minute thoughts 1.10.18

 The first good family picture we've taken in literal years

The first good family picture we've taken in literal years

Thoughts while silently furious at the absurdly small amount of legroom in United's "Basic Economy" class

1. I just started (and have since caught up) watching Jane the Virgin a while ago, and I love it for so many reasons. First, it's legitimately funny. I'd heard a lot about it, but never actually picked it up because the premise sounds a little silly. It's shot in the style of a telenovela without being too cliché, which is an accomplishment, considering telenovelas. A lot of the writers and producers are women and minorities, so they have a very diverse cast and very real, very flawed (but ultimately likable) characters. And they talk about a lot of real-life things, like abortion, slut-shaming, bisexuality, postpartem depression, etc. And there's a very minor Asian character! And they treat him like a normal character! It's sad that that's a bar for representation, but...it's a start.

2. Nice things about being a miniature human: You can still get away with sitting criss-cross in chairs, you can curl up on airplane seats on long flights, sometimes you can wear clothes from kids' sections, guys' t-shirts look endearingly oversized on you, you can literally fit anywhere, you can always wear heels, you are automatically very huggable.

3. Not-so-nice-things about being a miniature human: People use you as an armrest sometimes, people think you're a lot younger than you actually are (yes, I've actually been legally allowed to have alcohol for three years now...), you get called "cute" a lot, it's very hard for people to take you seriously when you're angry, and people assume that because you are very huggable that you want to be hugged.

4. My friend and I were talking about irresponsible parenting (Black Mirror's "Arkangel" is a prime example) and he pointed out, "It's harder to get a senior citizen discount at Denny's than it is to have a kid," and that left me a little speechless.

5. My new favorite way to counter catcalling or wolf-whistling: Turn around, pretend to evaluate their face, smile, and say, "You have such nice skin!" and then follow up quietly with, "I can't wait to wear it." Their expression while they try to figure out whether or not you're actually crazy: priceless. I've only had the guts to use this once, but it was...amazingly satisfying.

6. Nothing brings me more joy than Food Network. Nothing. There is literally no show on Food Network that I'm disappointed by (don't lie; we've all watched Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives at 2 am in a hotel room on vacation). Some of my favorite things: Gordon Ramsey interacting with all the impossibly precocious kids, Alton Brown making terrible puns when announcing Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages, Ted Allen awkwardly avoiding product placement, and Chopped contestants deciding to make a sauce or garnish in the last 0.03 seconds of the round. Actually, the last one makes me more stressed than anything.

7. I work in advertising so you'd think I'd be a little less susceptible to it, but I still find that I appreciate brands with a good sense of humor much more. Exhibit A: Justin's (because of the product descriptions). And conversely, it's very gratifying watching Apple commercials knowing that I will never, ever be persuaded get an iPhone.

8. One of my greatest joys since moving to New York has been adding to my Google Map of places to eat and drink. I think that's when you really know a city, when you've got favorite coffeeshops on every corner and a favorite hole-in-the-wall quick bite in every neighborhood. I'm still on the hunt for the best soup dumplings and/or truffle fries in the city. And ramen. Omg ramen.

9. The #MeToo movement raises a lot of thorny questions, but among them is one I'm always conflicted about: Can you really separate the art from the artist? Should we not watch That '70s Show or Woody Allen movies or anything under the Weinstein Company umbrella? Should we not stream Chris Brown on Spotify? One of my friends said she would still listen to her favorite artist on Spotify even if they were problematic, because so little revenue comes from Spotify, so it's a lesser impact than, say, buying a concert ticket. Another one of my friends argued that you can't really separate the art from the artist, because art is a reflection of the artist. But I think it comes down to the question: How much is art worth to us? And that extends to other things too. How much is convenience or fun worth? Should we use Lyft over Uber? Should we not go to Coachella and not eat at Chick-fil-A? I've said this before, but it's a difficult thing, to really consider the repercussions of our choices. It takes a certain level of consciousness to understand that every little thing we do has consequences all the way down the line, and honestly, ethical consumption is a tricky concept, all things considered. But I also don't feel like activism should be that easy, à la the Golden Globes, where actresses and actors wore black to raise awareness of the TIME'S UP initiative. It's a black-tie event. I guarantee at least 80% of those people were planning on wearing black anyway. And as much as I appreciate Oprah and Natalie Portman, a better way to protest would have been not to attend in the first place, because the success of the event is contingent upon the attendance of celebrities. Come on, guys.

10. I'd never really thought anything of doing an annual family Christmas card—matching outfits, picturesque location, the whole production—until my friend remarked to me a couple of years ago, "That's such a white thing to do." I remember being a bit shocked that other peoples' families didn't do Christmas cards. How else were the neighbors and your distant relatives supposed to know what you were up to? Since then I've asked all of my non-white friends, and they all find the concept hilarious. But to our family, it's tradition (this year's included Java and Fiji, my mom's new bunny children).

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HAPPENING MEOW