Monthly Archives: April 2012

Review: Bossypants

Bossypants

Tina Fey & her book, Bossypants

Tina Fey’s always been a celebrity I’m supposed to be a fan of. She’s smart. She’s funny. She’s pretty but not in the plastic, unattainable, air-brushed way. But I actually haven’t seen her in much save for Mean Girls, Baby Momma and those Sarah Palin SNL skits a few years back. I just haven’t been much of a fan as I know I should be.

I’ll admit, I put off buying and reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants for a few months because I didn’t want to read something because everyone else was. I like to be cool and different that way, okay? Besides, I had just read A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth and was looking forward to reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) as my next celebrity biography.

So last week while I was on a business trip and had some time on my hands, I decided to finally dig into the book. I so thoroughly enjoyed myself that I regret not reading it sooner and tempted to go watch 30 Rock.

Fey’s writing style is flows well and makes the reading easy. She’s entertaining which should be expected as she’s a comedy writer (for SNL and 30 Rock). I just didn’t expect to be laughing out loud (or LOLing) while reading so many passages. I particularly enjoyed her time at camp with her gay friends who were in the “half-closet”.

I also enjoyed how Fey wrote about her father Don Fey, describing him as a man who commanded respect just by entering a room. And in reading her description of him, I kinda started feeling like I respected him too, even though I’ve only seen a tiny picture of him.

One of the biggest things I liked about reading the book was Fey’s honesty. She’s candid about those times she acted uncool. Like when she applied for a job she knew her coworker wanted and she only took to get out of where she was. Or when she admitted she was more comfortable with her gay friends in the half-closet rather than fully out of the closet. (They were there for more than just her entertainment?)

I also enjoyed her assertion that women didn’t need to be cute or sexy to be funny. Yes, it’s a feminist slant but damn it if it wasn’t correct. Women are funny and it doesn’t always need to be as a sidenote to her looks. One chapter tells about how Jimmy Fallon got owned by Poehler for telling her she wasn’t being cut.

Speaking of, the last few chapters that read like a love letter to Amy Poehler, her frequent costar and fellow former cast member at SNL. I love how much respect she has for Poehler (and all of her current/past costars).

Anyway, definitely pick up this book if you’re into comedy writing. If you’re into celebrity biographies. And especially if you’re into Tina Fey.

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Geeking Out

Meeting David Hayter (2nd from the left) who voices Snake in Metal Gear Solid.

Today, my husband & I went to Fan Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre. We met up with his friend Byron who asked me, “So how many of these things has Stu dragged you to?”

I smiled because while it’s only been a few “nerd cons” that he’s taken me to such as Anime Evolution, there have definitely been quite a few nerd activities I’ve participated in since meeting my husband. Being married to a nerd, it’s all become part of the territory. Video games. Japanese Anime. Sci Fi movies & TV shows.

Stuart works in the video game industry so I’ve watched him play countless games. I myself have become interested in a few of them: Legend of Zelda, God of War, Uncharted and Infamous. I’ve even played and finished a few video games: something I never thought would happen after passing Super Mario World on Super Nintendo back in 1998. Namely, all the games in the Professor Layton series – I can’t help it, I’m obsessed! I’ve also watched a few anime movies: mostly the Miyazaki movies. My favourite one is Kiki’s Delivery Service. I’ve also seen more Arnold Schwarzenegger movies than I care to name off. The last one being Total Recall. As a result, I can quote off more Arnold Schwarzenegger movie lines than I care to tell you. And currently, we’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation which I’ve developed a new appreciation for.

Some of my friends think I’m a saint for putting up with his geeky ways. But in truth, I don’t mind it much. A lot of the geek things, I know because growing up, my brother developed an interest in some of the stuff (and subsequently, so did I). Nintendo games such as Mario Bros, Zelda and Street Fighter are familiar to me because I used to watch and play them with my brother and his friends. When my brother came back home after his first year at UVic, he brought with him a strong interest in anime. Together, we watched Macross, Oh! My Goddess, Slayers and Bubblegum Crisis amongst others. So I use a lot of my knowledge of this stuff from many, many years ago and try to understand and apply it to things today.

But mostly, I don’t mind geeking out because it interests my husband and it’s important to him. Afterall, he works in video games, so this stuff is his livelihood. The geeks are who keep his industry alive and are ultimately the ones to give him a job. So the least I can do is support him and try to understand his geek side, even if what I walk away with is just a little clearer an understanding and a bit more appreciation. It would be horrible of me to simply roll my eyes and dismiss his interests as trivial. My husband is important to me and so his interests need to be important to me as well.

And in turn, my husband participates in many Anna-centric things too such as live theatre. For instance, every year, we go see Bard on the Beach, even though I know he’d never see a Shakespeare play on his own.

I think it’s important that, even though we don’t have completely similar interests, we still respect each other’s. And we try, whenever and wherever possible, to participate in activites with each other. I used to worry that my husband wished that he had someone who was into all the same things he was into, much like his ex was. So he’d always have someone to talk to about the latest video game or someone to bitch to about the latest ways how George Lucas is screwing up Star Wars, etc. But now I see that it doesn’t matter that much that. Because we’re into different things, we both have the opportunity to learn from each other. And so long as we both share the same values and goals in life and we both can make each other laugh, that’s what’s most important.

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Dinner With My Parents

There’s no situation that makes me feel more childish and incompetent than when I’m around my parents. Under most normal circumstances, I regard myself as a fair mature and well-functioning adult. I have a job therefore a steady income. I am married. We own a condo. We have a mortgage. Heck, I even manage to cook dinners (most nights) and do my own laundry.

But around my parents, and most especially my mom, I feel like I’ve reverted back to being 15 again. Maybe it’s because my mom sometimes still sees me this way. But suddenly, I’m unsure of myself, even with simple things like tomorrow’s task of having my family over for a birthday dinner for my dad.

Stuart’s cleaned the house. I’ve made a pie. And tomorrow, I’ll be roasting vegetables as well as steaming up some green beans. My parents will be here for approximately three hours, leaving at nine because we have to work the next day. And for some reason, I’m ridiculous nervous and stressed out by all this. I’m suddenly not sure how my pie will turn out and if they’ll like it. I wonder if we should clean more, somehow noticing the minute specks of dust on the side tables. Will they complain about how loud it is here? Will they critique how small our place is? Will they start asking the baby questions again? Ugh.

And this is all the while knowing that everything will be alright because my parents love me. And they know I’m doing well. And I should just take it as simply as having any other guests over for dinner. It just feels like so much more.

The Things That Shaped My Youth

Inspired by Kloipy’s post: 10 Things That Shaped My Youth, I started to think about what influences in my youth shaped me to be who I am today. Here’s what I came up with:

1) My brother

VyTri & Me

Yes, my brother & I even shared haircuts.

My brother was my first hero. He was two years older than me which meant he was infinitely wiser. I wanted to be just like him. He loved to draw, so I loved to draw. He watched GI Joe and Transformers, I watched them with him. He played hockey, I ended up being the goalie. I was a tomboy because I was a reflection of my brother. He must have loathed me being his shadow and copycat, never getting a moment’s peace. But I adored him and lapped up every bit of play time I could get out of him.

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Freebie Five

My freebie five, subject to change:

Colin Firth
Mr Darcy, Mark Darcy, that guy from Love Actually. He’s English. And married to a non-famous person. He’s funny and self-depreciating. And he speaks Italian. What more can you ask for? (Yes, he’s getting a bit jowly but we can’t all be perfect.)

Colin Firth

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