Funny females (or witty women, if you will)

I was thinking about this subject the other day when I heard that Ellen Degeneres is going to host the Oscars this year. (Someone told me once that I look like Ellen…what the…? but that’s another story). So here are some women who I think are funny:

Actors/movie stars:

Parker Posey
Catherine O’Hara
-> both Christopher Guest regulars
Toni Collette
Elaine Benes (yes, the character, not the actress in her other roles I’ve seen)
I think Ellen is sorta funny

OK, so that list is rather short. I’m not including women in romantic comedies who have funny roles (i.e Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts); I’m talking about truly comedic women here.

So here are women I know personally who have a witty way about them:

Grandma Belz and her sisters (especially the late Aunt Billie)
My mom and her two sisters, Sara and Julie
Sisters-in-law Kim and Andrea

There are several other women who are not related to me who I know will make me laugh whenever I’m around them, but for the sake of brevity I won’t name them all here. My point is this: it seems that funny men are a dime a dozen, but when I come across a truly comedic woman, she is usually much more funny to me than a room full of funny men. Case in point: my grandmother could outwit a roomful of my uncles any day of the week.

25 years old today

I can hardly believe that now I am caught up with Hope.

And happy birthday to my sisters, who were also born on this day. It’s fun to be able to have a birthday and also wish others a happy birthday on the same day. Here’s to another quarter of a century, on our way to the goal of being the oldest living triplets.

And, Obama announced his candidacy today. And his first campaign stop is in Cedar Rapids, IA, our fair city of birth. Must be a good sign.

Executive branch uptick in media relations

Just finished listening to President Bush’s first ever interview with NPR since taking office. This was just after I went to Newsweek‘s homepage and saw a“rare print interview” with Dick Cheney. (The photos of Cheney are rather chic, I might add). Bush also did recent interviews with 60 minutes and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

With the current administration’s tradition of being dismissive with the media, this recent bout of interviews seems a bit unusual. Probably, though, it has a lot to do with recent poll numbers and the fact that the Democrats now control Congress. The administration wants to stay strong until the end of the term, and now they want to let everyone know this, in their own words.

Meanwhile, the 2008 campaign is heating up…with 21 months to go and counting.

Yesterday: a reminder of why i chose to live in the city

January 16 was full of interesting encounters. Around noon, Laura and I were at Barnes and Noble eating lunch when an Hispanic woman sat down with us. She said that seeing me eating a banana made her feel comfortable about coming up and talking to us. She had bought a photo of Marilyn Monroe for her friend, who apparently was kicked out of her apartment and was going a little out of her mind. I think this woman was a little gone in the head as well, but she was a good conversationalist. I had to go to class, though, so we couldn’t talk long.

I boarded the green line later that day and stood right near a small Asian couple (I don’t know the country, although I know it wasn’t Korea or Japan). The woman had a mask over her mouth. I was holding my backpack with my hand to keep it out of the way, and she pointed at it and slapped her knees, as if she was offering to hold it for me. I said, “No, that’s fine,” and noticed that the man was staring intently at me. Fortunately, I was getting off at the next stop, and I chuckled to myself as I disembarked.

That afternoon at work I received an email from Megan Sonderegger that our new friend David needed his apartment cleaned out. He lives in public housing and cannot clean because of severe health problems, such as chronic back pain. His apartment was getting inspected the next day and in order to pass inspection it needed some serious cleaning. So Laura, Megan and I rushed over there last night and blitz-cleaned his apartment for two hours. We soon discovered that we needed several items at the store, so I ran a couple blocks down, in the freezing cold, to the Store 24. I was by far the only blonde female in there. And by that I mean either blonde or female. As I stood in line with the Formula 409 and cat litter, I could feel all eyes on me. One guy walked in and went behind the counter, glanced at me, and then told the cashier “You’ll take care of her, right?” “Yeaahh,” said the cashier reassuringly. As I was buying my things, the cashier eyed me and said in a foreign accent, “Where are you from?” I said I was from here, not wanting to go into detail.

“No, I mean, what nationality are you?” he asked again. All I could think was, you’re the one with the accent, I should be asking you where you’re from! Just kidding. As a true citizen of Colbert Nation, I replied, “I’m an American. I’m from America.” I was not about to tell him that I was from the South or that I was of German descent. I don’t know why, but it just felt awkward at the time. I laughed into the cold air on the way back.

So that was my long, crazy day, otherwise filled with lots of school and work. Meanwhile, my brothers were at the White House chilling with the president and the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. Needless to say, I am exceedingly jealous. Here is a picture that Andrew took, which could be fodder for the Daily Show, or the Onion, or something:

cardinals choir-thumb

W the choir director, about to lead the Cardinals in a rendition of…We Are the Champions? I can’t come up with any non-cheesy jokes. If anyone has a better suggestion then please tell.

My childhood parody of the boxcar children

Last night, while we were supping with our friends the Sondereggers, the conversation inevitably turned to childhood memories. We were talking about books we read as children, and the Boxcar Children came up. My mind conjured up a funny memory at the mention of these books. I was an avid reader of them as a child, being fascinated by the idea of surviving in the woods with no parental supervision. However, as I moved along in the series, I became more and more annoyed with the relentlessly positive interaction among the siblings. I mean, MY family never interacted that way.

So, cynical child that I was, I set out to write a parody of the Boxcar Children. I think I wrote only about a page and half (I wish I had the document with me). I remember that it included at least one argument among the children, going something like this: Henry suggests a solution to whatever problem they are trying to solve, Jessie disagrees with him, Benny then complains about the heat, Violet tells him to stop complaining, and over it all Grandpa is trying to quiet them down by threatening severe punishment. Anyone who has read the Boxcar Children will know that this scenario is exactly the opposite of any that would occur in the books.

At any rate, that memory was so funny to me because it seems crazy that I even tried to write a parody at the age of 10 (or 11, or 12, I can’t remember). Just shows you what kind of strange child I was. I think my parents taught me somehow to discern false portrayals of human interaction, and then my desire to make people laugh kicked in.

Blogging before the busyness begins

How’d you like that alliteration? Yes, this is my weekend of respite before I start my internship and then, a week later, school. I don’t usually get stressed about being busy, but it’s the fact that I will have to go several different places, on the T, mind you, to get to where I need to go, and be on time, that makes me extra concerned about time management. However, for Christmas Laura did give me some headache-tension-relief-type-fluid that I can rub on my temples when I am feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders (or at least the weight of my head.)

I have an internship as well as an assistantship, but fortunately the assistantship is on campus/at home, so it’s pretty flexible. Still, to have multiple obligations can be pretty stressful, although I am female, so I can handle the multi-tasking :). My internship may involve going to an event at Fenway (potentially), in which case I will go up to the newly acquired Matsuzaka and shake his hand and say, “You better live up to all the hype, or you will get nailed here in this baseball-crazy city.” In which case, maybe he’ll be traded to St. Louis. Hm, not a bad idea. Right now the Cards have only one proven pitcher on their roster for 2007. It’s a good thing they won the World Series, or the fans would be much more unforgiving during this Hot Stove Season (ouch! it burns).

Enough of that stream-of-consciousness. The 65-degree weather here has gone to my head, I believe. Did someone mention global warming?

I would like to send a shout-out to my Grandma Belz, who encouraged me to keep blogging in the Christmas card she sent me. She also mentioned that she does not care for the five praise songs I listed in a previous entry . Speaking of which, work began on the new songbook “Everyone Can Sing!” over the break. I will not reveal who was working on it, or where, but suffice it to say, the dream is becoming a reality.

C.S. Lewis quotations I have never seen before

From C.S. Lewis’s introduction to St. Athanasius’s “On the Incarnation”:

“We are all rightly distressed, and ashamed also, at the divisions of Christendom. But those who have always lived within the Christian fold may be too easily dispirited by them. They are bad, but such people do not know what it looks like from without. Seen from there, what is left intact despite all the divisions still appears (as it truly is) an immensely formidable unity. I know, for I saw it; and well our enemies know it. That unity any of us can find by going out of his own age.”

His perspective as a former outsider is interesting. I have always assumed that nonbelievers are turned off by us because of our division, but then again I have “always lived within the Christian fold.” Also, this argument is Lewis’s plea for us to read the church fathers, that we would see the basic unity of Christianity throughout the ages.

Another quote from the same source that affirms my rationality:

“For my own part I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” Amen to that – the only devotional book that I can recall getting a lot out of is Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening.”

Anna flies in today – hooray!

Also, in case you missed it: Stephen Colbert and the Decemberists. Hilarious.

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