’m only 40% convinced that my belly button will never come untied, at which point I will deflate like a balloon.

I’m about 80% sure that Planet of the Apes is not a sci-fi movie, but a cautionary tale and we should not believe that primates learning sign language is cute but is, in fact, part of a long con in which they convince us they are harmless before they take over the world and put US behind glass where they laugh at us for being dumb enough to eat our own vomit. I once saw an ape vomit and then eat it and I will NOT be that ape. I will not.

If NASA says that an asteroid is coming to destroy the earth I will kill myself. Have you seen SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD? That movie stressed me out. At the end [SPOILER ALERT] they lie on the floor just waiting for the world to end? They just lie there? Waiting? The anticipation alone would certainly trigger a fatal heart attack so let’s just get that shit over with.

I’m about 50/50 on California breaking off from the United States, especially now that Antarctica is splitting itself into pieces, but I would still live there because of the weather even though burning alive is number two in my top six ways I don’t want to die and they have a lot of fires. Drowning is number three and if the state literally breaks apart from the U.S. there is a very real possibility that we will fall into the ocean and drown. But, as I said, I’m only 50/50 on this happening and about 20/80 on it happening in my lifetime.

Apocalypse is number one in that list. Though I think everyone knows that already.

Global Warming would decrease significantly if I stopped buying bottles of water and just drank from the tap like a commoner.

If I have anything other than Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup when I’m ill, I swear to God I will stay sick out of spite. Condensed soup or nothing.

I’m very entitled for someone who hails from the lower-middle-class.

I’m at about 30% on whether or not ghosts exist.

Seasons 7-9 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are nearly perfect seasons of television, and Brooklyn 99 is the greatest show to ever grace the small screen and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. Unless you’re arguing for 30 Rock, in which case you might sway me, also Community. But no others.

I get really sad about animals sometimes and then I can’t eat meat for a while.

I think a lot about Judy Garland (nee Frances Gumm) and I want to step in her footprints to see if we were the same size and so I can know whether or not we could have shared ruby slippers or if I would have had to buy my own. Before you say, “but Megan the ruby slippers were not hers, they were part of a movie,” I will reply in advance “Nobody asked you.” Also I do not know if she even has footprints in LA or if it’s just her hands, which I know about because of the picture of her putting her hand in cement while Mickey Rooney looked on.

I wrote a paper about Judy Garland when I was in 8th grade and she is very special to me, so back off. The only thing I remember from the paper is that her name was actually Frances Gumm. The Mickey Rooney picture I know about because I saw it yesterday when I googled pictures of Judy Garland for no real reason whatsoever except that I’ve been re-watching Arrested Development and Liza Minelli has made me think about her.

Thing I Love Right Now That I Will Probably Not Love Next Week Because I’m Fickle

The title of my last post was an accident. I did not intend to reference the brilliant Broadway show “Oh, Hello,” which is now on Netflix for the viewing pleasure of the teeming masses who could not make their way to New York in the winter. Because who wants to go to NY in the winter, it’s so cold. I’ve canceled on a friend who lived there so many times because I didn’t want to walk through snow because I am very selfish and also sort of the worst. It’s fine, I saw her this year in April when it didn’t snow and it was lovely and also she no longer lives in the city. That is a lot of information irrelevant to the topic.

“Oh, Hello” is very funny. That is my review. Now I am a theater critic. Can I make money for that? I need some side cash to climb out of the debt that is like 70% my fault because I just liking getting on planes too much. Also I apparently liked getting an education, because that makes up 90% of my debt and you guys, I barely even made it through. That would have been so much money to pay back for failing out like I almost did because I didn’t go to class when it rained. Or when it was sunny. Or when it was Tuesday. Basically ever is what I’m saying. Also I’m saying I need money. I’ll review the shit out of anything. I am clearly very amazing at it.

I just remembered that I am also paying back loans for my graduate program and while I did not fail, I still have not graduated, seven years after I started. I have to word that very carefully in resumes and letters for jobs that do not require an MFA in creative writing. Because no jobs require an MFA in creative writing. Not even creative writing.

Back to “Oh, Hello,” which is very funny. The guest for the filming was Steve Martin and I love him. He and Martin Short are my old dude crushes BUT it turns out that I did not even know I have a crush on Nick Kroll. But is it Nick Kroll as a 75-year-old man or Nick Kroll as a younger, attractive man. Impossible to tell. We may never know.

I’m not saying that I’ve watched it more than once, but….I’ve watched it more than once. Which I already said on Twitter. But that is because Bojack Horseman isn’t back yet and G.L.O.W. doesn’t start until Friday and I am NOT going to shut up about G.L.O.W. and I cannot understand why nobody else seems to be as excited as I am. My cousin and I would beg to stay up late and watch it. I had glasses for my Barbies and used them to re-enact some of the matches with Zelda the Brain. She was my favorite. I’ve always loved glasses. And they RAP. If there is no rapping in this show then there is no point to anything. I mean I’ll probably still love it, but the terrible rapping is 75% of the appeal. All of my percentages are correct. I am very good at math. Will that help me in my career as a theater reviewer? Also does that career come with travel expenses?

This has been another entry in things I currently love but will soon forget about because I am very good at reviews but very bad at commitment.

Oh, hello

It wasn’t supposed to rain today. I’m not the only person who thought that. Not one person on the street had an umbrella. It didn’t just rain. It stormed. Runners were soaked. Commuters were miserable. I was in my car listening to Betty Who and getting nostalgic about my childhood.

(After I pulled into a parking lot and waited out the heaviest of the rain, duh.)

As I slowly made my way through traffic, I saw two girls on bikes and suddenly I wished I were on a bike. I used to love riding my bike in the rain, through puddles, watching the water rise on either side of me. I used to love walking barefoot in the rain, wading through warm puddles then feeling the asphalt hard under my feet.

I’m not afraid of storms, in theory. And if I’m safe at home and in for good, I love a good storm. I love the shape of lightning and the crack of thunder. I like the way the world looks electric against gray skies. When I was a kid, my mom would sit us outside to watch the storms. We’d run to the beach when one started, to see the lightning fight the waves. I loved being in a car and watching the windshield wipers throw drops from the glass. But now I sit in parking lots and worry I won’t get home. This fear of rain began in adulthood, as many things do. Things that were never scary to me as a child are now the most terrifying. Snow. Wind. Rain. Most of the elements, I guess. I am most myself near water as long as I don’t have to go in it. And even though I love the sun, I am terrified it will kill me.

And I guess it wasn’t so much the bike riding I was missing as just the general feeling of innocence. Not watching the news and anticipating the end of the world. There’s a possible big change coming at the day job and I miss the security of going to school every day. Even if I failed, I still had a place to go. I miss having someone to fix the things I can’t, helping figure out problems that seemed so huge and life changing.

I’m sure it’s different now. Innocence is lost through the use of social media. Google can fix or solve anything. I didn’t have the most stable home growing up, but there was still a sense of security in childhood. The ability to imagine yourself out of where you were, onto bigger and better things. That’s lost in adulthood. I can still imagine bigger and better things but they seem a lot farther away. The need to be responsible to ensure my survival casually ruins my daydreams.

Not really sure what my point is/was. Maybe coming to terms with the fact that I am now An Old. Missing innocence. Missing when the worst that could happen when I drove in rain was a skinned knee and not a head-on collision. When the big day-to-day changes were who your teachers would be and worrying about whether your friends would be in your classes.

I guess I miss when I used to WANT to be an adult because now I am one and it’s not what I thought it would be. It’s fine. Just different.

Now who wants to bike through some puddles?

I’m on a PLANE

I’m flying high over Nashville, Tennessee and we’re all about to die. The thunderstorm rolled in just as I was taking off and as it turns out, I do not like flying through dense clouds filled with lightening.  I do not like that even a little bit. And I know, I KNOW that the plane wants to stay in the sky, but does the sky want the plane to stay there? Have we ever asked? Does the sky get a say?

There is a girl on this plane flying for the first time and the man behind her calmed her by telling her that it would probably be a bumpy flight because of the storm. And by calmed I mean he had the opposite effect. On me. A girl to whom he was not speaking.

After the initial ascent through the clouds and once my dramatic sighing had ceased, I realized we are okay. The clouds are too thick to fall through. They’ll hold us up. And also with the thigh of the manspreader next to me resting heavily against my own I feel oddly at peace. As though this muscly man can hold us up if we fall, like Atlas shouldering the weight of the world. Maybe it’s residual safety from the weekend where the only thing that could have hurt us didn’t even have hands. Probably teeth though. Ghosts totally have teeth

Had a writing retreat in Gatlinburg this weekend with some of the funniest and funnest and most talented people I’ve ever met and when I say writing retreat I mean I wrote hardly anything at all, but I laughed more than I have in a long time and I call that a success. Not for my potential career, of course, but in general for sure. It’s a rare thing for me to go to a place with so many people and feel safe. If you are reading this and you were in Gatlinburg this weekend, I don’t mean a word of this. After all, I have a reputation to uphold.

When I fly, I am like a toddler standing outside a toy store, face pressed against the glass, desperate to get in. Out? I don’t want to go where I’m going. I want to go literally to any place other than the one to which I’m going. I want to keep going.

Our flight IS bumpy, but I’m far less scared than I was on the way TO Nashville, when the woman in the seat in front of me put the the shade on her window down. Who flies with the shade drawn? What kind of life is that, all trapped and unseeing. Like we are in a box? What did we do that was so bad that we have to be in this box?

The guy next to me resembles Pauly D if Pauly D had gone to college and didn’t spray tan. That was unfair. I have no idea whether or not the man next to me has gone to college. He’s watching something on his phone and I keep trying to see what it is but I think he can tell and he keeps covering the screen. Don’t worry. It’s not porn. I know this. I definitely know what porn is. I’ve seen many porns.

They turned out the cabin lights and now I can see what he’s watching and it’s a movie with The Rock and Kevin Hart? Is this Moana? Just kidding! I watched Moana. I cried a lot when I watched Moana. Oh man. I’m fun.

He’s manspreading mostly because the overhead bins are filled with guitars and his large bag is stuck under the seat in front of him and taking up most of the space for his feet. Because I’m flying out of Nashville. Ugh. Musicians. Right? Ugh.

The lights on ground twinkle like stars. Is this how the man in the moon feels? Or God? Am I God?

(I’m not God.)

Mini Book Reviews

It’s migraine season, so after work I avoid screens as much as possible and therefore have been reading a lot. Reading! Who knew! I finished two books this week already! Here are some reviews of what I’ve read this year.

Strange Pilgrims – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is a short story collection and there are two stories in there that are mind-blowing amazing. I don’t remember the titles. If I’m reading the stories one after the other, like I don’t know, a book, I don’t read titles. It’s a problem that will come up in a later review as well. Anyway, so I don’t know the titles, but one of the amazing stories is about a woman who teaches her dog how to catch the bus, where to get off, and shows him her plot of land in the cemetery so that after she’s dead he can go and mourn her. I mean wtf that’s so good.

The other amazing story is about a woman whose car breaks down. A bus full of women passes and they’re like, “oh no! That’s terrible, we can definitely take you to a place where you can use a phone!” So they take her to this place, but they don’t let her use the phone and it turns out it’s a mental hospital of some kind and she just keeps saying, “I only came to use the phone” (also maybe the title? Who knows!) and they’re like, “sure, dear, sure.” Then her husband finds her and visits and she’s like, “I only came to use the phone,” and he’s all, “yes, yes, it makes sense that she’s here. Love you! Byeeeee!” Like shut up. Just shut up. That’s so good.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Marquez
I guess I got on a bit of a Marquez kick. So anyway, in this book there are these guys who are all, “We’re going to kill Santiago!” And they do. And the narrator is speaking from like years after the fact and he’s like, “maybe perhaps it’s possible this could have been avoided? Since they told literally everyone it was going to happen? Maybe?” And that’s the book and it’s great? Stop being amazing, Gabe, it’s annoying.

Caraval – Stephanie Garber
This is a pretty book. Like, the setting sounds really pretty and I want to go to Caraval even though it’s a tiny bit scary. Also I think the moral of this story is men are evil. Don’t trust any men. Down with men. Until you decide to forgive them, then it’s fine, but they’re still evil, so keep that in mind. TW for abuse like whoa. But it’s pretty?

We Are Okay – Nina LaCour
If there’s such a thing as a perfect book, this is pretty close to it, I think. I think the slow reveal of what went down was really great and nicely paced and not annoying to the point where I was like, “JUST TELL ME OMG.” I never felt that! So that was great! Also there were some beach scenes and I’m just automatically here for any and all beach scenes. The book kept flipping back and forth in time and it wasn’t until I was almost finished that I realized that the chapters gave you the date? Did they do that all the way through? I honestly have no idea. I don’t read chapter titles! It’s a problem. I’m aware of it. It made THE NIGHT CIRCUS way confusing. I’d be like, “Megan, don’t forget to read the chapter titles so we know where we are!” But I never did. I never did…. Anyway, WE ARE OKAY was fine and not confusing even when I skipped all that! So that was good!

Currently Reading: Cosmicomics – Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino is one of those authors who when I say he’s a favorite makes me feel really pretentious. But whatever. He’s a fave! It’s a story collection and these stories are about space but they are funny? I’ve only read one story so far. What was the title? Who knows. It was about the moon and it’s basically everything I’ve ever wanted to write every time I try to write about the moon and I loved it a lot and can’t wait to read the rest. Yay books, right!?

Some Things I’ve Loved

It is almost Christmas and almost a new year. I am sure, that like many of you, doing anything productive for the past month and a half has been difficult. It’s hard to rally when it feels like everything is falling apart.

I had been doing research for a new WIP and wondering why it didn’t come as easily as the last WIP and realized that the last WIP was about things I know in my bones. The ocean, which flows through my veins. It required no research, just digging into memories and feelings that already existed but had been buried in the sand. This one is about the stars and I know nothing about them other than that they exist. Which is sort of the basis of the story. But I need to know more. And I will. Maybe in January…

A couple weeks ago I just accepted that nothing else writing related would happen in December and I gave up and I felt great about it. So I’ve been taking time to binge watch television and not feel guilty about it. I waste so much time and I don’t feel guilty about it. And in January, when everything is new again, I’ll get up and do what needs to be done.
So, here are some things I’ve loved.
The OA. It’s a new show on Netflix and it’s AMAZING and I don’t want to tell you anything about it because it’s better that you go in knowing nothing. I knew the first 10 minutes and wished I hadn’t even known that. Go in blind. Thank me later.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager. If you want a show about teenagers that basically teaches you how not to talk like a teenager, this is that show. They are 16 and having babies and getting married and their parents are like, “Great! It’s great to be married if you’re having a baby!” It’s a crazy disaster of a show and I love it.
Mozart in the Jungle. I finally sucked it up and got an Amazon Prime subscription and I was finally able to watch this show. I’ve had a crush on Gael Garcia Bernal for YEARS and I love him so much on this show. He’s so arrogant and beautiful and I want to change my name to Hailey and have him say it all the time. I mean the show is good too.
Sing Street. Why didn’t more people talk about this movie?? It’s the great, feel-good music movie of the year. It’s That Thing You Do for this generation without the dickish lead singer. And the songs are legit good. Somebody buy me the soundtrack.
How Far You’ll Go. It’s no secret that I love songs about chasing your dreams and I also love Lin Manuel Miranda and Alessia Cara and those three things came together to make a song that I listen to at least three times a day. Sometimes ten times a day. Sometimes when I’m driving home from work I repeat it the entire way.
Songs from Waitress. Sometime last year I was in Target and they were playing the Sara Barreilles album inspired by the film Waitress. I heard part of She Used to Be Mine and I almost burst into tears right there in the DVD section. I still haven’t listened to the cast recording, but I have watched a video of Jessie Mueller singing that song and oh my God. If I am not listening to How Far You’ll Go I’m listening to She Used to be Mine and sometimes I even play the whole album. It’s so good it sort of makes me forget about Hamilton and if it had debuted a different year, it would definitely have won all of the Tonys.
Next week I’m house/cat sitting again and plan on reading all of the books. All of them. Literally. They are boarding the dog so it will just be me and the cat, which is how life should always be.
Happy holidays. Happy New Year. Here’s to 2017 not being as big a disaster as 2016. Here’s to scrolling social media and not crying over something else. Here’s to the news t being horribly depressing every single day. Today the electoral college votes and I’m uncharacteristically optimistic and am the only one, I know. But I hope it will change this outcome. That’s all that we have. Hope.