Posted in other things by anna on March 20, 2009

When I was ten I went to a school eye checkup and they said I needed glasses. I didn’t mind the idea of wearing glasses, but I refused to go to the eye doctor just because I couldn’t see the board in class. My 40/100 eyesight was a welcome obstacle. I wanted to keep straining to see the board because that’s the way my eyes were, and so I had to deal with it. And every time I could make out a word, it felt like a small victory. 

So basically, I embrace pain and inconvenience and feel most productive when I’m fighting with myself.


Film School

Posted in other things by anna on January 30, 2009

I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the vastness of space, nestled in a galaxy not unlike ours, is a planet entirely populated by all the boys I’m afraid of in class.

This planet has a lot of flannel.

This planet has similar craters and textures to our moon, but unlike our moon, its surface is scattered with empty Chinese takeout boxes and red Netflix envelopes and camera equipment, inexplicably grounded despite the anti-gravity of space.

The inhabitants of this planet enjoy a utopia largely built on their uniformity, the Beatle haircuts and vintage loafers and degree of apathy that has been regulated. It is a planet on which Animal Collective’s Here Comes the Indian issues from thousands of tiny speakers to the point where it’s become ambient noise.

This is a planet where adjectives have been replaced by pitch-lines. She is narcissistic and neurotic becomes “She’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ directed by Charlie Kaufman.” He is sensitive, yet racist becomes “That dude is like, ‘Garden State’ meets ‘The Birth of a Nation.’”


Jim Jarmusch is the Moctezuma of the planet entirely populated by all the boys I’m afraid of in class. Usually he stays out of sight, but occasionally he will rise from a crater like a god and answer questions about “Coffee and Cigarettes” and reassure everyone of how cool Tom Waits is, in real life.


Because there are no women allowed on this planet, every one of its inhabitants is dating a girl in another galaxy, and I do mean a girl (singular) as in one clone of the same prototype. This prototype is very pretty and writes messages on his Spacebook wall like “watched half nelson FINALLY…. sooo good!! miss you baby.”

These clones visit, occasionally, to provide what the boys want. But mostly they stay away, as this is a very exclusive planet full of people who are engrossed in their craft.


Intelligent life does exist here, and so does entitlement. Its inhabitants are supremely confident that this world is theirs and theirs alone, unafraid of the foreign aircraft bound to land here any day now.

Yeah, okay, let them try and plant their flag, those unwelcome pioneers, those girls who think they know about movies.

An Open Letter

Posted in other things by anna on November 28, 2008

          Dear Every Male Standup Comedy Duo In Brooklyn,

           Why do you always come right after the girl who jokes about Planned Parenthood?

            One of you is clean-shaven and probably has a girlfriend who compares herself and her friends to Sex and the City (she’s Miranda). The other one of you wears a keffiyeh and thinks he’s the next Demetri Martin because he was the funniest guy on his floor at Brown.

            As soon as you hit the stage you become that stagey kind of awkward that’s been popular in comedy clubs along the L train ever since “Flight of the Conchords” hit. You stare straight out the crowd, murmuring stilted observations to each other about our inability to laugh. We haven’t been laughing much. We’re all here to see a friend, which is the only reason we dragged our asses out to Brooklyn on a Tuesday night and we have class tomorrow so we’ve only had one PBR.

            Neither of you are awkward in real life. In fact, you both get laid, often. And it’s kind of insulting that you think we don’t know that.

            Whenever more than one Y-chromosomed human being steps onstage, I am filled with conflicting emotions. We just watched the Planned Parenthood girl bomb horribly, and we have never been more aware that you are the right gender for this. And there are two of you. You are the comedy equivalent of the prettiest cheerleader in high school: we make assumptions and write you off immediately, because we’re jealous.

           You’re riffing about space camp, about shitty jobs, being lonely, but we don’t believe any of it. The overlapping schtick is supposed to sound organic but it feels stale. I don’t like picturing you rehearsing this in someone’s apartment in Greenpoint but it’s evident that you do, often. Watching you is like dating someone who pretends to care and you know it’s a lie even before he fucks your suitemate in Hayden while you’re in New Jersey over break.

            I am ready to get serious. I am ready to laugh, okay? Just please tell the truth. I know neither of you went to space camp.

            Despite everything, I’m probably kind of attracted to the clean-shaven half of you, and during the painfully staged fight over your website URL sounding like Asian porn, I imagine our relationship. On our first “real” date I’d cook you a simple chicken dinner and later give you the best blowjob I am capable of, which is probably about on par with the dinner. I’d go to all your shows and Keffiyeh would hate me until I won him over with my classic SNL trivia. Like a true Comedy Girlfriend I’d painstakingly read the chicken-scratch in your Strand notebook and encourage you to go solo even though Keffiyeh’s the one who has the fire under his ass for comedy specifically while your ambitions are far more general. Eventually you’d drop the comedy thing and move up the corporate ladder at work and propose to me drunk at a sushi restaurant and twenty years later we’d watch our square-jawed sons play football in the backyard as the foliage turned.

            I immediately change my mind when I realize how frequently I’d have to come to Brooklyn.





P.S. Please, no more YouTube jokes.