Monday, July 17, 2006

More Assorted Shit

Your 1950s Name is:

Victoria Beverly

But my friends call me Bev, natch! (Hat tip to Crazy Dust In My Coffee. )

Speaking of coffee, I thought I was a coffee Connoisseur until I ran across Damn. Once again the universe reminds me what a total Dilettante I am. These coffeegeek folks are Ser.I.Ous. about their coffee. I am totally intimidated.

Byron is doing much better. We went to the vet this afternoon to get the drainage tube out (have to believe that feels better) but he still has to wear the satellite dish for another three days, until his incisions close completely. We joke that we can hook him up to the TV and get the networks' East Coast feeds.

Yesterday we managed to get a babysitter and went to a movie. Saw "The Devil Wears Prada," which I'd wanted to see mostly because of Meryl Streep in the Miranda role. It was entertaining, and wasn't as bad as it could have been (actually the Miranda character had a lot more depth than in the book), but it also wasn't as good as it could have been either. Here's the premise: Andrea, fresh out of college and wanting to be a Serious Journalist lands a job as a personal assitant to Miranda who is the editor-in-chief of a preeminent women's fashion magazine, "Runway" (which is a thinly disguised "Vogue"). Miranda (supposedly based on Anna Wintour of Vogue), of course is known as a Dragon Lady, but anyone who can stick it out for a year and win her approval and recommendation has doors opened to work at just about any national publication they want. The interesting thing, though, is that the Miranda character, though demanding and bitchy and impossible to please is also shown to be smart and savvy and one step ahead of everyone else. There's also a moment where the Andrea character is complaining to a colleague about how hard it all is, and he (rightly) tells her that she's only "deigning" to be there, and isn't really committed (she's made it quite clear that she looks down on the fashion industry and is only doing this until she can get a "real" job). He reminds her that she chose to take the job, she's choosing not to quit, so she should buck up and do the best she can with it. From there, unfortunately, it becomes so much about how she becomes a fashion plate, and overshadows that she becomes much more efficient at anticipating and meeting Miranda's needs. And even though Miranda turns out to be the biggest shark in the shark tank, she's also a clear-headed realist about what it takes to stay on top in the field she's chosen, and is unapologetic about doing what she needs to do to keep from becoming some other shark's dinner. I don't think I could work in that kind of environment; I'm just not politically savvy and ruthless enough.

But I can relate to the "you choose to be here, so why not do your best" premise. Not many of my staff at work start out choosing what we do as a career (my department does very unglamorous "administrative" work in the TV industry). Many of them are aspiring actors or screenwriters or producers looking for a "day job" or to get a foot in the door. Some of them limp along, miserable for years, doing just enough to keep their jobs, and complaining about every little thing. If we're lucky, they leave after a while. Some discover they like the work and the (mostly) regular hours and paycheck, and do much more than "phone it in." And then there are the people who don't want to be Shane Black or Jim Cameron or Jamie Foxx, and who just want an intersting, challenging job with a chance for some advancement. We've got a majority of those folks now, and morale in the department is pretty good. The thing is, whatever job you have, it is what it is. As it says in The Inner Game Of Tennis, "The ball is never where it should be, but it's always where it is." Meaning of course, that if you swing at where you think the ball should be, you'll miss most of the time, that it's our expectations that get in the way of seeing things as they really are and choosing and acting based on that reality, which is necessary to achieve your objectives. Anyway, I think that's the more interesting story that the movie touched on but chose not to tell, in favor of fluffy, eye-candy, Hollywood fare. There were some clever lines, though. I had to laugh in spite of myself when one of the women says, "I'm just one bout of stomach flu away from my goal weight." I've so been there.

After the movie, we went to dinner at one of our favorite places, Napa Valley Grill which is a splurge but is always so consistenly good, we tend to keep going back when we have the opportunity for a nice dinner out. If you go, you must try the Shaved Artichoke Salad. It's my favorite and I have it every time. They have a super wine list, and if you have saved any room for dessert, their selections are excellent. We decided this time that discretion was the better part of valour, and skipped dessert in favor of a good night's sleep.


Blogger Gina said...

I hadn't read the book, but I heard the movie was NOTHING like it. It was an ok movie, but too Cinderella-ish for me.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Deja Pseu said...

Cindererlla-ish is a good description. The problem I have with almost every modern "working girl makes good" type of movie is that there always has to be a "makeover" as a major part of the story. I can't think of any examples of a story line where men have to visit a barber and a tailor before they can succeed.

6:00 AM  

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