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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Variations on a Theme

Amongst my list of innocently bad habits (i.e. constantly cracking my knuckles, biting on straws), my worst vice has to be a combination of two others: the Internet and going on random tangents.

So when you’re leading an Internet-less lifestyle at home like I’ve been doing for the past month, it’s easy to devote an awful amount of time normally spent on web browsing (read: Facebook and online shopping) thinking instead about useless things, such as which of my friends would make the bestChain Reaction teammates or what country I would visit if I were Anthony Bourdain.

Unfortunately, without Wikipedia and other wonders of the World Wide Web at my every whim, most of my thoughts have been restricted to things that are easily accessible.

In other words, I’ve been thinking about myself a lot.

Well, not quite. Let me explainI’ve been thinking about Rachels in general. As a shareholder of the 17th most popular name of my birth year (1987), I’ve encountered plenty of name twins. For a good portion of elementary school, teachers referred to me asRachel F, and in kindergarten, I had to go byRachel Fil. because there was a like-named girl with the surname of Fernandez.

Of course, no Rachel has captured my attention quite like the ones that have made a name for themselves in history and other entertainment outlets. Thus, I’ve compiled a short but sweet list of some my favorite Rachels to live vicariously through:

Rachel, wife of Jacob. Appearing in Hebrew Bible in the Book of Genesis, this Rachel lived a rather melodramatic life. So what if she got her sister Leah’s sloppy seconds (marrying Jacob just a week after Leah did, scandalous!), was kinda barren and a bit of a crybabyshe was the favored wife as well as the prettier sister, and that’s all that matters, right?

Rachel, Animorphs. For those unfamiliar with it, Animorphs was a popular young adult sci-fi book series (and later, TV show) about a group of kids who morphed into animals. I can’t say that this Rachel and I had too much in commonbesides the whole ability to transform into animals such as elephants and grizzly bears, she was really aggressive, had a dark side and died at 16.

Rachel Green,Friends. As probably the best-known Rachel on television, this one was living a life only possible on popular, long-running sitcoms: She lived in a nice roomy apartment in Manhattan, went from working as a waitress to a buyer at Ralph Lauren and managed to maintain a strong friendship with five other people over the span of 10 years.

Rachel Keller, The Ring. Out of all the Rachels that I have witnessed on the big screen, Naomi Wattscharacter proved to provide one of the most unnerving movie-going experiences. Thanks to this 2002 remake of the Japanese film Ringu, I’m always wary of unmarked VHS tapes, permanently creeped out by pale (but precocious) little boys and relentlessly followed by an evil spirit of a girl named Samara.

Rachel Dawes, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. As Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend and close confidant, Dawes provided the type of support that loyal servant Alfred could not. Of course, the more important issue arises: Who played her betterKatie Holmes or Maggie Gyllenhaal?

It should be noted that any variants of my namemainly, the sucky versionRachael – were exempt from this list, meaning that people like Ray, Leigh Cook and Yamagata were automatically eliminated. Sorry, girls.

RACHEL FILIPINAS really isn’t as self-centered as this column would lead you to believe. Put her in her place at rmfilipinas@ucdavis.edu. 

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