hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hey Pretty's Scribe Regains Direction

Of course the same can not be said for Hey Pretty itself. I'm sure it will come as a huge disappointment to all five of my loyal readers, but I am temporarily suspending my budding career as a TV critic (see entry below) to assume the challenges of the next exciting phase of my life. I have accepted a position as a writer/publicist for a consulting company specializing in environmental issues. This will be the first time in my life that I have worked full-time at a for- profit venture (the others being my brief stint in publishing--not as glam as you'd think and working as a counter girl in a pizza restaurant). I'm pretty excited. I'll be doing a lot of writing about green building and energy issues, both of which have always interested me. I will also be receiving a 20% raise over my old job (still not a cushy life or anything, but based on my last salary, a nice increase) and the pleasure or working with normal people who aren't self-absorbed politico psychos.

This current two-month phase of my life, which I hope I will look back upon as the time I paused to have fun, get focused and regroup, has been at times chaotic and balancing. This isn't to say that I still won't find pleasure in flirting with boys, getting back into shape, reading the news and staying up late on school nights, but I will simply be doing a lot less of that (hopefully the gym/yoga will stick).

I don't miss my old job at all. It was utterly beneath my abilities and I disliked my boss (as a boss. She may be okay as a person). I still can't help but feel a little jilted by the laying off process, especially that she hired a new person to do the job that I had wanted to do all along. I'm slowly getting over it, but it's like having your boyfriend dump you for a super model. Even though he was a terrible conversationalist and had commitment issues and never took out the trash and you were going to leave him anyway, you can't help but feel annoyed that he beat you to it while totally overlooking all of your terrific qualities.

Anyway, that's that. Hopefully the new gig will allow me to finally save up for a new computer and I can get back into photography, a hobby that I suspended this summer due to limited funds. Waking up early won't be so much fun, I have never been able to transform myself into one of those people who loves early hours--my body simply craves sleep too much for that. The commute will be a huge change (Woodley Park to Silver Spring), but I will get to learn a new town and the 40 minute metro ride will give me a chance to read way more than I did at my old job.

So, there it is. I know I've learned a lot over the summer and if anything this experience has solidified my belief that all things happen for a reason.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Emmy nominations are out and for the second year in a row, the F/X channel's marvelous Nip/Tuck has been overlooked. I know many people who have never seen the show and regard me with great incredulousness whenever I rave about it. "You mean that plastic surgery show?" they'll say inquisitively. Yes, it is true that "that show" is on the surface, about a pair of plastic surgeons in Miami, Florida. But to dismiss it as a show simply about people who undergo cosmetic surgery is to miss its point altogether.

In Nip/Tuck plastic surgery is used as a spring board to explore societal obessessions with surfaces--corporeal, decorative and those existing within human bonds--to expose the bruises, contradictions and at times even starteling beauty that such manufactured facades seek to mask and simplify. In Nip/Tuck Dylan Walsh and the sublime Julian McMahon play Dr. Sean McNamera and Dr. Christian Troy, best friends whose relationship has weathered some strain over the years due to their competing affections of Sean's wife Julia (Joley Richardson) and their conflicting philosophies over how to run their joint plastic surgery practice. Sean is initially portrayed as a devoted family man and stalwart moralist, while as his foil Christian is a nihilistic sex-obessed, Gucci wearing cassanova with a penchant for fast cars, hard drugs and barely legal models. Yet over the course of the series first two seasons, we've seen these intial characterizations stripped away as Sean enjoyes a dalliance with a former patient, sees his once seemingly stable marraige crumble away and alientes the loyalty of his two children, Annie (one of those TV kids like Caitlin in the OC who we rarely see) and teenaged Matt who has delt with losing his virginity, a lesbian girlfriend, and a complicated relationship with an older woman (played by Famke Jahnsen). Christian on the other hand, finds unexpected contentment as a father (at least for a short time), grapples with his abilties as a surgeon, and comes to rescue the doomed fashion model Kimber from her inevitable decine into drug use and abusive relationships.

In each episode of the show assumptions created by initial impressions are gradually stripped away to reveal hidden truths. No situation, relationship, or person is who they seem. Plastic surgery is employed as a metaphor for our compulsion to cover, beautify and simplify what is conflicting, ugly or shameful. It's a practice that each of employ in our daily lives, and with Nip/Tuck we have this human comonality reflected back at us. The effect is at once disturbing and oddly comforting.

Critics have come down on the show for its tendency towards mellowdrama, and it is true that the series does plunge a bit too far into the grotesque and the maudlin (an epidsode about separating conjoined twins is just one example). But look beyond such plot lines and Nip/Tuck presents itself as the perfect soap opera--slick, dark, dented by twisted and gnarling plot lines. It's as if Hans Christian Anderson reincarnated and chose modern day Miami for his cautionary tales.

I could go on for ages about the show and to be truthful, I can't come close to doing it justice. Instead you'll have to watch for yourself. The new season begins in September.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Nomadic Reader

One of the many joys of unemployment, apart from sleeping until noon, living off of compensation checks from Uncle Sam and having sympathetic friends buy you lots of beers, is having the time to read the New York Times from back to front without having to justify it to your boss as part of your "public affairs research". There were many interesting nuggets of information in today's edition that would make anyone a surefire hit at any cocktail party. My favorite however, is this gem about the influence of elves in modern Icelandic culture. It seems that these mythic (or not so mythic depending on who you ask) creatures have come to dictate the development practices of the Atlantic ocean's favorite icy isle. According to the article, the majority of the nation's population believe in elves, bestowing enough reverence on them to tailor development plans to their existence, dutifully planning new building sites around them in order to not disturb their environs.

Such deference to the careful balance that exists between man and nature is foreign to those of us who live in the land of large scale development, sky scrapers and strip malls. Considering how beholden natives of Iceland are to extreme weather patterns however, such a way of thought makes a certain amount of sense. Apart from indigenous North American cultures that are now basically extinct (or extremely marginalized) our country offers no parallel mythology, which is kind of a shame. I would love to imagine a society in which ground could not be broken to build a new Target for fear of upsetting whatever friendly folkloric creatures inhabit that land. Less Todd Oldham plastic patio dining sets could mean room for a popular psyche inhabited by benign, earth-loving fairies. Gosh, I just said "fairies". All renaissance fair-speak aside, an appreciation for the mystery and oddities possible within nature could be just what we need to mend the rift that we've created between man and nature. Even if you don't agree, the article is worth checking out, even for a few giggles.

After that, mosey on over to the editorial section to read Sarah Vowell's take on presidential speeches. Today's irreverent column is a refreshing break from the sometimes tedious journalistic stylings of Maureen Dowd, who is currently on vacation.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Like Student Council, But With Beer

Oh my. Will these stories about the dynamic between WAKA kickball and the upstart DC Kickball league ever end? The alternative press in DC is rife with stories about big, bad, evil corporate WAKA and its whiny anarchist foil. When will they ever get through the bullshit bureaucratic stories and illuminate what the past time is really about: drinking mass quantities of alcohol on a school night and hooking up with people who are totally inappropriate for you? Seriously kids, what kind of publicity is it to write stories about how one league makes money and the other doesn't? Kickball is after all, a giant excuse to party like you never left your frat house, so lets just cut to the chase and swap those stories about our illicit sexual misadventures with 22 year olds.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Getting Old But Not Really

I can't seem to shake the feeling these days whenever I go out that my city is becoming over-run by 23 year olds. Not that I have a problem with 23 year olds, but I used to feel like I was surrounded by people my own age when I was out at bars, but no longer. Five years ago, I thought living in Adams Morgan would be the coolest thing ever. But now when I dash across the bridge from beloved yet staid Woodley Park, I find myself mired in a jungle of post-adolescent libidinousness. When did this start to happen? Last weekend even the Capitol Lounge was over flowing with folks who appeared to have graduated from college like, yesterday. It's enough to make a girl feel old, which is a rediculous way for a 28-year old to feel.

What Hey Pretty wants to know is, where can a late 20-something go to be social and imbibe and not feel like a wrinkled-up old hag? I'm starting a list below, dc natives reading this can feel free to add on in the comments section below. Meanwhile, I feel it is my civic duty to point out the summer concerts are currently go on at Fort Reno. So get thee to Tenleytown stat to see some good free indie rock.

Places for the Not That Young, Not Yet Old to Drink

Stetsons (although sometimes too crowded)
DC 9 (most of the time)
Bourbon (good luck getting there)
Aroma (best to go there on days when Krishna bartends, although the others are cool too)
Rendezvous (good dj on Wednesdays)

What am I missing? I'd especially appreciate comments on the Georgetown scene, which I know nothing at all about...