Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday Top Ten: I Used to be a Superhero, No One Could Touch Me, Not Even Myself

Google has many superpowers, like keeping track of everything I do. E.g., Google tells me I've apparently perused the wikipedia entry on superpowers many times, leading me to think, halfway through writing this week's Top Ten, "Omg, have I written on this topic already? Why have I already read this wikipedia page 10 times? Am I that interested in phasing through walls?"

So. A brief Autowin PSA (see what I did there? That's what Lozo does): Does this post feel familiar? If it does, you oughta lay off the pipe and/or you might be thinking about Channukisits Wish List Things I Can't Have Because They Don't Exist. This isn't that. This is SO different. When I wrote that, I'd never even seen Heroes. Though I'd heard plenty about it since Haviland talked about it constantly. Also; December's basically ten years ago, who knows what I wanted back then, probs an innocent youthful frivolity like Tickle Me Elmo. And coal, I always want coal and I never get it. It's kinda like how Claire Bennett is always asking people to shoot her in the head with a nail gun and they won't do it.

My friend asked me last week if I think it's possible for her to find a boyfriend who will be willing to smack her in the face & make her bleed during sex but also hold her hand at crosswalks and cuddle during teevee-time. Obvs I said the latter is part of someone's essential being and the former can be taught. Anyhow, if she had Regenerative powers like Claire Bennett it wouldn't be such a big deal. She could be like "See? my lip isn't busted anymore, time for muffins!"

Um, so guess what i discovered this week? Gawker Media has this i09 blog about Science Fiction and ... it's secretly like; the awesomest thing they've got going on over there. I'm really upset right now that Season Two of Heroes isn't out on DVD for another ten days, so I've only seen Season One.

Oh, also; when writing the Top Ten about Needing an Unpaid Intern, I requested the following in all applicants:

"One or more of the following super-powers: Seeing Through Walls, Precognition, Cross-Dimensional Awareness, Zach Morris Time Freeze, Flying, Spider-Vision, Telekinesis, Ability to Teach Public School in a Low-Income District, Go-Go Gadget 'Brella."

The thing about superpowers is that we witness their application in extreme-stakes books/movies/tv shows/comics, so trying to think about how these powers would apply to my actual life isn't easy (though I think that's the point of Heroes, right? Like, let me light your cig with my finger, etc.?) And there's all kinds of powers that, when employed in everyday life, are sort of assclownish things to do; mind control, memory manipulation, etc. That's mean. Hiro wouldn't do that. He also wouldn't be invisible just to steal money.

Do you ever think about what your team's superpowers would really be in real life? I'd probs get telepathy 'cause I tend to know what people are thinking more often than most people. (or psychometry) (or automatic writing, 'cause of auto-win). Caitlin would get Claire Bennett healing powers or Peter Petrelli powers 'cause she can fix everything and make everything okay when we think our guts are bleeding or we've taken a sword to the soul, etc. Powers would be very useful now for her to get over The Plague. Haviland might get power bestowal (bringing out other people's latent powers) or shape-shifting 'cause of her supreme acting skills, A;ex would have her energy manipulation/conversion for bringing happiness & light into a room, thus warming its energy. Also eternal youth = A;ex. Natalie would have persuasion 'cause she charms everyone's pants off.

Questions like "What superpowers would my friends have?" are the questions you can ask yourself if you want to waste your life and squander the best most beautiful days of your maidenhood straight away. I know I do.
10. Telepathy: When I was little/innocent, I wanted more than anything to read minds. I dreamt of a magic ticker w/red words that we'd wear like wristwatches to illustrate our companion's secret thoughts. Now I don't want telepathy. Now when I want to figure out what someone's thinking, I just write stories.

I learned my lesson well & young by doing what many wannabe mind-readers do -- reading journals. It's heartbreaking, actually, 'cause we've all got callousness underscoring expressed affections. I don't wanna know what anyone's thinking anymore. It'd be nice to have telepathy for lie-detecting, I guess, and in work situations to tailor my output. I guess I'd just have to be careful. Generally I feel that ignorance is bliss.

9. Flying: Does anyone know if you can wear a backpack while you're flying? Like if I wanted to go to L.A. to visit Haviland or go to Vegas to see Bette Midler, would I be able to take someone with me, a là Lois & Clark, or could I take a carry-on suitcase or duffel bag or something? Someone get back to me on this, thank you, pronto, Olympics Oshmylics. I can't travel without Caitlin and five v-neck t-shirts so I need to know ASAP thanks.

8.Technopathy: I'd have about 75% less mental breakdowns if, instead of having to call the Apple people & shell out $50 for them to tell me to control-alt-delete and then bring it to the store, I could just be like "Mac! Get your shit together!" Also, I'd like to be able to control ATM machines, it's so Tom Collins. And I could find Rovermom, track her down, and tell her I know that's not really her on her myspace profile, it's Alice.

7. Power Absorption: This works better if your peer group also has powers. But I'd settle for powers that are helpful, if not necessarily "super." Of all powers; infinity. Of all potential dwellings; sky. I'd like to pick up someone's social skills. Swimming is a thing I never mastered. It would've been easier if I had, and my basketball skills could help the Rockford Peaches win a game maybe, eventually. I'd stand next to LeBron James and just wait to dunk. I'd speak like Obama, make applesauce like my Mama, flip like Oksana. I'd also like to be able to speed-read like Caitlin and speak multiple languages.

6. Duplication: My Mom used to respond to many of my childish requests by saying "There's only one of me!", etc., 'cause I wanted her to do a lot of things, I was very into activities. I'd like there to be another me to visit Pathmark , do my laundry, call the dentist, stand in line to return things, and go to the post office. Hm, maybe all I need is an assistant, e.g., Monica Lewinsky or Jessica.

OK! Fine. I'd like the other me to handle unproductive emotions, too. It can sit in the dark, feel sad, watch Sugar Rush youtube videos, eat pizza in her underwear. She can scream at night to see if anyone can hear her. My replicant can face my fears for me. E.g., life.

6a.Temporal Duplication: I would like to see the old me. I mean all people really talk/write about is what we used to be like, what we might be like later on. I'm not certain the present is real. If I saw the old me on a street corner, I'd ask for directions. She'd lead me to an even younger me and then I could look at her and figure things out. Also I could get my 50 year old self back here and make sure all her organs are okay.

5. Enhanced Memory: I spend a lot of time looking things up. Like how superpowers work or what song lyric is running through my head. I also forget what people say and I forget what I read and I'd like to just be so super smart, I'd just remember all of it, every every minute! Even the hard parts. I feel like this could help my friends too, especially on their birthday. And y'all, 'cause I would've remembered Strunk & White.

4. Time Manipulation: See also; Zach Morris Timeout. You could use it when you need another minute. Then I'd never be late for anything. In matters of lateness, it is best to pick me up. If only I could fly or teleport. Superheroes bring themselves back around.

3. Mediumship: I could hang out with my Dad again forever. I could have dinner with Dana Fairbanks, River Phoenix, Oscar Wao, Andy & Edie, Strunk & White, Amelia Earhart, Lassie and Caroline Knapp. Also if someone needed a good band for their party and DJ Carlytron couldn't do it, I could be like "Hang on, I've got Elvis on line one," or whatever. Beethoven, The Four Tops, whatever it is you senior citizens are into these days.

2. Regenerative Power (healing): I'd like to fix people when they are hurt. I could walk with danger but never die, which's surprisingly relevant in Planet Harlem. At night, I could walk to Pathmark in boots and hot pants like a bat out of Sixth Avenue/hell and a bullet to my brain would be like a messy splinter. Then I could get my ice cream and go home, clickity-clack clickity-clap. Basically I could act in the city like I did when I was 18, which's to say = sans fear. Also if anyone else got hurt, I could fix them. Then I'd probs feel guilty that I wasn't always fixing people all the time and then I'd develop the most complex complex EVER! But it would be worth it to make everything better.

1. Teleportation:
This is all I've ever wanted, ever, in my whole life. I think the best I'll do is a chauffeur. He'll drug me and throw me into a giant car and on the inside it'd feel like sleeping inside a giant slick shoe. Then he'd wake me up and deposit me. Everyone would be invited to travel with me. There will be champagne.

Also; as a side note, I used to get so jealous of kids in books who figured out how to turn their animals or toys to life, like Calvin ("Calvin and Hobbes") and the whole premise of Indian in the Cupboard. Actually I still am. I feel like Tinkerbell could hang out with me for the next 20 days or so.

OMG!!! I just had an amazing idea! What if The L Word spinoff was a sci-fi show? Firstly, Max could be whatever gender he/she wants. Secondly, Dana could come back and be the lead character and Shane's sexual prowess would be replaced by complete mind control powers and Jodi could dance even wearing a bed-sham when she can't hear the music.



DJL2K8 said...

This looks like a fun topic. I'm saving it for work tomorrow.

But I stopped at the part where your friend wants to find a guy who is willing to make her bleed. That's weird even for a guy like me. Also, I hope you had permission to mention that here.

Oh, I also had a weird dream with you in it. You never got naked.

riese said...

I don't need permission, I make my own decisions, that's my perogative.

Really is it that weird? I think there's a pretty significant number of people who're into that kind of stuff. Maybe I'll think better of it and delete that part in a minute.

That dream sounds a lot like real life -- me in it, never getting naked?

Crystal said...

I'd be very excited if you did wake up one morning with Regenerative Power and Teleportation abilities. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

I think the L Word Sci-fi idea is a killer. I hear they're looking for corporate sponsors, maybe Lucasfilm would be keen.

Mercury said...

I don't think it's that weird.

I vote for teleportation hands-down too. Or, really fast flying, cos it's more scenic. Also I'd never be afraid of heights again. Not that I am now, I sort of relish them.

caitlin said...

yay sunday top ten!! on a sunday!! remember when hav was OBSESSED with heroes? cause i do. we actually talked about it today on bbm, apparently i have to watch it. i liked this. a lot. also, i liked that you asked what the rules were w/r/t flying. i think for sure backpacks are allowed. so we can bring each other and all 5 of your v-necks wherever it is that we're going. my dream super powers are for sure teleportation and the zach morris time space freeze power. k it's past my bed time. love you.

eric mathew said...

mmkay. for starters. if i was going to be in nyc this fall i would so intern for you... you know it. i would go to starbucks and get your coffee, then to AA and get some free stuff because they would want you to wear it on your book tour and then i would run all over town and bump into this guy and i would be like HELP RIESE NEEDS TO L-WORD SPINOFF SCRIPT and then you would call (ring ring) and be like if you don't have it don't come back... wait.. devil wears prada?

so anyway if i had a magical power it would be to have the wingspan like michael phelps or the courage to get a Michigan tattoo on my hip (i'm sorry that is so hot).

i think visiting bette in vegas is a must... i can fly higher than an eagle, YOU are the wind beneath my-

live in my house... (like the trans) the tom collins reference was basi. the best. THE BEST!

omg mike is on next. he better win. no pressure... but still.


eric mathew said...

i also think i will be Hav's assistant in LA when i move in the fall.

Even if she doesn't need one, I can atleast pick up her dry cleaning.

Battlestar Luna said...

i09 = great.

Heroes Season 2 = keep expectations in check.

supr said...

i think you can definitely carry a backpack with you while flying. something like a duffel bag would be more difficult just based on the distance you have to carry the sucker. across town no problem, across country.. youre bound to drop it somewhere in one of those middle states, depending on how fast youre flying.

riese said...

crystal - I wonder about when my day will come. That's why every morning for about four hours I do nothing, 'cause I'm waiting for a chance to get struck by the power of my powers and really get wild!

I'm thinking serious opportunities to market lesbian - outer-space -chic.

I'm not afraid of heights either but I am afraid of airplanes, or maybe it's airports. All the stuff around the other stuff. I'm talking nonsense. I like being up above on things.

caitlin:I know! It's on Sunday it's like totally cute, I felt very reponsiblie and clearly I am on a roll. I've met mothers, paid my tazes, and am making valuble progress on the movving-out-sitch. I TOTALLY remember when Havland couldn't stop talking aout Heroes. I'll never forget it nomatter how many times i break the itme-space continum. k it's past my bedtime tooo. love you.

eric matthew: You better be careful, 'cause Haviland is in fact activly/jokingly seeking to take advantage of an earnest young actor by employing him or her as her unpaid intern and you could learn the ins and outs of the biz like getting cookaroo and pnkberry.

We're totally gonna go visit bette, we will fly for sure.

battlestar luna: What I'm really worried about is the newest one where I guess they all become villans? wtf?

supr: That reminds me I should bring some packages with me to drop off along the way for the children to get their ice and cookies.

Bridget said...

I was also a latecomer to Heroes but watched the entire first season on my most recent school break. I adore Hiro Nakamura/pretty much every single character. Such a great show but the last few episodes of the first season could have maybe been a bit better? I plan on watching the second season next break. Can't wait. Awesome post.

rod said...

Ok, major issues around flying with backpack. All other concerns such as gravity pale into insignificance. Arthur Dent off of Hitch Hikers Guide will tell you all about it. Picking up a bag during mid flight is a very complicated manover unless you are a flying expert, due to loss of momentum and weight transfer etc. Having the backpack on before take off would be my top tip. And take lots of snacks, and maybe a book if going long distance.
Nice post btw.

djl2k8.11.8 said...

I can't believe invisibility doesn't crack the top 10. You don't even need like 8 of your super powers if you're invisible.

If you're invisible, you can just sneak on flights.

If you're invisible, you can just sneak into people's rooms and listen to them talk about you.

But the problem with being invisible is you'd have to be naked all the time. Which, according to your last comment, seems to never happen. Which sucks for Semi, but I guess you guys do it through a sheet.

Haviland Stillwell said...

Riese, I love this top 10. Oh heroes! I'm going to take pics of me with Sylar so the auto-winners can see - remember when you said u wanted to bore holes in my brain? That's what he does!

Eric mathew, if you're serious, let's be in touch!

emily kate said...

when I was five I spent christmas with my grandparents. I went skipping up to my stocking in the morning all excited and pulled out--two lumps of coal. And nothing else. I remember crying while my grandmother stood the doorway and laughed and laughed...

teleportation is by far the best of those (although I like the idea of soaking up everyone nearby's abilities), but also only if you can bring people/things with you. I imagine holding hands to form a chain and all closing our eyes only to open them and find ourselves in exciting new places.

autumn m said...

i often think of what super power i would want. all of them sound good. but its just so hard to decide. so i decided if i should ever get one, i should get them all. its only fair to not make me decide, right?

riese said...

bridget: Yeah the last few episodes faltered a little -- almost like it became a little cheesy sometimes? I have it all at the top of my netflix cue so I will be watching with rapture beginning the day it comes out. wheee!

rod: ok, well I'll defo have the backpack with me when I'm getting rady to take off. I can bring an ipod probs and listen to podcasts so that I could concentrate. And I always come with snacks. thanks btw.

dj2k8 Actualy I mention in the start of the post that I think invisibility would be sneaky or immoral or something. 'Cause I don't wanna hear people talk about me really, or take an airplane anywhere.

Do what through a sheet?

haviland stillwell: I know right, but I meant my hole-boring in the kindest possible way and Sylar is evil. Also, he looks a lot like my ex-boyfriend.

emily kate: omg you actually got coal? What had you done? were you a terrible rascaly child? I dont think it would've been fun for me to get coal as a kid, I just want it NOW. Also I think with teleporting you can take people, 'cause you can do that with phasing in Heroes.

autumn m: I don't know if superpowers are distributed fairly like, in general. Basically you wanna be Peter Patrelli. That's fine, he's pretttty cute.

dewey said...

When i was little there was a tv show called Bernards Watch. Bernard had this stopwatch and when he pressed it everything stopped and he could change things or get to places etc etc then when he'd done what he wanted he just started time again.

It was ansewome and i always wanted one of those stopwatches, i think i may have even put it on my christmas list a few times

Allie said...

Two comments:

It's not that weird, the bleeding/snuggle thing . I thought that's what most people wanted? Something racy/forbidden and pressing boundaries in the bedroom, but in a loving relationship where you can trust the boundary pushing will always be just this side of sexxxxy and never that side of fucking scary? No? Just me? Huh.

Also, I heart The Indian in the Cupboard. My girl is a 5th grade teacher, and I re-read them all last year with her class because that was dinner conversation. The first is the best, but the others are nice because they prolong the fantasy.

Ok, item three. I know I'm clueless and pick up only on the explicit and not the implicit, but you and Alex are together? Whoa, I need to read between the lines. Also, is she Alexandra, or Alexandria? I'm minus the i myself, and always considered those of us who were without an i to be superior. She seems cool, like an Alexandra should be.

e. said...

On most days I'd probs agree with you re: flying, healing, teleportation etc. However, today I feel that the greatest and most blessed of superpowers would be the ability to find affordable, comfortable, convenient housing (with only the pleasantest of roommates, and a private bathroom!), where/whenever necessary.

I think spontaneous teleportation is a lot more common, though.

DJL2008 said...

"Do what through a sheet?"

Talk about your feelings!

riese said...

dewey: I feel like I must be related to this fellow Bernard and possibly if I were to get in touch with him I could access the time freeze myself you know? I always put time machine on my channukistis wish list but I never get it.

allie: No totally not just you, I mean, I found it surprising the extent of the violence she was interested in enduring (which i didn't go into) but in genreal, I think what you said is true, that bleeding/snuggle thing, I mean, sexxxy and never that side of fucking scary? Yeah, totes.

There's normally an "I" in Alexandria? I feel like there isn't, I've never seen it, but if I did, I'd probs like it and want to be together with it. Just saying. A;ex has so many fake names that we haven't even started to deal with her real one; Babypop, Littlefoot, SemiColon, Semi, etc.

e.: I know right? Speaking as a person who'd like that too. Maybe that could be a part of talking to machines like Mica does, yannow? Like you tell craigslist to tell you what they've got that you might want and then you go for it.

dj2008: Okay good I was afraid you were talking about like passing objects through walls, which is something I don't know how to do but maybe one day i will?

Vashti said...

I would LOVE to be able to teleport [or apparate]. Probably the bext super power there out there.

But it has come to my attention that invisibility may not be such a super power anymore. apparently the us army is making an invisibility cloak? [JK Rowling probs is super jeal]

a;ex said...

allie, there is no 'i' which is great news cause now I feel closer to you than ever before. I'm not used to sharing the same name as someone, but it's totally cool in this case, obvs!

Anonymous said...

i sound like a used car salesman, all charming and stuff. clearly, people read your blog to learn about me. clearly! soooo, you see, my love, you must paint me in a more beautiful, if not slightly less than truthful light;) i want to be charming AND make you laugh AND save the day AND heal AND bestow powers on others/bring forth their latent goddessness!
Yes, it's true, I want to be alex and hav and cait all in one--bc they are all so sassy!

moooooo! i love and miss you. ohio is, ergh, nice.