Saturday, January 29, 2005 · posted at 6:16 AM
Dear Abby... Due to a series of unfortunate events recently, I have decided it is entirely appropriate to visit the wonderful world of movie etiquette.

I'm not talking about the in-movie etiquette (e.g. refraining from: bringing little ones in Pampers, chewing/slurping loudly, removing your shoes, answering phone calls, putting your feet on the seat in front of you... when there's a person sitting there), though this too is important to the movie-going experience.

What I'm talking about is an even more critical factor: pre-movie etiquette.

With tickets costing as much as Monday happy hour at Surfside sushi, one-time-wear shirts from Forever 21, and Target weekly sale items (all very important expenditures), give recommendations freely and accept them seriously. If a movie completely and totally blows on so many levels that it transcends taste and personal preference, tell a person. Saw Collateral and it sucks? Issue a public service announcement. Saw Million Dollar Baby and it made a stone heart clench? Pay it forward. Important note: Take recommendations only from a reliable source, such as one who receives EW in the mail every Friday.

There is no excuse for an invitation getting "lost in the mail"... ever. If you care not to see a movie with a person, fine, but hold your tongue, refrain from movie talk and especially don't rub it in that this person was excluded. This holds particularly true if the movie is being recommended by said person (e.g. "I heard Sideways is like Swingers. We should go watch it"). Additionally, comments such as "I really want to see Finding Neverland" that seem to indicate a desire to watch a movie most often do and should be interpretted as "hey if you're going to go watch it, I want to go."

Keeping in mind the whole "holding your tongue" at the appropriate moments, it goes without saying that one must always exercise tact when talking about a movie. This means not walking out of the theater talking about the surprise ending in earshot of the next patrons or bashing an actress in front of her grandmother. This also means not asking what disease a main character died from before confirming that the other party has seen the movie.

So though some of you may say this little instructional guide was a complete waste of reading time, others are in dire, dire need of it.

Not that I'm bitter or anything...

Monday, January 24, 2005 · posted at 7:32 AM
Regina: But you're, like, really pretty.
Cady: Thank you.
Regina: So you agree?
Cady: What?
Regina: You think you're really pretty?
Cady: Oh... I don't know
       - Mean Girls

I have to write my own letter of recommendation for grad school. As in, I asked my boss to write me one and she said, "why don't you draft something up and I'll sign it."

There's nothing weirder than (1) having to toot your own horn and (2) having to interact with someone who knows exactly how highly you think of yourself and exactly how much you are pulling out of your @ss.

I'm really bad at lying. I'm especially bad at lying on paper because speech seems to dissipate while writing provides physical evidence that weighs on my conscience.

Aside from that, this is the kind of lying that is very, very easily caught. "Hard worker? Efficient? Not the girl who only warranted a 50 cent merit increase..." It's different presenting the best, played up, elaborated, white-lied foot forward to a bunch of strangers than to someone who clearly knows you are presenting the best, played up, elaborated, white-lied foot...

And who's seen you click-quick E!Online away... And watched your inbox fill with personal mail during a meeting... And clocked you when you walk in 30 minutes later and leave 30 minutes early.

In the end I decided to just f*** it and wrote myself a grand description with the naive hope that despite everything, maybe my boss actually still thinks it's true. Signed, sealed, and delivered.

Toot, toot.

Thursday, January 20, 2005 · posted at 6:31 PM
I always feel torn when the bigwigs come into town. On the one hand, there's always leftover catered lunches and continental breakfasts, and I have an excuse to shut the door due to all the commotion going on outside. On the other hand, I still have to look professional when walking through the halls, and even when hiding in my office I can hear the grand tour go by and someone explaining why my office is one of the few unadorned with multiple degrees.

Oh well, I guess I'll just cry into my cheese danish.

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