What’s this? Click to find outfunny 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.

Is it gossip to talk about celebrities behind their backs?

This theme dominated the discussion last night at our Oscar party. People were flinging snarky remarks about people’s makeup and jewelry at the television. “Nicole Kidman’s dress makes her look like a Christmas present.” “Why do the winners always thank their mothers but not their fathers?” “Jack Nicholson does not look good bald.” Perhaps this is gossip. But isn’t that the fun of watching the Oscars? I don’t really care that much who wins, although I was rooting for Little Miss Sunshine, and it was pretty cool to see Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas give Scorcese his first Oscar. Oh, and Ellen’s, Seinfeld’s, Al Gore’s, and Ferrell/Black/Reilly’s performances were worth watching and laughing at. But the true fun of watching the Oscars has always been making fun of the silly things that happen, like the shot of Borat muttering to himself when Ellen mentioned movies with subtitles, or the uninterested/dissatisfied look on Ennio Morricone’s face as he was being honored by Clint Eastwood. I don’t see any problem in laughing at people who are totally asking for it.

In other news, we went to see Amazing Grace this weekend. I highly recommend it. It’s a film in the spirit of Chariots of Fire, except without the stirring musical score or breathtaking scenery. But that’s not necessarily a shortcoming. It’s full of British witticisms, Parliamentary debates and maneuverings, a passion for social justice, a lot of my favorite BBC British-novel-to-film actors, and a little bit of Albert Finney. The perfect combination, in my opinion.

After you see the movie, go to http://www.theamazingchange.com and sign the petition.

When the saints go “march”ing in

It seems to me that we attribute many names and sayings to the month of March because, let’s face it, March is a dreary and interminable month. We try to spice it up a little with clever quips, such as these:

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Apparently here in Boston it never turns into a lamb but instead stays a lion the whole way through. Whereas in other places it’s always a lamb. But those facts don’t diminish the cuteness of the phrase.

“The Ides of March.” Click on this link to find out the origins of this name. One person in our church suggested that we have a “March Party” just to brighten up the month. Actually, here in Boston that party already happens: it’s called St. Patrick’s Day.

And, last but not least, “March Madness.” They tried to change it to the more politically correct “March Mayhem,” but that name understandably has not caught on. It doesn’t roll off the tongue in quite the same way. I’ve always loved this time of year in terms of the basketball season, but this year I don’t have any way to watch it unless I go to the local bar, in which case I will have to spend money that I don’t have. I will also spend time that I don’t have, considering that my own version of March Madness consists of schoolwork, studying for comprehensive exams, doing paperwork for London this summer (brilliant!), and a visit to the dentist, which will probably be followed later by a trip to the oral surgeon.

Anyway, the best part of March is the anticipation of Easter after it’s all over. Here’s a nice bit of (paraphrased) conversation to chew on:

Stephen Colbert to Larry King: “What dead person would you like to have dinner with?”

LK: “Christ.”

(Pause)

SC: “You do know that Christ isn’t dead, right, Larry?”

I could see that one coming like a thunderstorm in Iowa – from miles away. But it is a refreshing reminder during this season of Lent that we are not just remembering Christ’s death, but we are looking forward to his resurrection and remembering that he is alive today. Every time we have communion we can think about this fact: that not only are we symbolically and mysteriously feasting on his body and blood, but we are also feasting with him. So, in a sense we are having dinner with Christ every week. Whenever you might find yourself a bit depressed during the doldrums of March, just say this to yourself: “You do know that Christ isn’t dead, right, [insert name here]?” Say it to other people too.

Stuck on the elevator

I was stuck on the elevator today, in the building where I work. Another guy named Sori (sp?), an illustrious employee of AG Edwards, was stuck with me. From what I’ve seen in the movies, being stuck on the elevator is supposed to be a life-changing experience. Two examples:

1) In “You’ve Got Mail,” Tom Hanks gets stuck on the elevator with his girlfriend and several other odd characters. During the course of their time, he realizes that he no longer wants to be with said girlfriend. He is convinced, by the stories of some of the others, that he needs to seize the day and get the girl who is actually perfect for him and will make him happy (Meg Ryan).

2) And in “Shallow Hall” (yes, I admit to having seen this movie), Jack Black gets stuck on the elevator with some sort of psychologist/hypnotist/oddball who messes with his formerly shallow and womanizing brain, causing him to see fat women as beautiful. His life is forever changed when he falls in love with an obese Gwyneth Paltrow.

But nothing like this happened to me today. We were stuck for all of 15 minutes before someone came and got us out. One thing is for sure, though: when you’re stuck on an elevator with someone, you actually end up getting to know them, rather than awkwardly trying to pretend they aren’t there, as on a normal elevator ride. Sori and I chatted about my internship and school and about the apparently enormous AG Edwards buildings in St. Louis.

Also, it was fun to push the emergency phone button, something I’ve always wanted to do but never got to until now. For those of you who might be wondering, someone actually does answer. To hear the voice say “Help is on the way” was quite a thrill.

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.

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