|THE BLACK LIST: WHAT DID THE CARROT SAY TO TERRI SCHIAVO?|
|By The Black Table|
In the film House of Sand and Fog, we are faced with an impossible decision. Should we root for Jennifer Connelly to win her house, which she grew up with and lost only to an accounting error? Or should we root for Ben Kingsley to win the house, one he saved up for and earned by being savvy, smart and diligent? We meet two sides that are completely right and completely justified; the pain of the film is watching the inevitable, wrenching collision.
Reading about this Terri Schiavo case makes us feel the same way. We understand why her husband, who has lived with this tragedy every day for a decade, wants to be able to move on with his life once and for all. (She's not coming back, after all.) But we also understand why her parents, who don't want to let go, want to keep her alive so they can keep part of her close. (After all, she's not hurting anything, is she?) It's tragic and awful, because we empathize with everybody, and we just know, like in House of Sand and Fog, that no one's going to end up happy.
In other news, our new medication should arrive Thursday! Okay, it's time to raise those spirits with a rollicking 10 reviews this week. (Some, alas, are still rather sad.) If you want to play with us -- and we'll be in a better mood next week, right after the meds kick in! -- you can use the form to the right.
GETTING LAID OFF AGAIN: Five years and one week ago, I started my first job. On Friday, I left my sixth. I was laid off, for the third (or third and a half, sort of) time in my hackneyed career. For once, I'm not as immediately worried about money. But I am distressed that I was unable to see this one coming. I'm painfully attuned to job security. I always ask about the financial health of my prospective employer and supplement it with my own research. I've lived through the dot-com bust and am not about to walk into a floundering employer voluntarily. But this layoff, I'm at a loss to explain. I can only assume that I was a horrible, horrible boss in a past life. But all feelings of negative self worth aside, it is Monday and time to get back to work. Time to update my resume and call everyone I know who can help me. Time to consider (again) whether I should look for jobs outside of New York City. Time to go clawing for freelance work to hold debt at bay. Time to hope I don't have to do temp work again. At least this time I have cable. F -- Aileen Gallagher
SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK: I thought Sunday night
movies were for Mitch Albom and Oprah. Well, not this Sunday. "Spring Break Shark Attack" was the ultimate in dumb, gory fun and answered the age-old question: "What would happen if there were 600 hungry tiger sharks loosed upon dimwitted college kids on a booze cruise?" Well, everything you'd expect. That guy that slipped you roofies the night before? He gets torn to shreds. How about your boyfriend that dicked you over at the club to go night-swimming with the boobtastic blonde? They were both torsos washed up on the beach the next day. And the dude that picked Bucknell and Vermont in your NCAA pool? Yeah, he got his face bit off too. A -- A.J. Daulerio
PUBLIC NAIL CLIPPING MAN: It's not exactly news that the line between public and private space, always blurry for New Yorkers, is getting progressively blurrier. But HEY: Clipping your fingernails on the crowded Monday morning G train is SO EXTREMELY NOT OK. I understand that it's hard to complete all your grooming rituals before leaving the house, but before you whip out the nail clipper that is attached to your key chain (disturbing in and of itself), please take a moment to realize that sending hard little shards of your body matter flying into a crowd OVER and OVER again is JUST as pathologically antisocial as pulling down your pressed black dress pants and taking a dump all over your fellow passengers. This time: Black List review. Next time: nail-clipper in the eyeball. You've been warned. F, duh! -- emily gould
TEXAS RODEO AND CARNIVAL: From the moment I stepped through the gates at the 2005 Houston Rodeo, I was taken aback by the billowing smells of barbeque and funnel cake. I watched in horror as children and adults alike shoveled food into their mouths without a second thought. Unfortunately I did not see the best fried food this year: an oreo on a stick. I did however sit through a night of bull riding, horse bucking, calf roping activities while slightly intoxicated by the smell of animal crap. The best part: The money awarded to the cowboy who "suffered the worst injuries of the rodeo." A -- rachel
DREAMWEAVER'S "CODE VIEW" BUTTON: When your public sector Web design contract stretches months past the original two-week agreement, your boss starts to wonder what it is you're actually doing all day. Rather than tell him that you have in fact been waiting for hilariously ironic Web sites to update, freelancing on company time and wasting hours smugly surfing through right-wing Christian message boards, you quickly switch Dreamweaver from the easily understandable design view into a complex looking mess of HTML and CSS style sheets. Pointing at random pieces of code that you yourself have no comprehension of and muttering something about "dynamic content," and "coding problems" usually has the desired effect, sending the ghastly little jobsworth scurrying back into his office to sign off your barely earned payslip for the next month. <strong>A+</strong> -- Gareth Brown
MELINDA AND MELINDA: The new Woody Allen movie has been lauded as his big "comeback" film, as if making a movie a year for the last 30 years meant he ever went away. (And those of us who paid attention to the underrated Anything Else could see Woody was close to getting his sea legs back.) The ingenious premise is that any story can be told two different ways: as comedy, or as tragedy. In the tragic version, Melinda (played wonderfully by Rahda Mitchell) is a chain-smoking murderess who destroys everything she touches, including herself. In the comic version, she's a gleeful eccentric toying with the emotions of a frantic (and very funny) Will Ferrell. The film is not one of Woody's best -- it's a little too lackadaisical, like they all have been this decade -- but it's smart, funny and is weirdly merciless yet compassionate to its characters. Say what you will, but Woody cares enough again to shake things up (his next movie is a thriller!). He might turn 70 this year, but his future remains brighter and more worth watching than any backwards-hat-wearing recent film grad out there. A- -- Will Leitch
THE BATHROOMS AT THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT: There are very few public restrooms that I feel entitled to treat like a public restroom. By that, I mean to say that I have no courtesy to extend to the next poor bastard who has to use it. The only places where this thinking is the most prevalent are the toilets in bars where only jerks hang out-e.g., places where a very teeny-tiny sink is directly next to a very teeny-tiny urinal and/or places where fratboys pee on the seat. I also feel this way in airports. No one cares about you at the airport. Just ask the cashier at Au Bon Pain who charged you $19 for a small orange juice. These places inspire bathrooms where the experience is so dreadful that only a dire need has forced you to enter them. At the South Street Seaport, the toilets automatically flush every five seconds and are set so low to the ground that each automatic flush moistens your bum and pulls you closer to Davy Jones' Locker. The stainless steel doors are reminiscent of some airport where you were stranded during an exceptionally stupid layover. And there's a Sharper Image nearby. You cannot stem the tide. God has forsaken you here. F -- Frank Smith
HITTING THE "JUST ONE MORE SONG" JACKPOT: Normally, three hours of semi drunken sleep ending with the abrupt squawk of a clock radio would have me waking up as cranky as Queen Latifah at an empty buffet. But thanks to the new 93.5 KDAY "Hip-hop from today and back in the day," all my early morning grumpiness has gone the way of the high top fade. Yout see, it's impossible to wake up and be in a bad mood when Kid 'n' Play are dropping "Houseparty" like it's 1990 all over again. Even though my alarm clock is set to pop exactly at the latest second I could wake up an be out the door on time, getting up at quarter to seven was not an option on this particular morning. Under the covers I made a deal with Snooze Time Satan: "I swear I'll get up after just one more song. Just please don't let it be 'Rump Shaker.'" As the next song was starting I really couldn't believe what the folks at KDAY considered to be appropriate Sunday morning programming, all 14 minutes and 37 seconds of "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, more than enough time to for a quality nap. Besides, who really worries about being late when Big Bank Hank is on the mic? Thank you Snooze Time Satan for coming through in the clutch. My soul is yours. A -- Todd Munson
FIFTEEN HOUR BAR SHIFT: First off, I want to say that I'm a sucker for an empty bar: Fuck your crowded euphoria, rubbing elbows with the best of them; I want a dank, unpopulated watering hole that resembles stretches of I-95 at 4:30 a.m. That said, you haven't lived as a functioning alcoholic until you have opened a bar at 11 am and stayed there through the day until 2:30 a.m. without a drink. The experience is akin to every fucked up PETA commercial they're running on television but with more cigarettes. I crawled in around 4 am last night [insert a Bowery yawn here] and crawled into bed. Rising just six hours later to find those familiar black circles under my eyes, I reflected on yesterday's task: 15 straight hours, save a minute to grab coffee, in my piece-of-shit bar. Not until 1 a.m. did we have more than five people in the joint; I think I smoked a pack of Camels along the way. Bellied-up at 4 a.m., pouring Jager shots and yes, still smoking, I wondered if anyone else will ever feel this way - strung out, mindless and totally ready for at least two more cold beers. The tyranny of the rested, the joy of the sleepless and inebriated. B+ -- JD Stone
CLOGGING THE TOILET AT WORK: When you work in a company with just five other people, sometimes you get to know each other a little too well. What I miss most about the big-corporate-hell days, though, is the sweet anonymity of the giant restrooms. In the 15-seaters of my past, you were never accountable for anything. Have to take a big smelly dookeroo? Use the last of the toilet paper? Purging up lunch? There's always someone else it can be blamed on, so long as no one recognizes your shoes. But now ... now it's different. Now there's no question who dropped the bomb, and when. Because when you leave our little private bathroom, and I go in, I know exactly what went down, and who had asparagus last night. Yeah, yeah -- you can go on all you want about biological processes but there's nothing natural and right about flooding the bathroom and, as you struggle with the plunger and lamely festoon the sodden floor with paper towels, removing all doubt about whodunit. Big, messy, mortifying, smelly F. Having your boss wonder what the heck that weird lookin' thing he saw bobbing in the toilet the other day was [tampon applicator, actually] -- that gets an F too. -- Sylphie
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