Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reviewing: Love in 90 Days

We're way beyond sanity now.  We're venturing into an alternate universe.  Dare I say it, we may have entered Venus territory.  Blech.

You know the drill.  Touchy, feely, devote-yourself-to-love, be-open-to-love, avoid-bad-patterns, work-at-it, something's wrong with YOU.  Sigh.  Why did I sign up for this?

Because the only thing sane about these books tends to be the lists, here's Diane Kirschner's list of Deadly Dating Patterns:

1) The Flame Out - You have chemistry, things move fast, and then he disappears.
2) The Fantasy Relationship - A crush (or ex) that drains all of your energy.
3) Crumbs - Unavailable (time-wise) man.  See Mr. Big in Sex and the City.
4) The Hermit - You just don't make the time to be social.
5) I'll Make You Love Me - Working too hard to be what you're not in order to keep him.
6) Abuse Recycle - Remember Sleeping with the Enemy?
7) The Safety Net - Think about dating the personification of your safety-school.
8) Not Perfect / I'll Pass - You project your own insecurities on the guy and dump him/don't pursue him.
9) Chase Me - You're commitment phobic, become distant and hope he'll come after you.
10) Fade Away - You're bored and acting boring on dates, thus not getting called back.
11) Jealousy Trap - You project your own insecurities by acting jealous and fighting.
12) Just Buddies - You're one of the guys, and you don't feel feminine.
13) The Grass is Greener - You never commit for fear there's something better out there.

The only other part of interest was a chapter on Frenemies.  Because Sex and the City was referenced, I'll label these four types of frenemies accordingly.  The Samantha (cynic who doesn't believe 'happy marriage' exists), the Carrie (needy narcissist in crisis who demands all of your time for herself), the Miranda (Debbie Downer who constantly drags you down), the Charlotte (jealous of your success and finds fake flaws in the guy).  Can you tell I hate Sex and the City?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bridget on Positive Thinking

Sandy's post-op rehab facility,
otherwise known as my living room.
I've said it before, but what I most like about Bridget Jones is her ability to hold her head up while everything falls down around her, including herself falling down a fireman's pole on National TV.  She has a sense of humor about her life, even when she is saying things are the end of the world.  Sure, she fears dying fat and alone, being eaten by wild dogs.  However, at the same time, she can tell a room full of smug marrieds that perhaps the reason there are so many single women in their 30s is because, underneath their clothes, they are covered in scales and that she only wears her bunny suit on very special occasions.

Lately, I confess, I've been thinking things are the end of the world.  I've been really worried about my sweet little dog Sandy: worrying that I'm going to get a call back from the vet telling me she's dying of cancer, worrying that she won't make it out of surgery alive, worrying that if she does make it out of surgery, I won't be able to get the care she needs for recovering.  Worrying, worrying, worrying.  I guess since it's her 2nd time being faced with cancer, and since my mom died of cancer the 2nd time she got it, I've been thinking it's just a reality I'm going to have to accept.  Well, maybe it is, and maybe it's not.  But worrying isn't going to help with any of what lies ahead.

What will help?  Thinking like Bridget, of course.  She has the choice of accepting her permanent state of spinsterhood and being eaten by wild dogs, and she chooses not.  Well, I choose not to accept that my dog will die.  (Funny, dogs playing very different roles in our scenarios.)  And today, instead of throwing out all of my self-help books, drinking vodka, playing Chaka Khan, and falling off the treadmill, I'm going to make my dog's flight reservation for Christmas.  Although vodka and Chaka Khan does sound more appealing.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Re: Auntie Una and Uncle Geoffrey vs. My Aunt and Uncle

Auntie Una is Pamela Jones's partner in crime.  In the book more than in the movie, she really does take on the role of Bridget's surrogate mom by making sure that everything is taken care of for Christmas etc.  They even house Colin when Pamela kicks him out.  Uncle Geoffrey, on the other hand, is a bit of a pervert, pushing Bridget to divulge the secrets of her personal life and even giving her cotton tail a little "bop-bop" at the ex-Tarts-and-Vicars party.

My Aunt Sally is much the same as Auntie Una in that she always knows the right thing to do for parties, respects and upholds traditions, and has stepped in as a surrogate mom now that my mom has gone to that great spa-resort in the sky.  However, my dear Uncle Jimmy is nothing like Uncle Geoffrey.  He's the picture of practicality, takes care of my business affairs in Georgia, and will probably preside over my wedding one day, if I'm lucky enough to ever have one, but only after performing a background check on the dude.

Aunt Sally and Uncle Jimmy, another pair of victors.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

WWBJD: Sale Wars

Scenario:  Bridget is shopping the Black Friday sales, and she finds the most lovely cashmere gloves, marked down 300% (yes, that means they'd pay her back twice the sticker price).  They are the last pair (quel shock).  When she goes in the fitting room, someone picks them up from the pile outside of her dressing room.  (There was a pile because she could only try on 6 items at a time, and she had picked up 27.)

A)  Discovers they are missing, spots the culprit, chases her down the hall, tackles her, grabs the gloves, smacks the woman with the gloves a few times in the face for good measure, and then trots to the cashier to check out.
B) Approaches the culprit, delicately suggests the idea that the gloves were in her pile and therefore belong to her.  When the culprit challenges her, she backs down and sulks.  Guess she'll only get 26 items.
C) Doesn't notice they are missing as the stack of stuff outside was such a heaping pile.

I'm thinking C, which would probably be what I'd do as well.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Reflections on Shopping (in honor of Black Friday)

To my surprise, Bridget is not that much of a shopper.  I wonder if the same can be said for her fan followers.  Ahem.

She doesn't have to have the coolest clothes, and in fact, she often borrows dresses for events.  Clothes are more often than not forced onto her by her mother.  She thinks Bridget "will never get a boyfriend if [she] look[s] like [she's] wandered out of Auschwitz."  In addition to teaching Bridget about what colors she should wear, her mother also instructs her about business attire in the book.  This all leads me to believe that Bridget's lack of clothes shopping has something to do with her relationship with her mother.

Much like Bridget's mom, my mom pushed "fashion" upon me.  When I loosely use the term "fashion," I mean that she wanted very much to dress me as Caroline Kennedy.  "Oh, this red pant suit with a black velvet collar is adorable." She bought that for me when I was 24.  I wish I were kidding.

My mom and her Aunt Betty Jean (yes, I'm southern) would go into Atlanta each Black Friday when my mom was a teenager.  For my mom, it was special to have store-bought clothes instead of outfits she or her mother had sewn.  My mom carried on the tradition by taking me into Atlanta every Black Friday.  The day still give me the shakes.  Crowds swirling, clothes hangers catching on things, knocking things over, hiding under the clothes racks (as a little girl), getting up early to beat the rush, the coupons - ooooh, the coupons, and sitting in traffic on the way home.  

As a result, I'm a die-hard online shopper.  I'm guessing Bridget would be as well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bridget's Take on Thanksgiving Day

In the first book, Bridget focuses a lot of her time and energy on how many holiday parties she is not invited to, who is having said parties, and why everyone else but her seems to be invited.  A lot of made-up holidays that we don't celebrate here in the States are celebrated in the UK by gathering friends together for parties.  Maybe there are fireworks (think Fourth of July), maybe there are barbeque feasts on roofs (think Memorial Day or Labor Day).  No matter what, there's drinking.

In addition to that, one of her least favorite things to do is have Daniel come over to her "flat" and watch "football" all weekend.

So, I'm thinking that Bridget would not be down for a day of watching football, surrounded with family, with no precedent for booze being involved.  Food, yes.  Booze, no.  When going around the table saying what you're thankful for, I think she'd be sandwiched between lovey-dovey smug marrieds who were so thankful for "John's promotion" or "little Johnnie getting into the top prep school."  She'd then feel like saying "I'm thankful for cigarettes" and go outside to have a smoke.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Bridget would think of The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson

Anyone unfamiliar with the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson book series?  Synopsis:  It's Bridget Jones as a teenager.

Who is this Georgia Nicolson, and what is she doing reliving my childhood?  The Ace Gang?  Try Urban Family.  Shaving off your eyebrow?  Try sliding down a fireman's pole.  Frying your hair off in front of boyfriend?  Try wearing incredible large knickers.  And Georgia, at least you were wrong about your mum having an affair...more than I can say.  Plus, you got a cat.  A very large cat, but a cat nonetheless.

Check out the whole series: http://www.georgianicolson.com/bookshelf.html

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reviewing: Have Him at Hello

These books are making me physically ill...but I push through it for you, to spare you the pain of reading it yourself.

In this one, Rachel Greenwald attempts to defend her choice of basically blaming women for everything wrong in the world of dating.  However, the juiciest bit to share with you does just this:  her list of Top Ten Date-breakers.

1) The Boss Lady - being too dominant, not soft, not feminine.
2) The Blahs - nothing special or exciting, "friend" material.
3) The Bait and Switch - the guy feels like the girl has lied or misrepresented herself.
4) The Park Avenue Princess - need I say more?
5) The Closer - interviewing for a sperm donor for her child.
6) The Flasher - too much baggage revealed on the 1st date.
7) The Bitch-in-Boots - passive-aggressive, not kind-hearted.
8) Debbie Downer - complains about everything.
9) The Ex-Factor - talks too much about ex-boyfriend.
10) The One-Way Street - either directs the whole date as an interrogation or is having a monologue with the date as the witness.  In general, self-absorbed.

Now, I'm not saying women don't do these things.  They do.  But Rachel, have you MET men?  They don't do these things too?

So there you have it: everything WE do wrong.  Good night, evil books.  Until next week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bridget on Frozen Yogurt

You're remembering correctly.  Bridget really never comes out and says anything about Frozen Yogurt.  In the 1st book, she does, however, go through a Smoothie phase where all she eats are smoothies....lots of smoothies.

Mmm....frozen yogurt.
Well, frozen yogurt is my smoothie.  In theory, they are both healthier alternatives to, you know, food.  Frozen yogurt is one of those things that makes me get up in the morning.  It's my version of Michael Scott's "bacon aroma" in the morning - worth grilling your foot on a George Foreman grill.  I plan my day around my daily trip to the commissary and spend a chunk of time each day pondering what flavors I'll encounter.  I'm pretty sure that it would have to be freezing outside for me to refuse frozen yogurt, and if it were freezing outside, I'd also have to move somewhere warmer...so I could enjoy frozen yogurt.

Here's the remnants of today's concoction:  red velvet frozen yogurt with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top.  Notice the scratching at the base of the bowl.  I leave nothing behind.  I am a few devolutionary steps away from licking the bowl, but I see it in the future for sure.

But it's healthy, right?  Bridget gets too much of a good thing with her Smoothie phase, and I fear the day when I too have to give up my precious frozen yogurt...mmm.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Re: Perpetua vs. an Un-named Person

Those who know me at all know, without a doubt, who is my version of Perpetua.  That is, who most tempts me to staple things to their head.  So.....let's just say mine wins, hands down, and leave it at that.  Seems fair enough, right?  (Come on, guys.  I'm trying very hard not to trash people in this blog...)
Can you make out the staples?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WWBJD: Flirting at Karaoke

Scenario:  You're at a karaoke bar, and a v. handsome man has just had the misfortune to discover that he's selected a Phantom of the Opera song that is actually a duet.  Whoops.

A) Tell your friends "no wonder he's single - I knew there had to be a catch."
B) Forgive him his poor song choice, cheer for him, and talk to him at the bar afterwards.
C) Rise from the crowd and greet him on the stage as his Christine, sing the song as intentionally and irritatingly operatic as possible, and leave the stage laughing with each other.

B for Bridget, final answer.

*Note: This has actually happened to me twice, though neither time was the man v. handsome.  The first time, I regretted not doing C.  The second time, I went through with it to the tune of mixed results.  Would have been cooler the first time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eating the Entire Contents of Your Fridge...Inevitable

By far my favorite quote from BJD is "At times like this, continuing with one's life seems impossible, and eating the entire contents of one's fridge seems inevitable."  I can't help but think of it when I get sad, and it always makes me smile.  What a funny idea, no?  And yet, there's certainly a hint of truth in it, like in all good comedy. 

It's like when I would get in arguments with my mom growing up. When I was 13, I'd think in my head "other children of divorce would say 'I'm going to go live with Dad' as a threat here, but that's the emptiest threat ever."  Sometimes I'd say it aloud to my mom to let her in on my inner giggle.  It would definitely break the tension and give us something to laugh about together.  Now's as good a time as ever to admit that I have a sick sense of humor.

The simple fact is that I'm sad.  Last night, I stared at the entire contents of my fridge and contemplated eating it all, Bridget-style.  Since I don't really keep anything in my fridge, the contents would have been a wrap of tofu and assorted condiments.  Less than appealing.  I settled for the next best thing, the entire contents of my cupboard.  I had the last couple of honey wheat pretzel braids with nutella and called it a night.

If I had to choose between Bridget's grief (facing work with my ex-boyfriend whom I just discovered was cheating on me and now engaged to the woman he was cheating with) or my grief (getting the news that my dog has a tumor again that has to be removed with surgery before we'll even know what the prognosis is), I think this time I'd choose Bridget's.  After all, hers can be cured with vodka and Chaka Khan.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reflections on Embarrassing Moments

Would you rather:
A) meet an eligible man while dressed in a carpet from your mother's closet?
B) give a speech with the microphone off, forget your boss's name, and insult the top authors of your time?
C) lose scarf on convertible ride and have Bride of Frankenstein hair in public?
D) show up to a garden party alone in a Playboy Bunny suit?
E) walk into your boyfriend's bathroom to discover he's cheating on you with naked American stick-insect?
F) slide down a fireman's pole on live television, hitting the camera with your bottom?
G) accidentally interrupt a toast at a party by professing feelings for an already taken man?
H) run down your street in the snow with only your sneakers, thong and a tank top on?

If you're Bridget, you don't get to choose just one.  You get all eight in a year!

So, the next time you're embarrassed, just think of Bridget.  Is your one moment of embarrassment really so terrible after all?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Bridget would think of Harry Potter

When grown people started reading these books that were formerly thought to be just for kids, Bridget gave it a shot.  She made it through the first one, but then they started printing them like "real" books.  That is, without double spacing and gigantic font size.  That's when she decidedly became a faker of all things Harry Potter.

"Are you a Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw?"
"Um, I'm a hugh-rahhh-if-findor, that's it!  Gryffindor!"  Phew, close one.

When the movies come out, she goes to see them stealthily so as not to be seen acting surprised by any occurences that she must have "forgotten" from the books.  If caught, she'd offer in her defense that "there's almost no kissing even. What is there to root for?  Right, good against evil and all of that, but what else?  Just 700 pages of schoolwork.  Honestly."

But here, Bridget and I have a HUGE difference of opinion!  And I will be showing my support for all things Harry when HP7: Part 1 comes out on Friday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reviewing: If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?

To start off, oy, what have I gotten myself into?  How am I going to read one of these books a week for the rest of the year and stay sane?  Answer:  Is Bridget sane?  Moving on...

This one was very clinical and a bit out of date.  Originally published in 1988, it has been revised to include "the internet" as a new invention, but only in the most minimal ways.  It's truly a "self-help" book in that it was giving tips on looking inside yourself for the answers.  It starts with making a list of all the reasons you think you're single, then over the course of the book, you're taught how to "zap" them and realize they are excuses.

There are 10 strategies listed for this:
1 - Examine your hidden ambivalence.
2 - Ignore the dreaded statistics.
3 - Abandon the myth that there are no good ways to meet people.
4 - Keep your high standards.
5 - Don't get stuck - learn to say no. 
6 - Distinguish between Pseudo-intimacy and the real thing.
7 - Avoid commitment-phobes (Bridget approves!)
8 - Don't try to make anyone love you.
9 - Overcome your own commitment issues.
10 - Increase your self-awareness and self-esteem.

I mentioned how clinical this was, right?  The last thing it suggests is to form a "Make it Happen" self-help group.  Wow.  Is that what Bridget's urban family is?  If you ask me, they are the anti-"Make it Happen" group.  They enjoy each other's misery, since after all, misery does love company.  Not to make them sound like selfish jerks, but they are a tad selfish jerkish.  In the book, when Bridget thinks Tom might be dead, she imagines what the funeral will be like and also thinks it's wonderful that everyone is coming to her for updates as his "closest friend."  Shiver, I hope my friends don't envision those things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bridgeting the Gap - Disneyland

Yesterday, I went to Disneyland.  I love Disneyland.  No, really, I LOVE IT.  I'm way too old to love it the way I do, but I just do.  So there.

Kelley, even on her best behavior, manages to have a few close calls on maiming small children and running into baby strollers.  But it's worth it to ride the Indiana Jones ride and shoot Astro Blasters on the Buzz Lightyear ride (which was closed for "beautification," boo).

Bridget, also on her best behavior, would probably have one similar close call, get scared, and ask for someone to escort her to Club 33 where she could have a drink to calm her nerves.

When she finished up drinking (that is, when Club 33 closed), she'd ride Pirates of the Caribbean and sing along with the pirates, point decidedly at Captain Jack Sparrow and swear it was Johnny Depp in the flesh, and then throw up on Space Mountain.  At which point, they'd escort her out.

But not before she got a lot of drunken pictures with Disney characters!  Maybe we're not so very different.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Re: Tom vs. Brian

In college - no wonder
we were friends.
Tom: (noun) Urban Family's honorary male member.  Or as Bridget says, "80's pop icon who only wrote one hit record then retired because he found that one record was quite enough to get him laid for the whole of the 90's. Total poof, of course."

Brian: (noun) My dearest male friend who has been taking all of my drama, dolphin-noises, and elaborate plans in stride for oh, 12 years or so.  He's a doctor (mmm! but not that kind of doctor), and he's agreed to marry me at 40, should we both be single.  But only after we both go for international vacations to try to find green card spouses.  Mr. Moose, his partner-in-crime, was a sounding board for all of my wild ideas in college, and he once came up 8 floors to check behind my shower-curtain for murderers.

The possibility of marriage puts Brian ahead of Tom, sorry Tom.  But if Brian also was a retired pop icon, it would be no contest.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

WWBJD: Driving in Los Angeles

New Saturday Series for '10:  What Would Bridget Jones Do - Scenarios.  I need to live the part, encompassing all things 'Bridget' if I'm really going to be able to reap the benefits next year, so it's time to start thinking up some trial runs.  I'll post my idea of how I think Bridget would respond to certain situations, but please feel free to contradict me in the comments section, whenever you feel like it.

Scenario: A problem I seem to run into quite often is Rude Los Angelenos Drivers. 
You're driving your car, stopped at a light, pulled right up next to intersection, just on the edge of the pedestrian crosswalk.  Cars are coming in the other direction, and you're poised to turn at the first chance you get.  A couple of teenagers walk toward you in the crosswalk.  All of a sudden, the car behind you decides you should have turned right already, and they lay on their horn.  You're thrown and take your foot slightly off the brake before realizing that the car behind you can't see A) the traffic in your way or B) the teenagers.  Now, you're a foot into the crosswalk, and the teenagers walk in front of you.  As they do, they make rude hand gestures toward you, and one of them actually slams his fists down on the hood of your car.

A) Put the car in park, get out of the car, scream at teenagers, and then make rude hand gesture to the impatient driver behind her?
B) Write strongly-worded letter to Los Angeles County Board of Education about the behavior of our city's youth.  Also write down tag number of impatient driver with intention of reporting them for....well, nothing she supposes.
C) Bury her head against the steering wheel and fight back tears.
D) Something else entirely.  (Feel free to comment what that would be.)

I'll go with B, Regis.  Final answer.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Identifying the Daniel Cleaver Type

When I first started this project, I thought "I won't have anyone to compare to Daniel Cleaver" for my Sunday comparison posts. Then, I started re-reading the books...and oh, wait, yes I do!  I'm guessing we all do.  The wonderful thing about this generation is that it's stocked fully with man-children.  For the purposes of this blog, let's call them G for "Guy."

G is the type of guy whom you find charming enough to want to look pretty when he's around, but you know very well that all of his boyish smiles are going to lead to nothing.  G can convince himself that you're not in a relationship even after a mini-break holiday.  Or a few mini-break holidays.  Or forget the mini - a looooong break holiday.  G sometimes can play the perfect boyfriend in front of your friends, parents, etc.  He might be thoughtful and remember your favorite things - restaurants, foods, drinks, movies, bands, books, etc.  On some level, he probably wants to be the perfect man: the marrying, mortgage-owing, father-of-three, garbage-taker-outer man.  But for whatever reason (I blame today's society), he is unable to move forward into adulthood.  On his 30th birthday, he might wake up depressed, realizing how far he is from being that Man.

The reality about G is that he will be the perfect man for someone down the road.  One day, a very patient and deserving young woman may inspire him to leave his G-ways behind and step into a responsible, healthy relationship.  It happened to Sally Albright.  It happened to Bridget Jones (for a minute at least).  It might even happen to you.  And if/when it does, it's not your fault.  It's just life.  Maybe Harry and Mark were Gs to some other woman, just like Joe and Daniel were Gs to Sally and Bridget.

I have a theory that some Gs just can't wrap their heads around all of the mistakes they have made in a relationship.  They think they have to start fresh with someone new when they finally feel capable of being the Man instead of the Guy.  In that case, it really is not you, it's them.

But please do yourself a favor:  ACCEPT that you're not the girl who is going to make G into a Man and move on.  It's the only way to be free for Mark to step into your life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflections on The Other Women

In BJD, Bridget is confronted with two "other women" whom she finds threatening because they are everything she thinks she needs to be to win a man:  namely thinner.  But also more intellectual, confident, taller, leggier, stick-insect-esque.

Exhibit A: Lara (Suki from the book) - Daniel Cleaver's brief fiance, who says "I thought you said she was thin" to Daniel upon being caught by Bridget, naked in the bathroom.  She is something different according to Daniel, "being American...something to do with confidence."

Exhibit B: Natasha - Mark Darcy's hoighty-toighty work-colleague/girlfriend, who asks "not wearing your bunny-girl suit" to Bridget at the horrid Smug Married party.

Somehow despite not becoming thinner, more intellectual, taller, leggier or stick-insect-esque, Bridget still manages to win both Mark Darcy away from Natasha and Daniel Cleaver away from Lara.  So the lesson is? 

Note: I left "confident" out of her list of failings.  Once Bridget tells Daniel that she'd rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein's nether-regions, she's a much more confident version of herself.  After that, sure, she slides down a fireman's pole and displays her bottom the size of Brazil to all of Sit-up Britain's viewers, but she still manages to face life with a smile and not back down from Cosmo or even Mark Darcy's own grilling.  It's that confidence that wins her both men in the end.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Bridget would think of Glee

...would go a little like this:

Oy, that Matt Morrison is v. hot.  Am total perv for v. bad thoughts about Finn.  Further proof that men go for crazy girls in form of stick insects.  Note to self: must download album and practice for Christmas party karaoke.  Have sneaking suspicion am genius singer and will impress Daniel.

...whereas I would think more like this:

Mmm, Matt Morrison.  Why weren't you my honor choir teacher?  Everyone else, I'm tired of you.  Please stop.  Could we have more episodes like the Britney one where everything's a dream, so it makes sense to have professionally recorded and choreographed routines?  And if you touch on the subject of religion again, I am taking you off my DVR list...wait, I already did that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reviewing: Become Your Own Matchmaker

For anyone who has seen Patti's show, it should come as no surprise that Patti is most interested in matching rich men with perfect women....not the other way around.  But this book is very specifically tailored toward a female audience.  The tone is irreverent and funny, but I'm told that a lot of the rude comments that I thought were jokes....were not.  So I leave it for you to decide.

The bullet points:
(1) Get over past relationships thoroughly.  Cleanse your palate and actually refuse dates for a period of up to 3 months while you're focusing on what you want in a relationship.  (I love this part - but could 3 months be 3 years?  I would like that even better.)
(2) Determine your 5 non-negotiables, and, you know, don't negotiate them.
(3) Lastly, she has a LOT of rules about how to date. 
--Manipulate him into going out on the weekend.  (Um, what if I don't care?  And what if I'm not a manipulative witch?)
--Never meet for coffee. (Apparently, it's an audition, not a date.)
--Get a ring in 6 months, or you're outta there.  (Wow...)
There are tons of other things like don't move in without a ring, don't be intimate without marriage on the table, manipulate him, manipulate him, manipulate him....sheesh.  No wonder she's still single.

So, this book is definitely not for everyone....and definitely not for me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bridget on the Scale

"Obviously will lose 20 pounds; number two..."

I'm re-reading Bridget Jones's Diary (shocking, I know), and I came to the part where she actually crosses the threshold that she's dreamt of for 18 years, 119 lbs.  Her friends immediately make her self-conscious about it, implying that she looks tired and has lost most of it in her cup-size.  She resolves to eat 8,000 calories a day and not weigh herself so as to resume more natural shape.  She succeeds!  Now, that's what I call good goal-setting.

I completely know what her friends are thinking.  She probably suffered from the "bobble-head" effect.  That's what I refer to as the effect of losing weight so quickly that your face can't catch up.  If you've ever been around girls with eating disorders (translation: if you went to college), you probably have noticed the bobble-head effect firsthand.

Having lost a fair amount of weight over the last year, re-reading this part made me terribly self-conscious as well.  What are my friends not telling me?  Do I look like a bobble-head?  Chest deflated?  Tired, haggardly?  I think I'll go have a chocolate chip cookie, just in case.  After all, WWBJD?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Re: Colin Jones vs. Jeff

"It doesn't help that you and Bridget have your lovely grown-up club of two."

Another similarity between me and Miz Jones: A great relationship with our father-figures.  Mine isn't quite as easy to explain relationship-wise, but what does blood matter really?

My relationship with Jeff began when he started dating my mom back in the 4th grade.  He was the one who told my mom that I should be allowed to do things like ride in the front seat, order food for myself, speak.  He has been teaching me how to play tennis for going on 21 years now, and we've been making Seinfeld references for about as long.  (My mom didn't think it was nearly as funny - probably because she didn't get it.) 

When my mom would complain about how many DVDs I was buying (with my own money!), he would remind her that I wasn't addicted to drugs or having illegitimate children.  Perhaps a daughter who owns a few too many DVDs and supports herself isn't the end of the world.

Grown-up club of two.  Check.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Impressions on Edge of Reason

Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason came out Fall of 2004, my first semester at USC.  Sarah and I had discussed going to see it, and we were heading there after a boring Sloan info session (because Sloan was some sure-fire way we were all going to win $15k in scholarships for writing a script about a scientist).  Somehow, word got out that we were going that night, and before I knew it, every girl in the class seemed to be up for tagging along!  Which was great!  Except that now we were a party of around 10, and lots of screenings were sold out of tickets.  Quel nightmare.  However it happened (which I frankly can't remember - other than the fact that we were phoning theaters from cell phones, before we had cell phones with internet, mind you), we decided to go to the uber-expensive Arclight theater in Hollywood where you get assigned seats.  Nice.  Sure, it was pricey, but come on, it's Bridget Jones 2.  It would be worth it, right?  Sigh.

None of us knew each other *that* well, but by the end, I was pretty sure we were in agreement that we had wasted our money.  PAINFUL movie-going experience.  This time, I HAD read the book (and loved it), and I wasn't about to give this movie a second chance.

That is, until it came out on DVD with the Colin Firth DVD extra.  At which point, I added it to my Netflix queue, watched ONLY the extra, and sent it back.

This time, I trashed the movie in person and also on the web.  I added to my social networking profiles under Favorite Books: "Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason - the BOOK, not the horrible movie."  What a meanie.

It wasn't until I saw the movie on basic cable last year that I realized perhaps I'd been too harsh.  Perhaps I was over the frustration the first viewing caused me, and I could watch it with fresh eyes.  I did, and we're in love once more.  Now, granted, it's not as good as the first one.  Sequels never are.  But it's not *that* bad.  I mean, I would certainly prefer to watch it over Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest or Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.  And let's not even touch Twilight 2: New Moon with a ten-foot-pole.

So in summary: YES, it's a sequel. YES, sequels suck.  And YES, it's not an exception to that rule.  But it can be enjoyed for what it is - girl porn.  A handsome man telling a slightly overweight lady who doesn't have her life together that he loves her and wants to marry her.  And perhaps he might even be willing to fight a cad in a fountain to defend her honor.  And gents, there's something in there for you too!  A hot lesbian, and a hot lesbian kiss!  Not to mention the awesome credits sequence where Daniel Cleaver ends his tale as perfectly as can be imagined.  Give it another chance.  Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mark Darcy's Online Dating Profile

If you're looking online to find Mark Darcy, would you even recognize him?

Mark, 37, divorced, no children
Occupation: Barrister.
Interested in: Women who like me better than Daniel Cleaver.

About me:  I wear horrible things my mum buys me.  I'm haughty, I always seem to say the wrong thing on every occasion.  And I seriously should rethink the length of my sideburns, but I'm a nice man.

Wants: A woman who has elements of the ridiculous to her, an appallingly bad public speaker, who tends to let whatever's in her head come out of her mouth without much consideration of the consequences, but that I can like very much just as she is.

Doesn't want: A verbally incontinent spinster who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney, and dresses like her mother.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reflections on Men Fighting...double mmm

Say what you will about Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason.  In one way at least, it did uphold the exceptionally high standard of Bridget Jones's Diary: men fighting, this time in water!

That's right, because what could be better than men fighting over you?  Men fighting over you in wet shirts.  I know one woman who would surely agree - Bridget Jones herself.

So, vote for the best Men Fighting scene:

(1) Bridget Jones's Diary - Outside, but not with dueling pistols or swords.  It is raining men, hallelujah.
Best fight lines: 
Tom: Fight!  Well, quick! It's a real fight! 
Followed closely by Tom: Good point.  It's a very hard one to call.
Obviously, Tom added a lot to this fight.

(2) Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason - In a fountain.  They believe in a thing called love, just listen to the rhythm of their hearts.
Best fight lines:
Daniel: I think you're going to have to drag me.
Daniel:  So what are you going to do now?  Drown me in 6 inches of water?  Mark:  Yes. 
But the real kicker, Daniel:  You know what, Mate, if you're so obsessed with Bridget Jones, why don't you just marry her?  Cuz then she'd definitely shag me.

If you can find one Men Fighting Scene equal to these in another movie, write-in votes are allowed.  But please, do not vote uninformed.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2cxYNyYwBY

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Bridget would think of Avatar

Bridget had an unpleasant movie-going experience for Avatar.  Her urban family all went to see it, but she thought it was a video-game they were playing and sat out for obvious reasons.  Then, when she realized her mistake, Tom offered to go with her to see it again, but it was sold out - she did not plan ahead.  Finally, she rented it and "watched" it.  She was glad that she rented it in the end because...

Minute 30.  Hold on, so they were asleep for nearly 6 years on a space ship?  I'm going to need a drink.  Pause.

Minute 65.  Oh, I see, it's the story of Pocahontas but they're blue - much like my blue soup (that is - blue for no apparent reason.)

Minute 105.  Good God, is this still going on?  I must have fallen asleep.  Tally forth, preserve their culture...snore.

Minute 135.  All right, we've had our fun, get on with it.  Must be off to dinner shortly.  Better just run and get dressed while they go to war or whatever it is they are doing.

Minute 163. (Better known as the end).  What happened?  I missed it due to fashion crisis in closet.  Oh, nevermind.  I'll just look at Wikipedia later.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reviewing: Why Mr. Right Can't Find You

This was certainly the most polite of the books I've read so far.  Written by a man, it basically says "ladies, I don't care if you want to lose 5 more lbs, or if you don't fit some magazine's definition of fashionable, SOME MAN IS LOOKING FOR YOU RIGHT NOW!  LET HIM FIND YOU!"  Whether it's total crap or not, it was a nice sentiment. 

The book gives examples of the mistakes women make: 
(1) going out in impenetrable gaggles of girls
(2) not noticing being noticed
(3) not going out at all just because maybe the club scene isn't for you.

The tips were:
(1) Start now.
(2) Be open to everything (even waiting in line) as a chance to meet eligible men.
(3) Go out alone, but be smart about it.  (Yeesh)
(4) If you don't online date, you're an idiot.  (Double Yeesh)

I mentioned how this was the nicest of the books, right?  Stay tuned for more rudeness to come...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bridget on Current Affairs

"Isn't it terrible about Chechnya?  Chech-ny-a."
"Big case, featuring someone called Aghani-Heaney."
"Do you know where the toilets are?"

Actual News,
not just Facebook and
People Magazine
For the longest time, I felt like every time I said "I read somewhere -" it was really code for "I read on Facebook."  But now, I'm reading magazines again, so I'm actually "reading" news stories places other than Facebook.  Amazing! 

So now, when I tell people about how I "read" that research shows Alzheimer's is not deterred by mental exercises like crossword puzzles (as is generally believed to be the case), but instead that mental exercise just delays the appearance of symptoms - I really read that!  Also, I read how drunkards like Bridget will live longer than teetotalers like me - and no, it doesn't depend on the choice of alcoholic beverages (like red wine) or the quantity consumed.  Odd!  Reading!

BJD was written before Facebook, so I'd have to imagine that while Bridget was similarly not dedicating her life to keeping up to date on current events, she was probably getting her version of "the news" from other sources.  Likely, from conversations she overhears in the pub.  Thus, some of the facts would get a little soggy in her brain.