Thursday, August 30, 2018

Adventures in Dating (Apps)

In my therapy session earlier this week, my therapist suggested downloading a dating app as a means to distract myself/get over my recent heartbreak.  She also mentioned that these apps could be good for ego boosts.  My response was, "I don't think my ego is really the problem right now."  And it's really not.

When she and I started talking about possible future relationships, I drew a blank.  All I could think was that my current circle of friends is made up of people who either have partners or are not people I'm interested in dating, often both.  Because they're my friends, not potential romantic partners. My therapist said, "Then it's time to widen your circle."

She then suggested I look at some of the dating apps out there.  She said, "Tinder," and I think physically reacted negatively.  She also mentioned Bumble as being more women-friendly, and I thought, Yeah, I remember hearing about that.

I told her the thought of a dating app terrified me.  But I couldn't quite nail down or express why, but my feeling was very visceral.

The last time I tried meeting people online was pre-text message era!  We're talking like "Yahoo personals" or something.  And then some years later, maybe  But even then, it was the same five lesbians on every site; I'm pretty sure I had coffee with all of them.

So after therapy, I downloaded Bumble (for free) on my phone.  And then I didn't touch it for 24 hours.  I mean, I didn't even open the app.

Then, when I did open the app, it said, "Connect with Facebook," and I immediately closed it again.

Then, because I'm a nerd, I did some research.  I found a nice "how to" article from Business Insider of all places.  By the next time I dared open the app again, I felt a tad better and a bit more informed.  And I read the fine print beneath the "Connect with Facebook" promising me that the app doesn't post to Facebook ever.  And even then, I made several changes to the access the app had to my Facebook profile for  my own peace of mind.

I went about "setting up" my profile; however, there's very little to actually "set up," especially if you just import six pictures (the max allowed) from your Facebook profile.  I was surprised (and therefore scared) at how fast it was.  No surveys to fill out, no questionnaires about my hobbies and what kind of cheese I like to eat.  I had to condense myself into a brief bio -- not too hard to do for an actor as I have to write them all the time for show programs.

And then I found a button to make my profile "private," and I hit that little fucker so fast!  "Private" on Bumble (apparently) means that no one can see your stuff, and I breathed a sigh of relief at the sudden reprieve and a chance to tweak my profile/bio a bit.

And during all of the above, I had butterflies in my stomach -- and not the excited, happy kind.  This was trepidation, not anticipation.  But all I could reason was that it's all so new (and new is scary, change is bad, etc. etc.).  So I gingerly waded back into the fray.

And then I hit my next conundrum:  there is no way to "skip" a profile.  You must decide, then and there, if you want to swipe right (good) or swipe left (bad) before you can see any other profiles.  And I have yet to figure out or see how the order of profiles is chosen1.

So of course I started to freak out a bit.  What if I changed my mind?  What if I miss somebody good?  What if I want to compare to the next profile?

And then the crux of it:  I did not want to swipe ripe.  I was terrified to do so.

And it wasn't until a few minutes later in the bathroom (of all places), sitting on the toilet, when I made the stunning realization of why and why all of this was so frightening to me.  I'm still trying to unpack it all, but I'll do my best to explain it here.

My first, unbidden thought about a dating app, and then "swiping right" was:  But then they can see me!

I recognized that non-butterfly feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I didn't want to invite their attention.
At. All.

Because then what?
Then I'm stuck with them.
How do I get rid of them?

Things like
Well, you were asking for it
You invited me
bounced through my head.

Inviting attention like this felt akin to interacting with cat-callers and street harassers (which I don't do).  Just keep your head, girl; just keep on walking.

I flashed back to a date I had in 2006-ish with a man.  We met for drinks at his apartment first, before dinner.  Sitting on his couch, mid-conversation, mid-sentence even!, he leaned over and put his mouth on mine in a slightly insistent (and not all that great) kiss.  I was more shocked than anything at the time.  Yes, I had agreed to a date, but that didn't automatically mean (forcing) a kiss, let alone in the first 20 minutes!  I didn't like the kiss, and then I still had to suffer through the rest of the date.

I thought of my stalker and our original coffee meet-up/non-date.

And through all of this, and telling some of the briefest bits of these insights to a couple of friends, I tried not to cry at my desk at work.  On my birthday, no less!

I thought back to the old days of the Internet and some of the BDSM forums, trying to extricate myself from people I clearly wasn't interested in but had made the mistake of being "nice" to.

I didn't (and don't) want any of that again.  I didn't (and don't) want to be accused of leading anyone on2.  I didn't want to "swipe right" unless I was absolutely sure I could "follow through" (with what?  what the fuck does that even mean??) -- and that's not how these apps are designed, even the ones that are designed for more than just random hook-ups.

And that's when I realized I'm not ready for this yet.  That's a lot of baggage to unpack, mostly (though certainly not only) due to toxic masculinity.

Everything is still too new, my heartbreak too fresh; I'm still too tender and bruised.

One thing about the person who did break my heart:  I felt very safe with and around them, both physically and emotionally.  There was very little holding back of feelings and words, the freedom of which was exhilarating.
-- up until the moment they broke my heart, of course.  That almost goes without saying.

So today I messaged two of the five "matches" I had made3 and basically said, "Sorry, I'm not ready for this dating thing; I did enjoy your profile."  And then I made my profile "private" again.
I didn't owe them that (or anything), but in addition to not wanting to be rude, I might want to find them again when/if I return to the wide, wide world of online dating.

But Jesus H. Christ!  Who would have thought that one free app and sitting on the toilet alone with my thoughts would bring to light so. many. issues.

And I don't just mean with me.

I mean with our society that has instilled such fear in me -- a forty-year-old woman -- making me too paralyzed to "swipe right."

1I have emailed the Bumble staff about that; rather, I put down that I'm interested in both men and women, yet I'm only getting men's profiles.  The only way I've been able to see women's profiles is if I change it to women only.

2One of the things I appreciate about Bumble is that men can't initiation conversations.  At. All.  Once a "match" has been made, the woman has 24 hours to start a conversation (another conundrum/source of stress for me -- the time limit!).  After that, the "match" disappears.  If both people are same-sex, either can initiate conversation.

3Only if both people have "swiped right," will you both be alerted that a "match" has been made.  So far only 5 of us had done so.  But for my ego boost, Bumble kept showing me the number of people who had already "swiped right" for me, offering to show those profiles first (if I upgraded the app and paid them money).  That number was last at 50+.  Yay me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ode to Someone's Spouse

How long
will you
to hold on
to the decaying

Why do
so tightly
to something
that's crumbling?

You will
be left
with dust.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

I Saw the Sign

The owl came back!

So the artist formerly known as my Unit1 and I were sitting outside on the patio steps again around 8 p.m. when Dogzilla raced straight across the yard to the back.  Sure enough, the owl was back because we saw her/him/them raise wings and effortlessly move to the right, out of Dogzilla's charge.

And we both oohed and ahhed.

And as before I immediately put the circus dog back inside (at just 13 lbs. he may very look like food to an ambitious bird of prey), and Dogzilla came bounding back to us with that look of, "OMG YOU GUYS DID YOU SEE THAT!?"

We went inside; I refilled my drink and immediately went back out to see if the owl would come back, but not before yelling down the stairs to my bird-nerd sister that "THE OWL IS BACK!"  Within moments of being outside again, s/he landed on the neighbor's swing set.  Bird-Nerd-Sister came outside quietly armed with binoculars.

We stayed out there for well over an hour, watching as the owl moved around, trying to hunt something on the lawn; sometimes s/he was very close to where we were sitting (well, close as far as I was concerned).  S/he is also still a big fan of the power line from the night before.  At one point s/he was "just walking on the tightrope," per my sister; there was a large tree in my view, but I could see the line bouncing a bit as the owl strutted.

We did, of course, take a moment to raise our glass to her/him/them.  Salut.

And because we are sisters, we argued a bit.
Bird-Nerd-Sister: "It's not a barn owl. It's definitely not a snowy. It's not a long-eared owl."
Me: (muttering) "Owls don't have ears."
BNS: "They do, too! They have holes in the side of their head for hearing."
Me: "Those are ear holes, not ears" (about to launch into the differences between seals and sea lions, including ear holes versus ear flaps)
BNS: "What kind of owl is it??"
Me: "You are asking the wrong-ass person." (beat) "What if it's here to give us our letters to Hogwart's??"
BNS: (laughing quietly)
Me: (hissing in owl's general direction) "You're late!"
BNS: (laughing more) "Here I thought we were going to argue about whose letter it was going to deliver, and you're busy sayin' 'bish, you're late.'"
And as before, when it got completely dark, the street lamp from across the way would catch the underside of the owl's wings and their breast feathers, especially during those brief flights.
Me: (soon insisting we refer to the owl as "she")
BNS: "As much as I hate to say it, it's probably a he. It's pretty small, and females are bigger."
Me: "Maybe it's a really small type of owl, and she's actually quite large."
Me: (happy gasp at another view of wings and light) "Oooh, it's like the opening of Labyrinth!" (another gasp) "What if it's the spirit of David Bowie??"
BNS: "That's it. I'm calling it 'Bowie' from now on."
Eventually my Bird-Nerd-Sister went inside, and I said aloud, "Well, it's just you and me, owl."  By the time I extinguished both of the citronella torches, Bowie had made it to the power line, the fence line, and then grass to my left (just beyond the torch I had just extinguished).  When I finally went inside (out of wine), they were back on the power line with no intention of going anywhere.

I may be the unofficial Queen of Small Animals, but birds are usually the exception.  If you know me at all, you know that I don't usually get along with birds, nor they with me.  The feeling is entirely mutual.  As I told my former Unit, I don't interact with Nature often, but when I do, it's always adventurous (read: "disastrous") and occasionally just a tiny bit awesome and magical.

And the former Unit commented earlier on all of the birds we've seen lately.  First, there was the hawk several times over a week or so.  "Hawks are messengers," she said.  "But I wasn't getting the message."

Then, within a day of our separation, there was the hummingbird.  Sometimes she saw it, once my sister saw it, but many times (like four times in two days), it was just me.  "Hummingbirds mean joy," she said.

And now the owl -- wisdom.

It may not seem like that big of a deal to you, but keep in mind all of these encounters have happened in the past month or so.  And frankly, a hummingbird?  In the Midwest?!?  I've never seen one outside of California before.

I'm not always one to believe in real-life "signs" and symbolism, but when the former Unit listed them outright like that, I had a shiver go up my spine, despite the summer heat.

1We are in the process of separating.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Things Great and Small

My train of thought is a weaving, waving bit of transportation, but sometimes I end up at the depot of "How Would I Teach This (If I Were Still Teaching)?"  Last night's excursion went something like this.  Bear with me down this rabbit hole...

I am currently reading Starless by Jacqueline Carey (highly recommend!) and was thinking of how much I'm enjoying it.  And then I immediately compared it to another book I'm reading:  Homer's IliadThe Iliad is keeping my attention a lot less than Carey's novel, and so I got to thinking about why.  I never had to teach (or read) The Iliad, but I did teach classic Greek plays and Beowulf, and my goal was always to get my students to make connections between these ancient "classics" and contemporary literature, TV, film, pop culture, etc. because many of the elements of storytelling, of tragedy, of comedy, remain the same.  So how could I teach something like The Iliad if even I wasn't liking it?

So of course I went to asking students what they like about things they read and watch right now (particularly in the sci-fi/fantasy genre).  When I've taught, this is the section where they just get to shout things out loud and I get to write on the board (writing on the board was a huge reason why I started teaching in the first place).

  • Epic
    • maybe meaning large scale, like creating entire worlds
    • maybe meaning giant, impressive battles
  • Attention to detail
    • So much food!
    • Fashion!
    • [more on attention to detail/world-building later in a wholly different blog post]
  • Great deeds
    • swords and dragons and rescuing people from monsters
    • saving people from famine, being a voice for the downtrodden
And then I thought about The Lord of the Rings (frankly, when don't I think of LotR?).  While I will always contend that Jackson's adaptations of the trilogy are fairly faithful, incredibly well done interpretations of Tolkien's text (FIGHT ME!), there is one large, huge almost (pun intended; wait for it) difference:  Jackson's films have some beautiful, "epic" even, battle sequences.  I'll never forget the intense anxiety and fear I felt watching the battle in the mines of Moria for the first time on the big screen ("They've got a cave troll!").  There were so few of the Fellowship and so, so many of them, the orcs and goblins.  [Sidenote:  what is it about attempting to barricade a door against an oncoming horde that gives me palpitations?]  And at least four of "ours" were so very, very small.  Literally.  Small and woefully unprepared for battle of any kind.

And therein lies the difference.

Tolkien purposely did not write an epic heroic adventure filled with the usual heroes -- strapping swordsmen cutting a swath through the fray.  No, his heroes were two very small, very usual hobbits.  And while the battles do happen in the books, they often feel removed from the main action, almost in the background.  Because the main action is that of our two small heroes doing an awful lot of walking.  Seriously.  So, so much walking.  And then more walking.
(And occasionally breaking into song.)
Then we walk some more!

Because Tolkien's point (in addition to attempting to create a mythology specifically for Britain) was that small, "normal" folk can do epic things.  People who aren't martially trained, people with no talent for statecraft can accomplish things simply through virtue of being themselves with their own points of view.  They'll not come out of it the same as they went in, of course, because this is still a hero's journey (and that is the foremost marker of a hero's journey:  change), but they're a different kind of hero altogether.

And I think that, both in Tolkien and in other pieces of literature, touches on the very heart of human existence:  we want to do great things -- not just good things, but great things.  We want to complete a great quest, we want to bring salvation to a group of people, we want to be a hero of some kind.  But we are also so very small and normal, walking around in these very fragile bags of skin and water.  So the bringing together of the great and small like that is something we all hope to achieve, being able to accomplish these things just by being ourselves (and, apparently, doing a lot of walking; even hobbits have to do cardio).

And while I was sitting outside on the steps of my patio last night, with a drink and a cigarette, having these thoughts about things great and small, Dogzilla turned and rushed in the darkness to attack something.  It was an owl.  I know it was an owl because, thanks to a street lamp, I could see her/him/they outstretch their wings and silently, gracefully lift up and away from Dogzilla's reach, effortlessly, like pulling silk backwards.
Sorry, Dogzilla, but you are neither hobbit nor orc in this scenario; you are meddling mankind, and the owl is Gandalf.  And the wisdom of wizards (and owls) is always just out of reach.

Prosaic Little Epilogue:  As soon as the owl was out of sight, I scooped up my tiny circus dog and put him inside.  And Dogzilla soon followed.  And then I refilled my glass of Prosecco and went back outside to see if the owl would return.

In a few moments, there was a flicker of movement out of the corner of my left eye; the owl had landed upon the power line running between my house and the next.  That same street light reflected just the tiniest bit off of the owl's lighter-colored breast feathers.  That and those first occasional flutters of movement were the only way I could tell the owl was there.
[When you've worked around animals for years, you learn to not look directly at them, but to look towards the center and use what we Viewpoints actors call "soft focus" -- let your gaze relax; the periphery opens just a bit further, and then pay attention to the movement that happens.  Ask me about the ways to see "hard to find" zoo animals!]
So I continued to sit there, drinking and smoking, attempting to make my movements smooth and slow so as to not disturb her/him/them.  It wouldn't have mattered.  S/he was far enough away that I wasn't a threat and I'm fairly certain they gave zero fucks about me.  Sometimes I even reached for my wine glass to my right without looking, not wanting to lose sight of them in the darkness (and my very poor eyesight, particularly in the dark) as nearly any and all movement had stopped.  At one point I raised my glass to them.  Salut.

I stayed out in the sweltering heat as long as I could (over 90 degrees after 9 p.m.!), through two cigarettes and down to the dregs of my wine and finally went inside.  The owl didn't move.  After I was inside, I looked out the giant dining room window at the power line, but due to the angle, I couldn't see if s/he was still there.  And then I went to bed, dare I say somewhat peacefully.

Goddess Artwork by Emily Balivet

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War (A Review of Sorts)

This is chock-full of spoilers, bitches!

So stop reading now if you've not yet seen the film.

Seriously, I mean it.

One last warning, compliments of the Merc with the Mouth

This isn't a review so much as a collection thoughts during and after the movie, with little to no context.
    • I didn't even have time to find my feelings.
    • Fuck, and Idris Elba, too?
  • "C'mon, you're embarrassing me in front of the wizards."
  • C'mon, don't make him shoot you!  That was fucking heartbreaking.
    • With all that trauma, they could have at least addressed this issue.  Leonard has a vested interested (read: "pleather body suit") in continuing a redheaded Black Widow.
  • Am I a horrible person because I didn't cry at Gamora's death?
    • I was too angry that she didn't fucking figure it out!  As soon as Agent Red Skull Elrond said "sacrifice something you love," I knew where this was going.
    • In fact, it took me longer to figure out where she was going with her point.
    • Sure it's a twisted love, but he loved her nonetheless.
  • Am I a horrible person that I agree with 99% of Thanos' theory? In theory, that is.  And I like that he says it is/would be completely random, without regards to money, society, politics, etc.  But it's a bit different seeing it happen to people you care about.
    • And if they are just disintegrating, that's not all that bad ("mercy," like he said); it's those left behind who have been "spared" who get the worse end of the deal.
  • What's with Thanos' bubble fetish?

I stopped writing this bullet point list some time ago, and now I can't remember where I was going with it.  All in all, the film was very upsetting.  I'm not masochistic enough to see it again (until it's released on DVD).

I'll leave you with the saddest meme of them all:
Image compliment of rickybaby

Friday, June 8, 2018

Regarding Suicide

As another celebrity suicide hits the front page (may you be at peace, Anthony Bourdain), my various social media feeds are filling up with friends posting numbers, hotlines, and general messages of support and love, in particular saying "you are loved."

And sometimes I find that baffling.  Let me explain.

I'm not untouched by suicide:  I've lost both a dear friend and a dear friend's husband to it.  Not to mention, of course, my own attempts at it.  And when these messages pop up, they give me pause.

Because I don't think I have ever once, not during my attempts or any of the many suicidal thoughts that flit through my head, thought, "I want to kill myself because no one loves me."  In fact, I don't think I think of other people at all.  And maybe that's the point.

Please don't misunderstand.  I am only one mentally ill individual, and even people with the same mental diagnoses can have vastly different experiences of the disease.  I can only speak for myself and my own broken brain in this case.

In my case, when those thoughts come creeping in, it's because of endless hours of simply existing, of surviving.  There's a Jane Austen quote, of all people, that sums it up for me:  "Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings" (Mansfield Park).  Now replace "quick" with "endless," and that's often how I feel.  And I think, How am I going to get through this?  This week?  This day?  These next two hours?  Sometimes days just seem to stretch on and on forever, with me just hanging there in a continual state of ennui.  And it is exhausting.

But I don't think of the rest of you.  I don't think No one loves me.  Or Everyone hates me.  I don't think about what people might think or do or say when/if I'm gone.  I don't think of other people at all.  Suicidal thoughts are a profoundly solitary activity.  I simply think of not being able to handle the burden of living anymore, of finding ways to fill up all of that awful space and time.

The only time I do think of people outside of myself is the occasional passing thought that there are people out there who have "normal" lives.  There are people out there who don't wake up every morning hating every fucking thing.  What is that like??  There are people out there who go through twenty-four hours feeling fine, if not great, even physically, not wracked with constant pain, aches, and fatigue.  There are people out there who, when asked, "How are you?" they say, "Great!" and they actually mean it.

That blows my fucking mind.

I know "How are you?" is a greeting, not a real question of my state of things, which is why I usually respond with "Fine" or "Okay."  Because you know what?  I don't ever, nor will I ever, feel "good" or "great," and I find it hard to lie.  So yeah, the most you'll get out of me on a daily basis is "fine" or "okay" or even "meh."  And sometimes even that is a stretch.

A good friend (who shall remain nameless) recently said to me, "Sometimes you seem so unhappy, and I can never quite figure out why."
And I responded with:  "It's called being mentally ill.  It's part of my DNA, my chemical make-up.  This is just how things are."

I know it may not seem like it.  With my theatre and my shoe fetish and my love of kittehs, but it's there.  And it never goes away.  Most days are a struggle of some kind.

But it's not because I don't think people love me.  It's because my cells are constantly tired of existing and my brain lies to me about why I'm here and what's going on, and it's an uphill battle every day to convince my body and head otherwise.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (A Review)

I finally saw the 2016 Ghostbusters movie this weekend.  And ya know what?  I liked it.  It was fun; I laughed.

I didn't read much of the criticism (legitimate and otherwise) when it first came out, other than perusing headlines, because
  1. I hadn't seen the movie yet
  2. I didn't have any immediate plans to see the movie
  3. I try not to critique things I haven't actually read/seen/watched/experienced.
It did strike me, even before Leslie Jones' character's entrance in the film, that why does the black woman have to be the non-scientist?  If you have the opportunity to "reboot" or "do over" a film to include women and have more diversity, why go that route?  On the other hand, I realize that when pitching this project, it was probably as "a Ghostbusters film for Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kirsten Wiig, and Leslie Jones" rather than "a women-led Ghostbusters reboot."  The difference between the two is that when a project already has a star (or stars) in mind, it's written and tailored for them; rather than a project that might have open auditions with at least one goal of having a more diverse cast.

That said, I have met, known, and interacted with many women like Jones' "Patty" in all kinds of professions, everything from public transit like Patty to academia to corporate overlords, and maybe they want the representation, too.  Patty herself was one of my favorite parts of the film and had many of the best lines.

I feel like the film addressed many of its criticisms head-on directly through the script in almost meta-textual fashion, including the race/diversity issue with Jones' character.  Case in point:  the scene at the metal rock concert when Patty goes to crowdsurf like Abby does.  The crowd does not hold her up; she falls flat on her back on the hard floor.  And I winced, both at the physical impact and at the implication.
And then Patty said it for me:  "Okay, I don't know if it was a race thing or a lady thing, but I'm mad as hell."
Exactly, Patty.

And there's more.  When Abby tells Erin to read a specific comment on their first ghost video:  "Ain't no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts."  Yeah, pretty sure that could have come directly from any one of the press releases when this reboot was announced.

And, of course, when Dr. Martin Heiss shows up to the team's "office" and demands to know, in all of his white male privilege, "Why are you pretending to capture ghosts?"  As if to say, "how dare you attempt to do this thing?" which is what many of the "critics" have said all along.  And Abby and Erin both have the two reactions we tend to have to such a thing:  to prove ourselves imprudently and to attempt to not "lower ourselves" to their level.

For me, the movie as a whole shows what we women have to put up with on a daily basis, no matter our profession:  the constant questioning, how-dare-you-ing, the automatic assumption/requirement that we must prove ourselves, constantly and continually, and even then the majority of people (not just mean, though largely so) still do not believe us, give us credit, respect us in our own fields.  Every. Fucking. Day.  And, again, Abby and Erin display the two major reactions we women to have that continual questioning (neither of which are "right" or "wrong," they're just the most common).

So yeah, I liked it.  I recognized a lot of those experiences -- minus the paranormal part.  Well, mostly minus the paranormal stuff, but that's a different story.

Other things I liked (in usual Leonard bullet point style):
  • The cameos!  So much fun, even the building cameos and ghost cameos.  By the way, where was Rick Moranis?
    • And how the O.G. firehouse is super expensive rather than looking like a "de-militarized" zone.  
  • How many different ways can we not say "Ghostbusters"?  I really enjoyed the little wink and  nudge at the original movie(s) without actually saying it: from the bits with the logo, to the theme music, to managing to say "who you gonna call?" out of context.  That was cheeky and fun.
    • Really LOL'd at "Ghost Jumpers" TV show -- mostly because my Unit and I refer to one of our favorite ghost shows (that we used to watch all the time) as "Ghost Humpers."
  • In fact, lots of different "points" to the original movie without being too on the nose; example:  if they had gotten the firehouse building right off the bat, that would have been too much.  If they had also said some of the favorite, quotable lines from the first movie (in similar contexts), it wouldn't have worked.
  • I liked the fact that 1) it was not an attempt to recreate a shot-for-shot O.G. movie, simply putting in women instead of men as the lead roles.  This is its own film and should be enjoyed as such.
  • I especially appreciated the fact that not one of the female characters was attempting to be "the girl version" of Murray's, Aykroyd's, Ramis', and/or Hudson's characters.  Sure, there were nods to them:  Holtzmann's crazy hair is reminiscent not necessarily of Harold Ramis' Egon, but the Egon in the cartoon (remember that thing?), and yeah, both Patty and Zeddmore are black and non-scientists.  But that's kind of where it ends, and I like that.  These women are their own characters and not stuck to the molds the O.G. guys created.
Little Leonard watched this every Saturday morning.
  • Chris Hemsworth a.k.a "Kevin" -- that was fun.  And weird and dorky and fun.
    • Speaking of weird, some bits with Kevin show that certain type of humor that occasionally devolves into absurdist (you can see it in The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt as well, especially the first few episodes of Season 2).  There is no "why" or "reason" for many of his quirks (like the eyeglass thing!).  They simply are and there is no other tie-in to the joke or punchline; it simply is.  Thankfully in this script, they did not get too heavy-handed with that type of humor (I don't usually care for it).
I don't think I had the same visceral reactions many other women had to watching this movie, similar to some of the visceral reactions many women had seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen as well:  those reactions that brings tears to one's eyes seeing a dream made real.  But I think that has less to do with either film (I didn't have that reaction to WW myself) and more to do with the fact that Leonard is dead inside.  I also think my reactions go the route of being able to see something and enjoy it and not have the immediate reaction of "Where are all the women?" or "Why is this all straight white dudes?"  It's more an absence of my reaction/frustration with the patriarchy than a reaction to seeing women on screen.  And that's still a good thing.  (Plus also, dead inside.)

Quotable Quotes:  One of the things many of us enjoy about the first two Ghostbusters films are the things we can quote for them.  So I tried to think of what quotes stuck with me from this movie -- unfortunately, not too many right off the bat, but perhaps more will make themselves apparent on subsequent viewings.  In the meantime:

  • The power of Patty compels you!
  • Too sexy for academia?
  • Room full of nightmares right there.
  • Ma'am, can you tell us where you got the world's tiniest bow tie?
In conclusion...
I also want to dress like Holtzmann, particularly the leather jacket, the little leather fingerless gloves, the smoking jacket, and the lady-suit complete with vest.  And I'm fairly certain given enough time and hairspray, I can get my hair to look like that.  Just not blonde.  Leonard does not make a good blonde.
Tangent:  I find it interesting that they approximated the look of an undercut without actually cutting/shaving her hair, which she probably didn't want to do.