Spring Breakers: Insane, or Brilliant? [SPOILERS!!]

Tonight I got to play with Gypsy (improv group) at The Magnet for the Rundown, which was great fun, if not really amazing, and then after some shuffling of plans, ended up randomly seeing Spring Breakers, one of the new films James Franco is in. I’d listened to the Slate Culture Gabfest discussion of the film, and it kind of made me curious. And I’m actually super glad I saw it. And even more glad that I listened to their discussion of it before seeing it, because I feel like this is not a movie you should walk in blind to.

So first of all, I just want to describe the feel–flashy, lots of bright and obnoxious colors, fluorescent lights, and boobs and butts galore. So many bikinis. The opening scene is just girls shaking their butts and naked breasts with alcohol being sprayed all over them in the ocean and on the sand. And it was such a strange combination of titillating and yet really creepily not sexy at all. Like, it was too ostentatious to be really sexually appealing.

After stealing money from a local restaurant with a water gun and sledgehammer, the ladies go to St. Petersburg, FL to see a world different than what they’re used to. And meet Alien, Franco’s character, who is really into money and guns. And also shorts and cologne, much like this guy.

My favorite scene in the movie, and the moment I really started to believe this film is seriously satire was when three of the girls, dressed in one piece swim suits with generously cut out sides, ridiculous pink masks, sweat pants with “DTF” (Down To Fuck, for anyone not familiar with this phrase) printed on the butts, gently carrying AK-47s, stood around a gorgeous white baby grand piano at Alien’s house, by the pool, with an incredible ocean view. They ask him to play a sensitive song, and he proceeds to play (and sing) Britney Spears’ (an “angel on Earth, according to Alien) “Everytime.” This is perhaps the weirdest scene I’ve ever seen in a movie. The screenshot is used for one of the posters:

Spring Breakers, movie poster


Strange. Also a key that the movie is really not supposed to be taken seriously, in my opinion.

Subsequently, one of the girls gets shot in the arm by Alien’s enemy/childhood best friend. She goes home, and the other two girls seek revenge; Alien gets killed in the process, while the girls go on a shooting spree, leaving many of the gang the enemy is a part of, including him, dead. And then they go back to school.

There was lots of gratuitous violence/showing off of guns & cash, and MANY shots of boobs and butts, which were entirely unavoidable, sometimes boobs taking up the ENTIRE SCREEN. But my take is that that’s sort of the point. The film feels (and I don’t know how to explain this really, or why it is exactly) sexual, but in a dirty, creepy way, as I say. It feels like it’s forcing you to be turned on, if that makes sense? But like, not in a fun way. In a forceful, violent way. And through that violence, for lack of a better phrase, the film jolts you into recognizing how unfulfilling these things are, and how demoralizing the concept of spring break can be. Repetition is used throughout the film and creates sort of a strange alternate universe, particularly Alien saying, “Sprang braake 4eva.” It’s eery. The whole movie is. But I kind of loved it.

Crazy Weekend

So, this weekend started out a little rocky. I went to an after work function to say goodbye to a coworker and ended up getting terribly sick, despite having only 2 drinks (and a shot). That horror lasted through all day Saturday, partially continued by the failure to stop throwing up, and inability to keep down water. I eventually got down some Pedialyte and saltines. Not so fun.

I also left my cell phone in the cab on the way home from the said work function. But it was returned to me (!!) because a fellow New Yorker and iPhoner discovered it, returned my call, and provided an opportunity for retrieval. It was pretty magical. That part is seriously amazing. I basically felt like yesterday was a real adventure in my path to adulthood. I was sick, and totally took care of myself, with a few people around to help out a bit (but really, not anyone else taking responsibility for me). I’m still a little freaked out by feeling like my body just kind of lost it, but other than that, it feels just…lucky. And I’m relieved to feel back to normal(ish).

I also moved into the room in our apartment with a closet and its own bathroom. So I now have my own bathroom for the first time in 4 years, which, actually, is thrilling. I feel so much more adult! And my desk area is much nicer. Maybe I’ll even get a realer chair. There is a lot less light and a bit less air, but I think for me, it is preferable overall. Nothing is perfect, right? Life: all about trade offs.

I am super excited about an improv show on Friday, and many more to come.

Continuing Improving

I’m randomly and somewhat reasonlessly blissing out this morning. Maybe running yesterday?

This weekend was perfect. Very full. I am so happy, it blows my mind. It’s not that I’m literally happy all the time, but there are so many cool things, relationships (of all kinds), activities and foods (?!) to explore. I really seriously feel like a child. Free. But also with some fun, contributory things I do. Like work. Which makes money and provides real freedom to do mostly what I want.

I know I’ll go through some lower times extremely soon. That just happens. But overall, I seriously couldn’t be happier with what I’ve made my life right now. And even just knowing that feels so friggin’ amazing. Again, this kind of moment I have worked so hard for. And am still working so hard for. Glad it’s still happening.

Eve of My 26th Year

It is the day before I turn 26, completing the first year of my second quarter of life on this planet. And I’m feeling pretty reflective.

The past year has been pretty spectacular. I started running, ended the first real relationship that I thought would last, and re-started improv. And I have maintained the improv and running both for nearly 10 months, working on both of them gradually and with very little self-judgement about how quickly I’m improving; really doing each of them for fun, for the enjoyment of the moment. Tonight, I get to play in a Ladies Improv Event, We Might Just Kiss at the theater where I’ve been taking classes. I feel so lucky that I’ve had the opportunities I’ve had so far, and this is certainly one of them. I’m definitely nervous, but also really excited. Improv has I think certainly added more than I could’ve hoped to my life, and I’m so so glad I started taking classes. I’m looking forward to what more it will bring, socially, emotionally and artistically to my life.

Running has made me all around feel better about myself–my appearance, endurance, ability to push myself (but not too much!!) and my commitment to things, after successfully completing a half marathon. I’m pretty friggin’ proud of that, maybe more than I’ve been proud of anything else I’ve done in my life, because it was harder for me personally than anything else I’ve done. It took me committing, sticking to something that I most of the time didn’t really like, and even more difficult for me, not being mad at myself when I failed to reach a goal, but to just get back up and keep going. And I did it! So really really, I am proud of that.

Relationship-wise, I have just been trying to move on and distract. Never easy. I don’t think I’ve done an awful job of it, but it’s hard, and continues to be a challenge.

All in all, though, it has been a great year.  The first year I have felt really comfortable in my adult skin, I think, and settled into the idea that this is what adulthood is.  Not anything spectacular, but maleable.  I can make this something that I like.  And I can like what I make it.  I’ve recognized the importance of patience, and of listening to what makes me happy and responding to that, without judging it.

So Happy Birthday to Me, and onto another year, with more adventures.


I’m Back!

After a long hiatus, I have returned!! It’s a new year, and I’m ready to be writing again.

The past nearly year has certainly given me things to write about, but I have felt restricted, both because of work and because of maybe just growing older and feeling a bit more private, and that perhaps the internet does not provide that. But I’m throwing that out the window, in hopes with the hope that no one very important is reading my words. And that if they are, I will become famous and fabulous, a la Dooce. And if not, whatever. Life will continue. Hopefully.

So let’s see…since May, I have ended a relationship, recovered through the fantastic efforts of running and improv, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and subsequently went through surgery, my aunt was fatally hit by a bicycle and I just had really truly the most wonderful Christmas season that I remember.  I think I have become much more comfortable in my life, in my job, in my Self.  I feel confident (generally) about where shit is going, even if I really don’t know where I’ll end up.  I have, to some degree, simply been too busy to write, or at least too busy to write in a way I felt was adequately filtered.  So here’s to a new attitude of freedom.  I hope to just be more open.  Sometimes.  Oh!!! And most importantly, I got the iPhone 4S!  That’s super important.  So hopefully I can provide some updating on there.  Maybe even photos.

First, for the running.  I started running in August, as sort of an experiment, and then it ended up being a way to cope with the end of a relationship I believed would actually work (whatever that means).  It was an incredible help, and actually made the process pretty painless.  I started being proud of just being able to run 1 mile at a time, and I have now gone 4 miles.  Amazing, right?  I also am signed up to run in a half marathon in Nashville, TN at the end of April, which is super scary and super exciting.

We re-signed our lease, so I will be living in the land of the hipsters for another year yet, and that makes me so incredibly pleased.  I have been loving the hipster area, and my wonderful roommates.  I feel like I get this gift of being young, and I finally understand how awesome it is.

Improv.  I am saving the best for last.  I started taking classes maybe early August?  And I just began my level 3 classes this week.  It is so much fun, and I still get this knot in my stomach before performing, or even before I go to class, and it has been super rewarding to work past that, recognize it as just fear to work through, and get past that.  It has a curious parallel to running–both of them are difficult, but if you push through, so incredibly rewarding.  I do think they have helped me to live in the moment a bit more.  And running may have the chemical advantage, but improv is so. much. fun.  I feel like I get the awesome part of childhood (freedom! release! passion!) with the fantastic part of adulthood (money!).  Obviously, I still have certain responsibilities, but they are really truly limited.  I am so selfish in my life, and I love it!!  I know this cannot continue forever, but I just relish in it right now.  And that’s really cool.

I hope this finds you well also, and I do hope to continue the new year with more frequent updates.  Even if they are just about these new passions.