Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Origins of Outdated Phrases, Things that Annoy Me Today Part Two (The Re-Annoying), and Probably, Some Movies

Opening Blather
It may take me weeks, months or a coon's age, whatever that is, to recover from our egregious move and all the frantic and yet also tedious work I have to do. We'll see. It makes your mistress a cranky girl, and large nightly doses of our sweet Lady Brandy doesn't seem to be helping as much as you'd think. Plus, I can't afford it. Still, the thought of eating right, getting more exercise and generally being a puritan fundamentalist goody two shoes makes me totally nauseous. It would be against my religion, if I had one.

Where did this expression "goody two shoes" come up anyway? Is it some snide social commentary on posh people who can afford both shoes? What kind of sad sap with only one shoe came up with that? Can you buy just one shoe? I don't think so.

And to find out the answer to this pressing question, it leads to another—what did we ever do before Google? Oh yeah, we called the Library Answer Line. Way to go Google, you put an entire industry out of work. That must have been a pretty sweet job too, sitting around all day in a darkened cubicle looking up the answers to silly and arcane questions while collecting those delicious full benefits government workers get. Nice.

So, for the further education of my one reader over the age of 40 who's actually heard the expression "goody two shoes", here's the origin, compliments of

[A] It comes from the title of a rather twee and moralistic nursery tale called The History of Goody Two-Shoes, which is thought to have been written by Oliver Goldsmith, and which was published in 1765 by John Newbery, one of the earliest London publishers of children’s stories. Goody owned only one shoe. When she was given a pair of them, she was so pleased that she showed them to everybody, saying “Two shoes”. The phrase now refers to a self-righteous, smugly virtuous person.

So there you go. Edu-macational, right? Maybe not. The chick sounds like a total drip anyway. And, according to Wikipedia, a "coon's age" refers to how long people in the 1800's thought raccoons lived, or roughly 4-5 years. Wow.

I had a raccoon knock on my back window once. When I whisked back the curtain to see who was knocking it was a big surprise for both of us, I can tell you. The raccoon was probably never the same again. There's probably an whole raccoon mythology built up around this story now, "Don't go knocking on strange windows, there might be an ogre in there. Seriously dude, it's not worth it."

And, because of the above reference material, we now have to look up the origin of the word "twee" too, don't we? Um, Websters says it means excessively dainty. I'm not going to tell you what the Urban Dictionary says it means, 'cause damn, that's a bit nasty.

Annoying Things Part Deux, AKA Curmudgeon Ranting A-Go-Go

Have you noticed how the increasing opportunities for anonymity in our lives has led to the total downfall of modern civilization? When the general populace has the reasonable expectation of not having their names attached to their behavior, they are totally rude and sometimes even fatally self centered. The majority of drivers would rather cut off their own leg and eat it raw before letting you merge into traffic in front of them, leading to congestion and accidents. The average internet user has no problem calling other people "gay", "fag", "whore" or whatever, all while butchering the english language with emoticons and l33t (ask your children). In general, it seems as if people just don't give a shit about anyone and everyone except themselves anymore—I won't even get started on what people get up to on public transportation. Seriously folks, trim your smelly naked toenails in the privacy of your own home, not on the #73 bus to the U District.

Even More Ranting, Bathroom Edition
I'm old enough to remember those halcyon days when the women's bathroom was actually reasonably clean. In these most modern times there are a class of dames who are so fastidious about the cleanliness of their own rump roasts that they use those ridiculous paper barriers provided in public bathrooms, but care so little about everyone else's sensibilities that when they are done with their business, they just walk away, leaving a pot full of whatever and a big shred of paper hanging off the side of the toilet that is slowly absorbing the pee and turning yellow. Totally, totally gross. And much, much worse are those women who feel the need to hover over the toilet, thereby not touching the seat with their precious ass-ettes, but also getting pee and crap all over the seat, floor and sometimes even walls of the stall. Dear God, what kind of mouth breathing pond scum does that? Numerous studies have shown that your average public toilet seat is actually much cleaner that a lot of things with which you come into regular contact, such as your computer keyboard or kitchen dish towel. Porcelain is not a congenial environment for bacteria. Think about that, "ladies."

And yet these assorted types of wastes of skin are the very people who will greet you Monday morning at the water cooler with "Hello, how was your weekend?" Face to face, we still pretend to be civil human beings, but tucked away into the relative safety of our cars, computers or bathroom stalls, we revert to savage selfish beasts, or based on my own estimation, at least 80% of us do. Personally, I try in my daily life to be considerate and let other drivers merge, wipe down the handle of the paper towel dispenser, clean up after the coffee maker when it leaks and generally try to leave things at least a bit better than when I found them, but sometimes I feel as if I'm, you know, peeing in the wind. (At least that's more sanitary than the second floor toilet at the Meridian 16 Cinema. Yeech.) Every time I begin to have smidgen of hope for humanity, I drive on the freeway or visit the Ladies Peehaus at the local multiplex and realize the error in my thinking. It's sad.

I blame Rupert Murdoch and the MTV. Or P. Diddy, because he's got "pee" right there in his "name."

• • •

Five Movies

Speaking of water coolers, rumor is that Jumper sucks massive donkey balls, so I will avoid that one, and according to my twinkie coworker, so should you. Even her frat boy boyfriend and his budz hated it. Plus, there is just no excuse for Hayden Christenson. Man, that guy could not act his way out of a paper bag at a scissors convention. I've heard that a certain class of teenage girl used to find him to be "so hot," but they have Shia Labeouf now, so Ole Hayden can just bugger off. Even Ashton Kutcher is a better actor, and...oh my god, my fingers can't believe what they just typed.

27 Dresses
Okay, seriously now, who is going to believe that classically massive hottie Katherine Heigl would not be able to snag a husband and therefore be condemned to being "ever the bridesmaid, never the bride?" Not me, that's for sure. This is a movie about shopping for and trying on clothes, which I'm told is fun to do, but is not actually that enjoyable to watch, trust me. Also, after the oh so much more fun Knocked Up, apparently Ms. Heigl now has to have, by contract, a drunken hookup scene in every movie she does. Go Netflix Knocked Up instead—I kind of have a thing for Seth Rogan because he's squishably adorable—but don't watch Knocked Up with your 13-years-old-or-younger daughter, unless you want to teach her all about what men are really like when they are on their own.

There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor, blah blah, and he'll win all the awards, just like he does every time he slithers out from whatever rock he's been hiding under for the last few years, thereby cheating George Clooney out of his deserved Oscar for his much more subtle performance in Michael Clayton. TWBB is a certainly a good movie featuring interesting dialog, beautiful cinematography, championship acting by supporting players, but face it, it's ultimately also super depressing (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm going to just come out and say it, I didn't like it. That might make me a Philistine in some eyes, but I'm not afraid to admit that I started to fall asleep, and in the last 45 minutes or so, I actively wanted to punch Daniel Day Lewis right in the face. Mr. Daniel can writhe around demonstrating his sledge hammer method-acting skills every five years all he wants, I'm over him.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Um, it has Johnny Depp in it, 'nuff said. In this movie Our Johnny sports impressive eyebrows, a shock of white hair, a permanently fixed evil glare, won't stop singing, and it's still worth seeing. Even that tone deaf husband stealing over-acting Helena Bonham Carter can't ruin the show. If you were a fan of the Broadway musical version, then you'll probably love the movie. If you aren't already steeped in the music and generally don't like musicals, you'll probably hate it. Girls, take your mother, and leave your frat boy boyfriend at home with a beer and some porn. He'll thank you later.

And finally, Girl Kid reports that Strange Wilderness is the worst movie ever made, so listen and learn. I loves me some Steve Zahn, but I gather even he can't save this lead balloon in a swimming pool full of crap. Go rent Out of Sight featuring a star-making performance by Mr. Zahn (and George Clooney) instead, now that's a good movie, and possibly the only good thing Jennifer Lopez has ever done, up to and including dumping Ben Affleck.

Hoo boy, we see a lot of movies don't we? We watch crap, so you don't have to—because sometimes, just sometimes, there's pearls buried in amongst the crap, sometimes diamonds, and sometimes the most transcendent experience ever. That's why I love the movies.

Also, I know I've had a bad history of only posting every two to eleven months, but since I'm playing massive on-the-job hooky this week, there's one from just yesterday right below this one, so read it too! Go ahead, make me happy.


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