“Everyone knew Gibson was Hollywood crazy. You can get away with being Hollywood crazy. Heck, people romanticize and glamorize Hollywood crazy. But Gibson wasn’t just Hollywood crazy; he was crazy-crazy.”—
I always think people aren’t going to know who I am. I ran into three, yes, three people from high school or college yesterday (in quick succession), and said hi, thinking they might not know me, but… they all immediately recognized me. Heh.
“Judy Greer—whose unflagging work ethic, if concentrated into a serum, could singlehandedly revive the American automobile industry—has accepted another paycheck to co-star on the upcoming season of Two And Half Men, because you didn’t watch Mad Love.”—:(
“It is heartening that DWTS is supportive of the disabled community. Not having a soul is an affliction that affects millions of Americans, and now they will have a champion in Nancy Grace to bring awareness to their plight on national TV, instead of the backwaters of cable news, every week.”—Re: DWTS including Nancy Grace. Still not watching, but this is funny.
You know, I haven’t flown in a year and a half (since I returned from Asia). I left the country in January (on the cruise for which I started this blog). But, ya know what? I like flying. And after those cross-pacific flights, cross-country ain’t shiiiiiit. Catch ya on the flippity-flip.
When traveling around a not-foreign country/city, do not randomly assume all travel will fail, especially in the middle of the day, when the 6, E, and AIR trains are all running juuust fine. On the plus side, Delta’s online check-in is bomb. Well, time to saddle up for some serious JFK chill time.
“Jaws invented the summer blockbuster, is the most famous and profitable movie about people getting eaten ever made, including Debbie Does Dallas, and to this day is the one joy of children made to learn the cello. The sequels were stuck with trying to make “SHARK! AGAIN!” interesting, and plausible.”—
“A person who makes jokes about Asian drivers or black people liking fried chicken will roll their eyes and say “It’s just a joke” when anyone object;, saying everybody should know they’re not a racist and they don’t really mean all of these things.”—….who do I know that this applies to very specifically?
“Some of the very same people that are always telling others to “lighten up” and stop being so “butthurt” when they’re targeted for jokes will suddenly begin complaining about their own butt pain when their own group is targeted.”—
“With no more Transformers to play with, Paramount is determined to make its next G.I. Joe film the summer blockbuster involving characters created to sell action figures of 2012, a campaign that now includes luring Bruce Willis to play a lead role. Willis would play General Joe Colton, a highly decorated former Green Beret tasked with creating the ultimate fighting force in the world—which he naturally named after himself, because while he’s excellent at all aspects of military strategy, he’s not so good at coming up with names. Willis’ possible role was first rumored last month, with The Hollywood Reporter now saying that he’s in final negotiations to join a cast that will include fellow new recruits Dwayne Johnson and Adrianne Palicki, as well as returning star Channing Tatum, whose parents also weren’t so good at coming up with names. Should Willis sign on, here is how approximately all of his G.I. Joe press junket interviews will go: REPORTER: “So, did you know that, in the comics, your character occasionally worked with a scientist named G.I. Jane, which is the name of a movie your ex-wife did?” BRUCE WILLIS: [Approximately 15 seconds of silent squinting as Bruce Willis contemplates how his life ended up at this exact moment.] “I heard that. That’s interesting.”—I just quoted an entire article because it’s awesome.
I don’t remember the first time I met Stanley, because I was 3 years old. According to my parents, he was present when I tested in to the school back in 1989 and he liked what he saw. You never know if these things are true, what parents say, but I like to believe it.
For most of the next ten years, he existed as a figure on the periphery, running the school from his perch on the third floor and showing up around the halls occasionally.
You’d hear things, of course. I had no idea that, although I was somewhat scared to approach the man, he knew who I was the entire time. Funny how life works.
I knew his son Mike vaguely throughout lower school and middle school. I was scared of Mike, too. Not in a physical sense, but I just assumed Mike would be so much smarter than I was that, when we happened to walk out of the school building the first day of ninth grade together and get some lunch, I tried to use big words to seem intelligent. We were talking about girls and I wouldn’t stoop to saying “hot;” no, no, everyone was “attractive.” I was a pretty goofy kid.
There’s a theme here though. Most everything I did that had to do with Stanley, even on the periphery, involved me reaching up and trying to improve.
When Mike and I became good friends and I started spending time at the man’s home, some of that old intimidation remained, but I actually came to understand that, as much as a giant can respect a dwarf, he did have respect for me, more than I had for myself throughout my idiotic angsty high school years.
When I was applying to college, and everyone around me was pulling 5s on APs, I really didn’t think I’d get into an elite school. This is totally a #firstworldproblem, but I figured I’d go to someplace okay and that my parents would be disappointed in me.
The Justin from 2001 and 2002 was not a confident person.
The process at Saint Ann’s was to meet with Stanley alone. Then with Linda (the Assistant Headmaster), then with Stanley, with your parents.
When I met with Stanley, I figured he’d tell me I could hope to go to someplace good but that it would be a reach.
Stanley said something I’ll never forget: “Where do you WANT to go?”
I had no idea, but I babbled out some names. He shook his head and told me to aim higher. I asked him if he really thought I could get into Ivies, and he said there was absolutely no reason why they wouldn’t take me, even if I didn’t believe it.
I still didn’t, but it gave me something to think about that summer.
Of course I went to Princeton, had my ups and downs, and now I’m here, doing my thing.
But the real point is that Stanley’s confidence in me, which existed long before my confidence in myself, extended to the teachers I met and studied under at Saint Ann’s, all of those wonderful, innovative teachers like Ms. Avrich and Mr. O’Rourke and Alex Darrow and Ms. Kantor and the rest. Even the teachers for whom I did not perform well (sorry, Ms. Horlick…) seemed to see something in me that I hadn’t yet tapped into.
I feel so honored and lucky to have had such an experience growing up, that even when I slacked off, I did not encounter more than one or two teachers who didn’t call me out on my shit.
Saint Ann’s was (and, I hope, still is) about creativity and passion and confidence. At least for me. It was about writing and reading and languages, or if you wanted it could have been about computers or biology or math.
I remember, I had a really, really depressing day in the spring of 2007, when someone tried very hard to bring me down at Princeton, and I had no post-grad plans, and I knew I’d be broke and living with Dad for a while. Even my Korea plan was not supported.
I happened to be in New York that day. And I stopped by Saint Ann’s and just walked around the building. And I saw poems. Poems specifically about global warming, where young children were being taught about the world around them and their potential impact upon it.
I saw these poems and I knew how lucky these kids were. I look back now and I know that my life’s work must be to help students receive the opportunities that I had, for far too few young people are given a chance to flourish even before they gather their confidence to themselves.
Stanley saw that I could fly when I could barely walk. And though I haven’t achieved liftoff just yet, I wouldn’t even be able to think about getting off the ground if it wasn’t for the world he helped create.
There are very few people you can point to and say you wouldn’t be you if they hadn’t been them. But Stanley was one of those people.