Holidays are the Worst

Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls
Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls

If possible, on almost any given holiday, I would like to be tranquilized, Valley of the Dolls/Marilyn Monroe style. Shoot something into me that knocks me out until the day is over. If it’s a holiday in which the festivities last for DAYS, I’d prefer whatever shot does that. Or whatever they took in Romeo & Juliet, I guess.

Continue reading “Holidays are the Worst”

Blogathon: Life, Love and the Movies

Life Love and the Movies

While reading through the LAMB‘s retweets I came across many bloggers participating in a super awesome blogathon. The Life, Love and the Movies blogathon is fantastic. It reminds me of those surveys we used to do on Myspace that you now see pop up on tumblr or occasionally Facebook, except it’s all about movies and how they have related to your life and your love life, specifically. Get ready to learn a lot about me.


1. What was the first movie you saw in the cinema and what do you remember about that visit?

Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit

I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit when I was 5. My older brother took me because my little sister (who was 2) had to be taken to see a doctor. We don’t remember what she was sick for or anything though. I was very excited to see a movie in the theater. I still love the film BTW.

2. Are there any movies you have very strong memories of which are not because of the movie (for example something which happened at the time you were watching it)?

simpsons movie

I usually give a movie my full attention. I have two memories from the theater that come to mind but they are due to the movies themselves. I saw W. with my sister when it came out. She wasn’t going to be in town for very long so when we realized that the movie was wasting our time together (we were so bored) we walked out. That’s the only movie I’ve ever walked out of. I also remember seeing that Heath Ledger fantasy film, The Brothers Grimm. It wasn’t very good but the reason that it comes to mind is that the theater was having a glitch and the film stopped about three times. We were not amused.

I also remember a few movies that were so exciting because they were like events. Titanic was exciting as a horny 14 year old girl. It was also the first movie that I saw that had an intermission. When the Star Wars films were re-released (and later the first prequel) we went to see them during a midnight screening. Waiting in line with all of the huge Star Wars fans (as I’d become once I saw them) was exciting and the original was my first midnight screening. As an adult my most anticipated movie that my sister and I went to see at midnight was The Simpsons Movie. It was awesome to be there with all of the other Simpsons fans in their tees. There was a problem with our theater’s projector though so we had to move after getting there early and picking out prime seats. It still rocked though.

3. Which movies had a big impact on you and changed a (small) part of your view on life?

marla fight club

One of my dad’s favorite movies is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was a big fan of watching it on Halloween when I was a kid. I think that helped with realizing that there were people out there who didn’t conform to social norms. As a little kid I didn’t get that it was so sexual.

Trainspotting, A Clockwork Orange and Fight Club are some movies I saw as a teenager that changed my outlook on life. They showed me that some people live outside of what society expects of us. Even though I can be materialistic I like the idea of materialism not making you happy as they mention in Trainspotting and Fight Club. A Clockwork Orange also appeals to that side of me that believes that people never fully change. Plus as an atheist I think it’s hilarious when he reads the bible for the violence.

4. Do you have any comfort movies which you return to because you are in a specific mood (for example if you are feeling down/nursing a heartbreak)?


Showgirls is my favorite movie. If I’m in a depression it helps a little.

5. If a movie would be made about your life, what type of movie would it be and who would you like to portray you?

amanda seyfried

It would be awesome if it were a sex comedy. Since it would be about me though it would have to have my issues (not just my sometimes awesome sex life) in it. So maybe Amanda Seyfried. She’s a great actress with blonde hair (I’m not natural but I always go back to it) who has had IRL issues with anxiety and panic attacks. Plus she’s not naturally that thin so she could easily gain a little weight to look more like me. Acting wise I adore Nicole Kidman. I guess she could also do it since she can do anything.

6. Which existing movie best represents you?

the net

As someone who figured out that they have PDD-NOS (basically asperger’s, autism spectrum disorder) and was bullied a lot in school I totally relate to that part of Ben X, which sucks. I’m not a gamer though. As an adult in that regard it would be Adam, even though I am not a fan of Rose Byrne.

I don’t think any movie really represents me though. Maybe The Net? I know most don’t care for it, but I totally do. Ways Angela Bennett (Sandra Bullock) is like me: she works from home on a computer, orders pizza online, saves up money for vacations in which she dresses provocatively, drinks and sleeps with a stranger. She’s very alienated so it’s possible she suffers from a bit of social anxiety, especially since she is pretty paranoid even before everything happens. So yeah, that one.

7. If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would be the last movie you would want to see?


8. If you can spend your life working in the film industry, what would you be and why? (you know, director, producer, actor, cinematographer, costume designer, sound designer etc?)

I wanted to be an actor when I was young. I love clothes but I don’t think I could deal with the actors’ demands and weight concerns. I’d want to write/direct these days.


1. Did you ever have a first kiss with someone while at the cinema and if so which movie was playing?

No. I’ve given hjs to a bf at the movies though.

2. What is your favorite movie relationship and why?

in her shoes

When Harry Met Sally is definitely up there. It actually sucks that they wasted years just hanging out when they could have been dating when you think about it but I end up going back to it often. A completely different example of onscreen love that I adore is Secretary. BDSM and fear of commitment! If you mean a movie in general, not just a romance, a great family dynamic is played out between the sisters in In Her Shoes. If I watch that I have to be prepared to cry and call my sister.

3. When did your love for movies start and how has it grown?

I’ve been watching movies since childhood as a result of my father being really into movies. I didn’t really think about the reality or impact of movies until I was in junior high. I think that’s when I started truly appreciating and studying them. Although when we were kids we still did really like watching movies. The local video store had a one day rental on new releases so if we loved something we had to re watch it the next morning before it went back.

4. If you have to choose one film to watch with your loved one, what would it be and why?

maximus tangled

This depends on the day and what’s happening. Tangled is awesome and family friendly though.

5. If you can choose one character from a movie to be your significant other who would it be and why?

indy apple

Either Indiana Jones or Christian from Moulin Rouge. Christian from Moulin Rouge as played by Ewan McGregor (sighs) is super sweet and I think he’d always be there for you. However Indiana Jones is fuckin’ Indiana Jones, I mean he reads, he travels and he’s played by Harrison Ford at his sexiest! Sure, he’s emotionally unavailable but I bet he’s great in the sack!

6. What was the first movie that made you fall in in love with film and cinema?


I can’t really pinpoint this. The Wizard of Oz has always loomed large though. I also remember being really excited when I got to see Beetlejuice when I was 6, not just because it looked awesome but because it was rated PG!

7. How did your passion for movies turn you into a movie blogger?

I’ve been writing since I picked up a pencil (age 4). I used to write fiction but as I grew older I started writing outside of that. When I was a teen I had a psych class that forced us to keep a journal. I was at a point when I didn’t have that much going on so I would often write a short review of a movie I’d seen over the weekend on Mondays.

8. What is your favorite date from a movie?

before sunrise

This is a tough one. I’m going to go with Before Sunrise though. It’s great how they seize the moment and feel that immediate connection.

Click here to answer these questions for yourselves fellow movie lovers!

You may also enjoy:
Regarding the movies:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Showgirls
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Moulin Rouge
6 Films Starring Nicole Kidman
Movie Quotes: Disney’s Tangled
Top 1990s Movies about Twentysomethings on Netflix Streaming-includes Before Sunrise (which is no longer available but you can still read my thoughts on it)
Top Oscar Winning Movies on Netflix Streaming-includes Beetlejuice (also no longer available but ditto what I wrote above)
Top Romantic Comedies on Netflix Streaming-includes When Harry Met Sally (again, no longer available, see above)
Shirtless Beefcakes of the 90s-includes Ewan McGregor and Harrison Ford
When They Were Young-includes Harrison Ford
Super Links Plus: 2/09/12-includes Amanda Seyfriend looking gorgeous

Regarding me:
Mary’s Somewhat Excellent 2010
Style File: Video Store Interview
My Father: TV Star aka “It’s okay to stay”
Style File: The Red Badger
Style File: 2011 Bday All Pink Everything
Snakes…in the mall

An Open Letter To Darden aka Quitting my First “Pretty Person Job”

me og
Moi, excited to start work at the OG for my first day of orientation. BTW-you can wear slightly more revealing tees as a hostess, which I did.

In late August/early September when I first applied to our local Olive Garden (in operation for less than a year, we are far behind the times in this small town), I wanted to be a server. I had two interviews with nice bosses. The second ended in a “We’ll call you”. According to my online research this is usually a nice brush off from this company.

So I kept up the job search even though I had my heart set on OG. I’m a fan of the food and atmosphere. Plus I was keen on a job involving tips. Not long after that, I had a quick, easy interview/job offer at a fast food place not to far from where I live. That part was ideal even though I’m not huge on working in a fast food environment. I only lasted shortly at a McDonald’s years back.

Or course, while I was waiting for the fast food restaurant to order my uniform I actually received a call from the OG welcoming me to “the family”. I want to say this was about 10 days after the initial interview. I was a bit torn but went with Olive Garden, my dream at the moment (not all of my dreams are big).

My initial worries as a server stem from my health issues, I’m not great with maps (the seating outline) and am incredibly clumsy. However while training I never dropped anything and felt that I was making real headway on learning the table numbers.

Unfortunately there is a 16 page test administered to servers pre-hire. You get about a week to study. This was not enough time for me to memorize most of the menu (which is what’s on it). I did study, hard, I even took online quizzes, however my memory is not the best. As I filled out the test I felt like I knew about half of it, if that. my trainer sadly told me that I’d have to take it again. I asked if I could just be a hostess or busser. I’m not lazy, mind you, but that stuff wasn’t sticking and I was starting school concurrently, which to me, is more important than remembering the entire contents of each dish. I was told to contact another manager later.

When I talked to the manager that hired me she was very nice, even offering to proctor a verbal test, I knew that with my autism (PDD-NOS, Aspergers, high functioning, ASD, whatever you prefer), that would actually turn out worse. She offered me a hostess position with the possibility of trying as a server again in the future.

My hostess trainer was very informative. She was obviously the type of person who gets everything done. I admire that. That is the type of worker that I am. I am not lazy and I never have been. (That’s a fallacy due to my issues with people). I was most worried about interacting with customers but that went quite well for the most part. I could turn on an easy smile and a script, occasionally a compliment and put them at ease.

marnie 2
Marnie on HBO’s Girls in her hostess uniform. Her job is constantly referred to as a “pretty person job”.

It would seem that all was going well. However not too far into my hostess training I met B (let’s just use her first initial). She was overly bossy and domineering. I had a severe panic attack knowing that I would just be working with her the next morning. I had to go see a doctor and get an excuse for this.

After this I psyched myself up. I got into it. Many of the other hostesses, servers, cooks, etc. are very easy to be around or at least cooperative. There is a difference between trying to get a job done well and barking orders at others. I did not get that impression from the rest of the staff.

Would you want to work with a Regina from Mean Girls type daily? Yeah, didn’t think so.

In high school (far prior to my diagnosis) I was bullied by girls much like my new, petite 19 year old greeter who caused my quick downfall.

I was on lunch yesterday which turned into dinner, which is fine, more money is great, but what wasn’t fine was my two hour extended panic attack that I tried to hide (yay, I didn’t cry until after I clocked out and left the restaurant for the night). This was due to B coming in and overwhelming me with unnecessary barkingly loud orders. When someone yells at me I go fight or flight (mainly flight).

Looking at the schedule I saw that I’d be working with B again, tonight and tomorrow morning. Suffice to say I was scared shitless. That’s how anxiety works. Everything’s amplified. Between remembering how she barked orders both directly to me and overly loudly over our headsets last night I was very worried about two full shifts with her.

I had to try. I’m tired of letting others step all over me. I went in. Nothing had changed. Yesterday wasn’t just a bad day for her. I asked a couple of coworkers, she’s always like that. At one point she physically pushed past me, needlessly, keep in mind that she’s a size 0/2, she could have easily gotten around me. This is how bullies act. It’s not size, it’s character. I was only there about a half hour, as in that time she actually had me so on edge that I made a stupid mistake (not a biggie) because I couldn’t concentrate. I was berated for that and other mistakes that I didn’t make but had to deal with while seating guests. At one point she did that chilly preppy, Mean Girl stare right into my face and put me down. I apologized. Then I backtracked because this is ridiculous. I muttered “fuck this” to her and went in the beverage area to put away my walkie talkie. At over ten years out of high school I’m no longer letting a preppy teen girl put me down constantly.

I walked out. I knew I’d be fired and I understand the reasoning for that. Nonetheless I needed to call my boss and explain what had happened. He was very nice about it (he’s in customer service, after all). He mentioned strong personalities and different personalities. He also understood how it might bother me because of my past. SO IS IT OKAY FOR AN EMPLOYEE TO BULLY OTHER EMPLOYEES WHO DON’T HAVE MY PAST? I tend to disagree. At one point he let slip that he had mentioned something to B about this type of behavior before. “She’s very serious about her work”. Yeah, lots of people are but they don’t treat ya like scum. Then he said that if he said something to her he’d have to say something to others if something similar happened. Umm, yeah that’s why companies have HR, they even had that in the last retail environment that I worked in (not that I needed it, but it was there). He stated that the restaurant business was rough. I got the feeling that he was trying to say that I wasn’t cut out for it.

Physically, probably not. The other hostesses were mostly bleached blonde, short, thin and very young (about 18-20). I’m taller (though not tall at 5’4″) and curvy. The only thing I had in common was the long blonde hair (though mine is curly). I did try to acclimate though. The official rule book states that long hair should be tied back even for hostesses but these girls had to show off their blowouts. So eventually I started putting a lot of product in my hair to let the curls flow. Plus I started wearing makeup daily to work (I don’t normally do that). I also only wore my contacts as glasses must be pretty unpopular, only one hostess wore them.

But mentally I was doing well aside from her. I loved interacting with the guests. Helping parents seat their children and seeing them get excited over their special menu and crayons (I’m studying childcare, btw). Many people are out to have a good time and are in a good mood. Even if they weren’t though I was very gracious and helpful. I take everything seriously. However I’m not…a bitch. Would you go to high school again for $7.35 an hour? Yeah, I just couldn’t. It broke me the first time.

I feel that the what I took away from this is that Darden condones and in fact nurtures bullying employees. Sad, especially in 2013.

P.S. When referring to Darden I should point out that Darden Restaurants owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and many other well known restaurants.

How Not to Shop in April or Avoiding Eugenics Funding

Just because someone is imperfect doesn’t mean that their life isn’t worth living.

I don't want to live in a world that in any way resembles the movie Gattaca.

(photo source)

I’m going with a very simple message here. Autism Speaks was founded to eradicate autism so DO NOT support them. Autism is not a disease or a virus (so yeah, Jenny McCarthy, it’s not polio). Their research was based on finding an autism gene so that anyone who could be anywhere on the spectrum could be aborted prior to birth. Some people think this is way of looking at it is overkill. Some people balk at the inference that Autism Speaks is about eugenics. However if you look at what happened to the population of individuals with Down syndrome since they were able to find out their genetic makeup then you may see where I’m coming from. In the US it’s estimated that currently 87-98% of fetuses with Down syndrome are aborted. This isn’t so they can find some magical “cure”, inject your child with a needle and make them “normal”. That ain’t happen’. Kay?

After Autism Speaks had been around for a while some started asking how this was going to help their autistic children when Autism Speaks still hadn’t found a cure so they started to allot a small amount of their dough to children, about 4%.

(source of both the graph and the compiled data)

So what can you do this month?

Well it’s what you shouldn’t do.

Do not donate any money to Autism Speaks. Don’t fall for the celebs spouting rhetoric and don’t contribute to them via any of the following companies who are actively asking for contributions during this “Autism Awareness Month”. I am a realist. I am not expecting you to boycott them (unless that’s the only option). Just don’t buy whatever it is that they are selling that would directly benefit Autism Speaks.

Build-A-Bear Workshop
runs through June 30, 2012
They will ask you if you want to donate $1 or more at the register. In Canada they will try to sell you a purple satin ribbon for the same purpose.

through April 30, 2012
They will be donating 10% of the final purchase price of any product tagged “autism” (according to this article, so untag your products now!) or “autismawareness2012” according to the site. 50% of the donations will go to Autism Speaks while the other 50 will go to another autism charity chosen by the CafePress Community.

Fashion Bug’s “Spare Change Makes a Difference” Campaign
runs through April 7, 2012
They will ask you to round up your purchase at the register, with the change going to Autism Speaks.

FuzziBunz Cloth Diapers
through December 31, 2012
The company will donate $1 to Autism Speaks for every Light It Up Blue diaper that is sold.
has raised over $13,000 for Autism Speaks in the past

Gaylord Hotels
through April 30, 2012
10% of the purchase of any “Rooms for Good” package will go to Autism Speaks.

The Home Depot
through April 30, 2012
They are selling selling “Light It Up Blue” Coleman LED lanterns and blue light bulbs. A $1 from the $1.65 bulbs or $2 from the $19.88 lanterns will go to Autism Speaks (donations cap off at $160,000).

Lindt (chocolate)
through April 8th, 2012
If you buy a Lindt Gold Bunny .10 will be donated to Autism Speaks, $2 from a pre-filled Easter basket from Lindt, $1 if you send an Easter e-card, $10 if you repin from their Pin4Autism board on Pinterest (I know you guys love Pinterest, don’t accidentally do this cuz it’s a bunny or chocolate!) or $25 if you create a pin for them

ShopRite (grocery)
through April 7, 2012
You will be asked to donate $1 or $5 at the register.

Square Shooters Game
through April 30, 2012
Simply liking the Facebook page for this game means that the company will donate $1 to Autism Speaks. ($3,500 cap)

Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us
They will give you a shopping bag designed by autistic artist James Hogarth if you donate $10 or more.
has raised over $12 million for Autism Speaks in the past

Walmart is selling an ICE Block Cooler with a blue light inside for “Light It Up Blue”. I can’t currently find out how much of this money will go to Autism Speaks but “Light It Up Blue” is for them.

This list is not comprehensive. Feel free to leave info on any other places we should avoid donating at in the comments.

(Autism Speaks’ fear mongering)

a great project by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

I am not saying that the companies who are participating in this are bad companies.

Some may be misinformed. I was. I didn’t know what autism was AT ALL…aside from the terribly negative, stereotypical videos and interviews perpetuated by Autism Speaks until last year. I also didn’t know anything at all about the goal of Autism Speaks. If you had mentioned fundraising for them a couple of years ago I probably would have thought that it would “help the children”.

In fact you are contributing money to them so they can cut open dead childrens’ brains to extract genetic information that may eventually lead to many people being aborted seemingly without a second thought, if the Down syndrome effect happens. This is why people have made Hitler comparisons. Some say that’s ridiculous. Sorry but he is the most famous person who tried to enforce his own ideas of who should and shouldn’t be allowed to live. In fact it’s even closer to that. The doctor Hans Asperger, who discovered Asperger’s Syndrome (on the autism spectrum), was actually doing his studies during The Third Reich. It’s believed that he was able to save some of his subjects from extermination under Hitler by altering reports on them.

The point, again, is that you should not donate money to a company that could eventually lead to the extermination of an entire subsection of individuals.

Don’t forget to check out the countering Autism Acceptance Movement by actual, real people with autism.

Now read and actually inform yourself if you want to learn from people with autism or about this type of eugenics
(Not: These are simply links that I recommend, I’m not implying that any of these people agree with anything that I’ve stated in this piece.)
Dear well-meaning strangers
There’s so much work to be done, and we’re lighting up
Why I am against Autism Speaks
The Loud Hands Project
Autism Awareness is Not Enough: Here’s How to Change the World
The Upside of Autism
Why Does Termination of Children with Down syndrome Affect us so deeply?
Autism research focuses on early intervention
Autism and Eugenics
Possible Pre-Natal Screening Test for Autism Sparks Eugenics Debate in UK
Down Syndrome screening and the revival of eugenics
Jon Will’s gift-about a man with Down syndrome and his family

Note: I am not against abortion in general. I am pro-choice. However I am against just willy nilly aborting every fetus determined imperfect in some way.