Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
While it may not show in this here web log, I love to read. Like hardcore. The best gift I could possibly get from anyone is a gift certificate to book store. When I was in the Motherland this year, I read seven books. SEVEN. That's a book a week. I thought I was only staying for two and still brought four with me. The other three... well those I had already read in years past and decided to read them again. Yup, I'm a nerd.
So one of my favorite gifts this year was a $50 gift card to B&N and a copy of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
Randy Pausch is truly the definition of an amazing human being. He was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon before being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. When he found out he was definitely going to die, instead of laying down and feeling sorry for himself, he made the conscious decision to keep living. He decided to make the most of the time he had left with his wife and kids. In September 2007, he gave his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. He talked about his life, about acheiving his childhood dreams, and how he has helped others acheive their dreams. His attitude is awe inspiring. If everyone lived their lives with that kind of hope, with that kind of gratitude, with that much enthusiam and persistance, this world would be....I honestly can't quantify how much better it would be. He's that good, people!
Randy sadly lost his battle to cancer on July 25th, 2008. I had never met the man, but I cried like he was my uncle. People like Randy deserve to live to 108, not 48.
If you'd like to be inspired, if you'd like to see the true definition of awesome, I encourage you visit his website and watch his Last Lecture. If you have more than 70 minutes to spare, read his book. I read it in a few hours and it was the most well-spent few hours of the holidays.
I hope I can give to this world one tenth of what Randy Pausch gave. Rest in peace.
Monday, December 29, 2008
A little sad news: I was supposed to spend New Year's in L.A., but that doesn't look like it's happening =( To keep my spirits up, here's a little something I found that brings the lol's. Especially the last few seconds. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
J: Where did she get it?
Me: She bought it off eBay.
J: Ewwww, she bought a nightstand off eBay?!
Me: Why "eewww," it's a piece of furniture.
J: Do you know what kind of nasty shit people keep in their bedside tables? You better tell her to scrub that shit down with some extra strength Clorox before she uses it!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I talk a good game about my travel nightmares, but I think we have a new winner. I'd like everyone to please read this post by Liz over at Gingers Is the Watchword. Afterward, I'd like you to either thank God/Allah/Buddha/Xenu that you don't have to travel during the holidays, or pray to your appropriate dude in the sky that you don't go through what Liz went through.
Liz, I take back every story I ever told about the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport. And the Mormons. They have nothing on your hellish experience. Glad you made it back to Bahston safe and sound.
Monday, December 22, 2008
This movie got so much hype from Oprah and everyone that had already seen it that I thought I was in for a "holy shit!" M. Night Shayamalan-type ending. Too bad I figured it out 10 minutes into the movie.
It's hard to describe the movie without giving too much away: Will Smith plays Ben Thomas, a man who tries to change the lives of certain people. His personal story is revealed in bits and pieces throughout the movie so that by the end, it all makes sense. Oh, and Rosario Dawson plays a woman that Ben falls for. Other than that, I really can't give you much more about the plot.
The movie is definitely a tear-jerker and had me quivering my lip from the very beginning. It's a great look at loss and how different people deal with what life throws at them. However, I found myself telling Will to quit his pathetic "feeling-sorry-for-myself" attitude on more than one occasion. So either I'm a cold, heartless bitch, or he was overacting. Either is a possibility.
The good news: if you don't figure out what's going on within the first 15 minutes of the movie, it will keep you guessing until the end. And everyone loves it when a mystery is solved.
Bottom line: don't spend $10 to see in the theater. Watch it online for free or wait until it comes out on DVD.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I don't know what's gotten into me this holiday season, but I'm finding myself loving New York all over again. Slushing along the sidewalks of Manhattan and jumping over puddles on Friday literally put a smile on face. I thought about how I spent last Christmas (doing cartwheels on the beach in San Diego) and decided right there in the middle of Union Square that I would never again spend the holidays away from home.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I watch almost all of my TV online or on demand these days. Between CBS/NBC/ABC.com, Netflix's "watch instantly" feature and sites like Hulu, I pretty much don't need real-time TV anymore. There are a few shows, however, that I still watch every week when they air. One of these shows is How I Met Your Mother. The words "great," "fantastic," or "comedic genius" don't begin to describe this show. It's more like legendary.
Here's the cast of HIMYM doing something fully awesome.
Happy Friday everyone! As always, I hope you're avoiding your responsibilities and leaving work early today. And for those of you in the En-why-cee, you may actually have a legit excuse to do so today: it is snowing like whoa out there! We're getting our first real snowstorm and I'm loving it. That is, until I have to step outside in it. My friends and I have plans to go to dinner and a show tonight so I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a blizzard.
As I like to do on every 5th day of the workweek, I've compiled a list of random things for your Friday enjoyment.
Someone needs to feed Kelly Rippa. Contrary to popular belief among 20-year olds and everyone in Hollywood, there is such a thing as being too thin. And Kelly Ripa proves my point. She needs to eat a bacon cheeseburger like, yesterday.
Michelle Duggar popped out her 37th kid. The couple with 17 kids welcomed their 18th yesterday in Arkansas. Her husband Jim Bob was quoted as saying, "We would love to have more." Upon hearing that statement, Michelle's vagina got up and walked out of the room. It was later found smoking a bowl while booking a one way ticket to the Cayman Islands.
Fringe wasn't that great; try Burn "Notice" instead. The other day I talked about how J.J. Abrams' new show "Fringe" looked promising. Well after watching a second episode I decided it wasn't for me. That wacky science stuff is just too unbelievable for me to take seriously. It's why I never watched X-Files. I did, however, start watching another show on Hulu that lives up to the hype. I've watched 4 episodes of "Burn Notice," and so far, it's pretty excellent. It centers around a ex-government spy who has essentially been kicked out of the spy club. His assets are frozen, his contacts have vanished and he's left to fend for himself in Miami. Ie: he's been burned. So he uses his spy skills to solve random cases for cash while he finds out who in the government did him dirty. What I love about the show is that it doesn't try at all to be like 24. It's more like MacGyver, but way funnier.
Jeremy Piven is lie-telling. At least I think so. According to his doctors, Ari Gold has mercury poisoning and will not be able to continue his performance in a Broadway show called "Speed-the-plow." Mercury poisoning, hmm? Methinks the Pivert wanted out of the show and had to find a legit reason. And he came up with, "I ate too much sushi." Yeah, I bet you did.
I fell down the stairs this morning and hurt my assbone. Again. I'm pretty much a legend in my family for being the most clumsy person ever. Not a holiday goes by that I don't spill the wine or drop the eggs or burn the potatoes or, on one awesome occasion, almost set the tree on fire. So really, you shouldn't be surprised by this latest occurrence. I'll probably fall in the snow later today or drop my drink into someone's chicken. But hey, at least the steps were carpeted this time.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Steve: Wait wait wait, hold on a second. Can we pause for a minute and reflect on the fact that you just said "hootchie mama chichis all up in his face"? The only way that could've been better is if you said "hootchie mama chichis all up in his grill."
Me: Let's pretend that's what I said when I blog about this tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I've had sort of a busy year so I didn't get a chance to see many movies. But I did watch one of the movies about which I made a totally unqualified Golden Globe prediction the other day. It was In Bruges and it was damn good. I mistakenly thought it was a comedy and found out the hard way that it was only sort of a comedy. A very dark comedy. In the same way that Pulp Fiction and Snatch are comedies. The movie is about two criminals who are sent to hide out in the Belgian city of Bruges after one of them kills someone they shouldn't have. The scenery was amazing, so great that I added Bruges to my list of cities left to see in Europe. And the best part about the movie: it features a little person! Oh how I love the little people. I won't give away more details, but let's just say that I now see why it (and Colin Ferrell) were nominated for several Golden Globes.
I also wanted to comment on a show that I watched last night. I went on Hulu to look for some episodes of "Man Men" because everyone I know says it's the best show of all time. While I didn't find any eps of Mad Men, I did come across a show called "Fringe." It's like X-Files meets Law and Order meets CSI. I only watched the pilot (which was an impressive 90-minutes long) but it seems like a pretty interesting show. The main character is an FBI agent named Olivia who gets involved in an area of science called fringe science - things like reanimation, mind-reading, life on other planets - after her boyfriend dies under suspicious circumstances. Josh Jackson plays an uber-smart (and really funny) rogue accomplice to Olivia, which makes this show all the more pleasing to the eye. And it's written by J.J. Abrams, the executive producer and writer for projects like LOST, Felicity, Alias, Armageddon, and Forever Young. I've only watched one episode, but it looks promising.
Lastly, can we talk about Vampire Weekend? We all know how I feel about music, but their self-titled album is hands-down my favorite album of the year, if not the last few. It's upbeat, catchy, unique, and full of weird lyrics. Seriously, who does give a fuck about an Oxford comma?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
So I recently got into 30 Rock. And I have to admit, I love it. It's funny, sarcastic, smart, and I pretty much want Liz Lemon's job. But did you know...
...that Tracy Jordan's house portrayed in the second episode of Season 2 is not actually in New Jersey, but in Malba, Queens? Malba is a very VERY rich neighborhood that happens to be right across the bay from my humble 'hood. And that big Tuscan style house they showed? I jog past it all the time and marvel at how gorgeous it is.
Did you also know that that's also the house they portrayed as Colleen Donaghy's Florida home in this season's Christmas episode? It's true. You can see the sewage treatment plant across the Long Island sound in the show.
After a little snooping on the interwebs, I found out that a gentleman named Peter Oppedisano owns the house. (That's him in the above picture.) It makes me wonder who on 30 Rock knows him well enough to be able to use his house on the show....
Monday, December 15, 2008
Me: Sure. Can we get some blue and purple ones?
Mom: Those aren't very Christmasy.
Me: Yeah. But they're Jewishy.
Mom: Well so far we're not Jewish.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
While on a "surprise" trip to Baghdad, Bush declared that "the war is not over" which apparently upset a reporter from an Iraqi-owned television station in Egypt. Before Best President Ever could say say nucular miseducation, the reporter flung two shoes at him while yelling, "This is a farewell kiss, you dog!" Throwing shoes at someone is considered highly disrespectful in Arabic culture. Calling them a dog, however, is considered flirting.
Let's watch a reporter flirt with our president while a very bored-looking prime minister looks on.
I thought this might be a fun new category to introduce to the blog. And what better way to kick things off than with something juicy like dating? Because one or more guys I used to date reads this site, I won't tell any embarrassing stories involving them. But I will GLADLY talk about other random dudes from my past.
Best first date: It was my second year of law school. I had just moved into an apartment with two friends from school. I was getting over a particularly shitty summer that included a breakup and the death of my grandfather. For the first time in a long time, I was letting loose. I met a guy at a bar in Manhattan. He was 31 and a lawyer with one of THE biggest law firms in the world. He took my number and promised to call. And he did! We went out the following Saturday night and it was great. We had a romantic dinner, we talked, he took me to the Wet Bar at the W hotel, then to this small pub by his apartment where the song after which this blog is named came on the jukebox and we both sang all the words. I won't go into further detail, but I met his cat and it was a totally awesome first date.
Worst first date: Same time period as above. Still letting loose, loving the single life. Met a guy at a Halloween party on Long Island. Did some harmless making-out-like-15-year-olds. Found out he was 20. Yup, you read that right. I made out with a 20-year old when I was 24 and in law school. Why then, do you ask, did I agree to go out on a date with him? ::Hanging head in shame:: I can't answer that question. He picked me up and I gave him the tour of the apartment. (I won't lie, it was a pretty sweet place.) After noticing the hardwood floors, the fireplace, the built-in bookshelves, he said, "Wow, this place reminds me of my grandma's house." After he called his mom for directions, we drove to a sushi place in his 1999 Acura where he told me all about his dream of becoming a personal trainer. He told me about his part-time job at GNC and the importance of vitamin B-12 and the proper way to bench press 100lbs. He kept saying he loved girls with ambition and was impressed that I was in law school because that must be like, totally hard. After dinner he asked if I wanted to see a movie because he was like DYING to see Saw 3 and his friend worked at the movie theater and could totally get us in for free. After the movie we drove back to my apartment while listening to a CD of his friend's band. He walked me to my door and declared that even though we'd made out before, he wasn't going to kiss me because a gentleman never kisses on the first date. Sometime during the date I gave him email address, probably so he could email me a list of vitamins I should be taking and what carbs I should avoid. He emailed me a picture of himself shirtless the next day with the message "totally not showing off but this is me after I learned the rite [sic] way to free lift." After ignoring his phone calls for a week, he left me a final voicemail that said, I shit you not, "I've been trying to call you for a while now but you're not picking up. I guess you're not into me and that's cool. I just thought we had a really fun time the other night. I don't know, I guess I read the signals wrong. I just really thought you were into me. But that's cool, I get it. Law school and stuff. It's totally whatever. Have a nice life I guess. Maybe I'll see at Rich's next keg or something."
Don't judge. You know you've been there. Maybe you weren't borderline committing a crime (or were you?) but you know you've all been on some pretty horrible first dates: the balding man who flossed his teeth at the table. The gorgeous girl who would NOT. SHUT. UP. The foreign dude who spoke 14 English words that you actually understood. Right, guys?
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I was just reading the Golden Globe nominations and realized that I haven't seen a single movie that's up for an award. (Except Pineapple Express and Kung Fu Panda, but I don't think they count.) In fact, I hadn't even HEARD of most of the films nominated. So I went on IMDB to check out some trailers and, based only on 2-minute clips, have decided to predict who will win each Motion Picture category. As for the TV categories, I've seen most of the shows so I feel slightly more competent to predict the winners in those categories. This should be some sort of documented social experiment....
BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader (2nd pick)
Slumdog Millionaire (3rd pick)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married (3rd pick)
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas - I've Loved You So Long (2nd pick)
Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Leonardo DiCaprio - Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (3rd pick)
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler (2nd pick)
BEST MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Burn After Reading
In Bruges (2nd pick)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (3rd pick)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Rebecca Hall - Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2nd pick)
Sally Hawkins - Happy Go Lucky
Frances McDormand - Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep - Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson - Last Chance Harvey
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY OR DRAMA
Javier Bardem - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell - In Bruges
James Franco - Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson - In Bruges (2nd pick)
Dustin Hoffman - Last Chance Harvey
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Kung Fu Panda (2nd pick)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Everlasting Moments (3rd pick)
I've Loved You So Long (2nd pick)
Waltz With Bashir
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Amy Adams - Doubt (2nd pick)
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
Kate Winslet - The Reader
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Tom Cruise - Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder (3rd pick)
Ralph Fiennes - The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt (2nd pick)
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
BEST DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
David Fincher -The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon (2nd pick)
Sam Mendes - Revolutionary Road
BEST SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire (2nd pick)
David Hare - The Reader
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley -Doubt
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Dexter (2nd pick)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Sally Field - Brothers and Sisters
Mariska Hargitay - Law and Order: SVU
January Jones - Mad Men (2nd pick)
Anna Paquin - True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment
Michael C. Hall - Dexter (2nd pick)
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Hugh Laurie - House
Jonathan Rhys Meyers - The Tudors
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Californication (2nd pick)
The Office (3rd pick)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES –COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate - Samantha Who? (2nd pick)
America Ferrere - Ugly Betty
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Debra Messing - The Starter Wife (3rd pick)
Mary-Louise Parker - Weeds
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock (2nd pick)
Steve Carell - The Office
Kevin Connolly - Entourage
David Duchovny - Californication
Tony Shalhoub - Monk
BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
A Raisin in the Sun
Bernard and Doris
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Judi Dench - Cranford
Catherine Keener - An American Crime
Laura Linney - John Adams
Shirley Maclaine - Coco Chanel
Sunan Sarandon - Bernard and Doris
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Ralph Fiennes - Bernard and Doris (2nd pick)
Paul Giamatti - John Adams
Kevin Spacey - Recount
Kiefer Sutherland - 24: Redemption
Tom Wilkinson - Recount
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Eileen Atkins - Cranford
Laura Dern - Recount
Melissa George - In Treatment
Rachel Griffiths - Brothers and Sisters
Dianne Weist - In Treatment
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Neil Patrick Harris - How I Met Your Mother (2nd pick)
Denis Leary - Recount
Jeremy Piven - Entourage
Blair Underwood - In Treatment
Tom Wilkinson - John Adams
I left my own personal opinions and biases out of these guesses. If it were up to me, The Reader would win best motion picture, In Bruges would win best comedy, Brad Pitt would disappear to France to have more babies, and Tom Cruise would be knocked over the head with a shovel while accepting his fake award for best supporting actor in Tropic Thunder. Seriously, was that nomination some sort of joke? Was he even in the movie for more than five minutes? New rule: in order to get nominated for a role in a feature-length motion picture, you must ACT in the film for a total time of no less than ONE HOUR. Also, you can't make your wife into a Stepford robot or belong to a religion that doesn't believe in depression. Discovery of his Scientology sex dungeon in 3, 2, 1.....
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Talking about airports this morning got me thinking about the many hours I've spent in them. Liz and Red over at Gingers Is The Watchword have both talked about their sometimes hellish travel experiences, and I realized that while I've commented on both of their posts, I've never shared my own travel nightmares on here. Well that ends right now.
I've done a fair amount of traveling. My mom works for Delta Airlines (up in the control tower at La Guardia, how cool is that?) so I've been trekking the globe since I was just a wee babe. While I flew free until I was 23 and still get ridiculous discounts on airfare, my travel experiences haven't always been pleasant. For one, I fly standby. That basically means I get a seat if there's one leftover after all the paying customers and Delta employees get on the plane. That means a lot of waiting around, and sometimes not making it on at all. On the plus side, I do get seated in first or business class if there's space. Which usually makes for a very comfy 8-hour flight to Europe for like 10% of the price of a first class ticket. But who's bragging?!
Seriously though, it's not all warm towelettes and champagne. I've had to spend the night in strange cities on more than one occasion and it's never fun. There are three travel experiences that will forever stand out in my mind as some of the worst days of my life.
#3: July 2006, coming home from Venice. My friends and I had spent two weeks in Europe and were flying home on buddy passes. Buddy pass passengers only get a seat after paying customers, Delta employees and anyone traveling with those employees gets on the plane. When we got to the airport, there were 5 of us and only 4 seats left. One of us had to stay. It made the most sense for me to give up my seat because my priority is higher; it would be much easier for me to get on the next day's flight than it would for one of them. Also, I had already called my boss at the time and his reaction was basically, "Shit happens, see you when I see you." My friends, on the other hand, were all afraid of getting fired. So after much arguing and insisting, they finally agreed that it made the most sense for me to stay behind. I put on a brave face, but inside I was scared. It was the first time I had ever spent the night alone in a strange city, let alone a European one. I had to get a hotel in Italy's most romantic city and eat pasta from room service all by my lonesome. It wasn't all that bad, though. I took a bath and slept for like 13 hours. And the next day at the airport, a gorgeous Italian man asked me why I was traveling alone--I lied and told him I worked for a fashion magazine and I was in Venice for a photo shoot. Best airport lie I have ever told.
#2: January 2007, coming home from Costa Rica. We were supposed to fly from San Jose to Atlanta to New York. Things started out great when I got an aisle seat across from a ridiculously hot Marine. He was 25 and had just spent 10 days surfing in South America. We talked throughout the entire flight until some random people from first class started coming back to coach. Shortly after that, the pilot announced that we would be making an emergency landing in Miami because a dude in first class got deathly ill and projectile vomited all over his fellow passengers. Because we couldn't set foot on American soil without going through customs, we couldn't get off the plane. We were grounded in Miami for about two hours while EMT personnel attended to the sick passenger and the Christian missionary sitting next to me read the Bible out loud. We arrived in Atlanta too late to catch a connecting flight to New York, so we had to spend the night. Without our luggage. Later that night at a hotel bar, a football game was on TV and I made the mistake of rooting for the wrong team. Several angry-looking Southern gentlemen schooled me on the superiority of the Atlanta Falcons or LA Saints and used vulgar curse words when referring to any team east of Ohio. The next morning, at 5am, we arrived back at the airport only to be told that snow in New York had grounded all flights until further notice. When we finally got on the plane 6 hours later, I caught a nasty ear infection and spent the entire flight crying in pain.
#1: August 2007, coming home from Lake Tahoe, CA. I had flown into San Francisco and lost my cell phone the second I got off the plane. I was supposed to fly out of Reno to Salt Lake City and then onto New York. I made it to Salt Lake without incident, but the second I set foot in Utah, shit went crazy. The 3o'clock flight to JFK was oversold. All the extra passengers were given priority for the 6 o'clock flight. By midnight there were so many people trying to get to NY that Delta was offering free hotel stays for anyone willing to give up their seat and fly out in the morning. (I was not eligible for that deal.) With no cell phone and my next shot at getting home in less than 6 hours, I felt like it was silly to waste time and money on a hotel room. Spend the night in the airport, I thought. People do it all the time, it'll be fine. WELL IT WAS NOT FINE. It was cold and uncomfortable and scary. I kept getting woken up by the cleaning crew. I had horrible dreams about being fired from my internship. The nice couple that was sleeping a few rows behind me disappeared in the middle of the night. I woke up the next morning to Mormon boys asking me if I'd heard the good news. After I brushed my teeth IN AN AIRPORT BATHROOM, I walked up to the gate counter at 6am with high hopes.... and was quickly shut down: first flight of the day, oversold. Not only did I have no chance of getting on this flight, but every flight to New York that day was just as bad. What about Atlanta, I asked? All full. Cincinnati? Looks good getting there, but you probably won't be able to get a flight out of Cinci to New York. Your best bet is flying to Pittsburgh. And from Pittsburgh? There's a commuter flight into La Guardia that's wide open. Sounds good to me, let's do it. So I flew to Pittsburgh at 10am and let me tell you: the Pittsburgh airport has a MALL. I'm talking Gap, Louis Vutton, a food court, the works. But as I was eating my chicken teryaki and thinking things were looking up, I got the news that all flights to New York were grounded because of severe thunderstorms. Once I actually did get on the plane 4 hours later, I remembered the gate agent in Salt Lake saying the words "commuter jet." The reality of those words hit me as I stared at my fellow passengers--all 20 of them. The only way to get through this flight was with a stiff drink. Which I spilled all over myself during turbulence. I left Lake Tahoe at 10am on Sunday morning and arrived in New York at 9:30pm on Monday night smelling like a homeless alcoholic. Such fun times!
Honorable mentions: lugging a 100lb suitcase onto a train from Berlin to Amsterdam. Traveling with friends I didn't speak to half the trip because they were acting a fool. Having a woman damn near give birth on a flight. Waiting for 5 hours at JFK with my 80-year old grandmother and cousin who doesn't drink and then sitting on the tarmac for another 3 hours. Hearing a horrible grinding metal sound 10 minutes after taking off in Hawaii, watching as the plane turns around twice over the Pacific Ocean with no mention of what's going on, then having the captain get on the intercom as he's making his 3rd loop over the ocean to tell us the landing gear won't go up and we have to make an emergency landing.
I got an iPhone yesterday, and holy wow. To call this thing awesome would be a major understatement. I almost can't wait to be stuck in an airport just so I can use it to pass the time. Do you know know how many books I've read in my lifetime just sitting in airports? How many hours I've wasted in Hudson Newstands all over America, how many drinks I've consumed in airport bars? HUNDREDS in Terminal C of the Atlanta airport alone. All that time could've been spent surfing the internet on an iPhone. All that money I spent on People magazines could've gone towards iTunes. All that alcohol... well I probably would've drank all those gin and tonics anyway. But I would've been drunk texting on a waaaay cooler device!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I loved Christmas as a kid. My mom wasn't really your typical mom (she didn't bake cookies and she definitely didn't decorate the house for the holidays) but she always made sure we had a nice holiday season. The tree, the presents, the Christmas music, the fish (we're Catholic), it was all pretty awesome.
And then I got a job in retail. Oh. My. God. There is no better way to ruin the spirit of the holidays than listening to a combination of the same 20 Christmas songs for 6 weeks straight and customers bitching about coupons and a lack of Hanukkah gifts. (That was a completely unintentional stab at the Jews, but it stays.) I could tolerate it while I worked at a bookstore because it was a small environment and I was just a lowly employee; the biggest thing I had to deal with was running out of singles in the register. And then I became a manager at a department store. Holy birth of Jesus. Have you ever tried to manage a department with one working register and a line of 50 people? Have you ever had your life threatened by a tall Asian man who demanded that one cent be put back on his credit card? Have you ever stood in the middle of a sales floor and shouted the words, "Ma'am, please let go of Kermit the frog and stop calling my employee a racist bitch"?
Ah memories. Such special times, the holidays. You can see how retail sort of messed with my ideas of giving and receiving, of celebrating the birth of our Lord savior Jesus Christ. The last thing I wanted to do after 10 hours of listening to "Jingle Bells" and running out of boxes was go home and listen to more Christmas music while wrapping presents.
But then a wonderful thing happened: I quit that retail bitch like Oprah quit pasta. No more working 12-hour shifts. No more folding wool sweaters until my hands were itchy and swollen. No more pleading with customers to leave the store after the lights had gone out and the doors were locked. This will be my fourth year of not working retail during the holidays, and I think it may be the magic year. Because for the very first time since I was 17, I am actually singing along to Christmas songs. I can walk into a store and not have a panic attack when I hear the words, "I want to speak to your supervisor." I am strangely looking forward to putting up the tree, and I didn't roll my eyes when my aunt got sucked into the 30% off Christmas Decorations Sale at Bloomingdale's last week. In fact, I bought her an ornament for her tree. Me! Spending money on such silly things!
Now that I can finally enjoy Christmas again, I have some things to say: Mom, I'm sorry I refused to help you decorate the tree all those years. I was in a really bad place. It was called Macy's. I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize to my roommate Stephanie for threatening to shank her if she put Christmas decorations in the apartment we shared during law school. Steph, you did a really great job and I'm sorry Mike and I teased you about the stockings on the mantle, cuz they were actually pretty awesome. And finally, to the store manager at the Macy's who took my blood, my sweat, my tears, my Christmas spirit...to the woman who forced me to work on every holiday because I wasn't married with children and then lectured me when I took off July 4th weekend to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding...to the person who rolled her eyes at me when I told her I was going to the emergency room because I broke my finger at work:
SUCK IT, BITCH. I hope you enjoy your 100th Christmas working as a retail manager. You are the only reason I am still considering pursuing a career in law, in hopes that I will one day represent an employee who collapsed in your store because you forced her to work ten twelve-hour days in a row while she was 7 months pregnant and had the flu. (True story.)
Hmm. I guess I didn't completely get back my Christmas spirit. Ah well. Maybe year 5 will be my magic year....
Monday, December 8, 2008
She was working as an actress in Flushing, Queens when her 23-year-old boyfriend kicked her 20-years-older-than-him ass out in one of those crushing scenes. What was she to do, where was she to go, she was out on her fanny. So over the bridge from Flushing to the U.N.'s door, she was there to push women's health, but the ambassador saw more. She had style, she had flare, she had a really annoying New York accent. That's how she became the next senator.
Wait, that's not how the story goes, is it? Well it might be! According to New York Magazine, Fran Fine (I mean Fran Drescher) thinks she is qualified to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's next state senator.
Personally, I am all for this. We need more nasal-speaking women in Congress. Especially ladies who wear red when everybody else is wearing tan. The flashy girl from Flushing, the Senator named Fran!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
My least favorite question in the world is, "So what kind of music do you like?" I think it is a completely unfair question on so many levels and I therefore refuse to answer it. (It's true, just read my profile.) First of all, everyone's tastes change. Ask me today what my favorite band is and you'll get a completely different answer than if you ask me tomorrow. A group I LURVE today I may loathe next week. Secondly, I hate the passive judgment that goes along with the question, like the answer somehow defines me as a person. So what if I know all the words to "Juicy" and almost every R. Kelly song ever made? That doesn't mean I rock the red and black lumberjack with the hat to match or that you remind me of my jeep.
I hate the "what do you listen to" question so much that I have never, not once, pulled it out on a date unless I was really desperate. Why? Because I'm not a music whore and don't know half the bands out there. I don't own many CD's and most of the music on my iPod is pretty standard. I haven't been to many concerts in my life, and the few I have been to were all really, really famous people. (And one Yanni concert.) I'm not down with what the cool kids are listening to and I don't think that makes me a bad person. I don't feel that I'm less of a human being because I never listened to Modest Mouse or that band with the word math in it. (Are those bands even cool? I have no idea. The first time I wrote that sentence I typed "Mighty Mouse." NOT kidding.)
Here's how I get my music ninety-five percent of the time: I hear a song on the radio/in someone's car/on their blog and like it. I go to my favorite music-downloading site and "acquire" it. I look for other songs by that band and see if I like them. Sometimes I look to see what else people who like that band are listening to. More often than not, I download the original song I liked and listen to it 25 times. As for the other five percent of the time, I'm usually looking for songs from my past. Which is how I know the lyrics to this song. And this one. And oh did I cry my teenage angst out to this one.
How do you honestly explain to someone that you like ALL kinds of music? No one ever believes me. Yes, I use it as an excuse so I don't have to answer the question, but that doesn't mean it's not true! Back in my Napster days I had about 6,000 songs saved on my old laptop before it got internet herpes and died. At some point in time, I downloaded and enjoyed all of the followings artists: Tori Amos, Bon Jovi, Staind, Old 97's, New Kids on the Block, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Tupac, Hole, Jill Scott, Crosby Stills and Nash (and Young), Jack Johnson, Type O Negative, Muddy Waters, some weird European techno trash, Dashboard Confessional, A-ha, Ludacris, Miles Davis and Daddy Yankee. (Don't judge, I like to get my reggaeton on once in a while.) But how do you explain that to someone who's known you for all of five minutes? How do you convince them that you really do like all different kinds of music, but it just doesn't include that supercool underground band that they saw last week at that really unknown bar?
To show you just how little I know about music and what's popular, here's a song I recently heard that I liked a lot. It's called "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend" by The Black Kids. I have no idea what genre it belongs to, I don't know anything about the band, and I didn't even watch the video. I just really liked the song and played it a bunch of times while I was doing other stuff. And to prove to myself that I still have decent taste in music regardless of how little I know about it, I liked this song before it was on "Entourage" and started being played on every hip hop station in America.
But just so we're clear, this is still the best song in the history of the universe. I can't be convinced otherwise.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I put Dookie by Green Day on in the car on the way home and screamed along at the top of my lungs. BECAUSE I WAS IN THAT GOOD OF A MOOD.
Friday, December 5, 2008
For those of you who are diligently sitting at your desks pretending to do work, here's a few things to help get you through the day.
Victoria Beckham says she's not a famewhore. And I believe her! She recently told the Daily Mail that doesn't court fame, and that the only grand entrances she makes are through the kitchens of L.A. restaurants. I can see how some people might disagree, considering her huge following. But think about it: when was the last time you saw Victoria Beckham on a red carpet? When was the last time you saw a paparazzi photo of her doing anything other than walking out of a store or doing something with her kids? Yes, she's rail thin and dresses like she's having tea with Elton John every day. But isn't that what fashion icons do?! How else are you going to promote your line if you don't wear your clothes and look fabulous in them? I call that a smart marketing plan, not a ploy to get media attention.
Speaking of whoring yourself out to the media... Mark your calendars. Michelle Duggar is giving birth to her 37th child on TV. Because allowing a film crew into the delivery room when your vagina is on display is perfectly modest, but heaven forbid your daughters wear skirts that show their ankles. I really don't get this family. They belong to a Christian religion (?) called Quiverfull, which encourages having large families. According to Quiverfull.com, followers of this faith "acknowledge His headship in all areas of our lives, including fertility" and "exist to serve those believers who trust the Lord for family size." Interesting concept. Do they also trust the Lord to feed their family of 24? They tell me that "whether your quiver is large or small, you are welcome." So maybe one day when I finally get that cattle farm out west and need some free labor, I'll consider having a "small" quiver of 12. Because I can't think of any other logical reason to have that many children. Can you?
And finally, can we stop with the remakes please? I feel like Hollywood has run out of ideas and is scraping the bottom of the barrel in a desperate attempt to make money. No one wants to see Andrea Whatshername reprise her role as Kimmy Gilber on Full House. Knight Rider 2008 was NOT a good idea, and can we leave the Karate Kid alone? Is nothing sacred anymore?! The only remake I want to see is It's a Living. But instead of waitresses at a swanky hotel in L.A., the show features upscale call girls in Europe. International movie stars fly to Prague and Milan and pay the world's most beautiful women to hang on their arms for a night. THAT, my friend, is how you make a living.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Nurse to patient: Mrs. Campanella, you can come back with me now. Mr. Campanella, I'm afraid you'll have to wait here, there isn't much room back there.
Patient: Aw, you mean he don't get to come wit me?
Patient's husband: I don't wannna sit witchyou anyways. [Scans the waiting room for an open seat.] Why would I wanna sit witchyou when I could sit next to this gorgeous thing right here. [Walks over and sits down next to me.] Hey beautiful. Come here often?
He then flashed me his pinky ring and asked me to meet him and his friend Joey Boombatz down at the Bada Bing. I briefly considered it until he told me he meant the Bada Bing in Jersey.
Also, this is hilarious.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Aha! An angle! And thus the idea was born. What if I went through some pictures, cropped out everything but the bottom part, and let the shoes tell the story! Surely that would be entertaining! BRILLIANT!
True or false: those pink water shoes cost me $4 at a store in the city where my mother was born.
FALSE! It was the city where my father was born.
What's going on this picture? Am I (a) kissing a dude wearing a fanny pack, (b) trying make a dude in a fanny pack stop squeezing my head, or (c) getting suited up to take a ride on a motorcycle?
My favorite purchase from the Motherland.
Choose the correct answer: In this picture, (a) the girl on the right has one hand up in a crossing guard STOP-like motion, (b) the guy on the left looks like he knows he's about to get on a boat full of Germans who know every song ever made, EVER, (c) the dude on the right is about to moon me, or (d) all of the above.
True or false: I wear these in public.
Babies dancing! (Those killer black heels on the left are mine.)
My male cousin is wearing a sarong because (a) he's gay, (b) he loves making his friends laugh, (c) he's doing something that ultimately ends in an imitation of the Statue of Liberty. (The correct answer is (c).)
Which train am I waiting for? (a) The G line in Queens, (b) the Red line in Boston, or (c) the S-Bahn in Berlin.
I chill with pigs.
And Spanish frogs named Señor.
Ah, the Dutch. They've given us so much.
The weekend after I took the bar, I went a little crazy and agreed to go upstate with my dad, aunt, and grandma. The weekend after I took the bar, I apparently had no regard for my personal appearance.
Another shot from that fateful weekend. I was clearly a train wreck.
My favorite pair of shoes. Have I redeemed myself?
Pop quiz: are these guys (a) stomping out a fire, (b) doing the hokey pokey or (c) using a Coke bottle as a guitar and making up their own dance?
Volcanic rock=black sand=feet that look dirty but really aren't. Costa Rica.
The night before this picture was taken I slept outside on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Sounds romantic, right? WRONG! No tent, no shelter, no bug spray, just me and a blanket. And the mosquitoes. And the wild boars.
We got smart the following year. Yay for tents and pillows!
After the Berlin Wall came down, there was this line of rock and rubble that separated East and West Berlin. Rather than pave over it, cobblestones were laid in certain parts of the city where the wall used to be. This photo is the real reason I wanted to do a post about how shoes can tell a story.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
So get a load of this: everyone's favorite political talking head, the being I so lovingly call the Mother of all C*nts, was finally silenced. Ann Coulter's jaw was wired shut last week. Can you taste the irony?
This article was so good that I had to transcribe (read: copy and paste) the entire thing:
I love how they list a bevy of quotes that would make even the most God-fearing, gun-toting Alabama congressman want to bitchslap the ho, and then tell us it's unclear how she broke her jaw.
Best-selling author and political commentator, Ann Coulter, has been silenced. Not by critics, but reportedly by a busted jaw.
The New York Post's Page Six reports that "although we didn't think it would be possible to silence Ann Coulter, the leggy reactionary broke her jaw and that the mouth that roared has been wired shut."
Rarely short of opinions to voice, Coulter has many fans on the political right and has earned the ire of leftists, whom she openly disdains. Here are some of Coulter's gems of wisdom, the likes of which we may have to live without in coming weeks.
It's unclear how Coulter's jaw was broken.
- "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen."
- "I was going to have a few comments about John Edwards but you have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot."
- "I'm more of a man than any liberal."
- "Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole."
- "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."
- "The swing voters -- I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster."
- These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them. ... I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much ... the Democrat ratpack gals endorsed John Kerry for president ... cutting campaign commercials... how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy."
I bet it was Bill Maher.
Monday, December 1, 2008
“New York: the only city where people make radio requests like 'This is for Tina - I'm sorry I stabbed you'"
Seriously though, I took that comment to heart. I tried to sit down and write a list of things I love about New York. I thought back to all those summers I spent in Europe and tried to remember what I missed most about the en-why-C. I even thought back to when I was in San Diego (GASP!) and tried to recall if there was anything I missed. Here's what I came up with:
Five-dollar manicures. I got a mani-pedi in SD and it cost me $30. I nearly choked on my Arrowhead water. The little salon in my neighborhood charges $15 for both, $13 if you come Monday-Thursday. I've never been to another city where it's that cheap.
Food. Not so much the food itself, but the variety and selection of it. If I left my house this very second and drove 15 minutes to Astoria (the heart of Queens, in my opinion) I could have my choice of Greek, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, bar-and-grill, Turkish, Indian (northern and southern), Croatian, Bosnian, Irish, Indonesian, Vietnamese, German, BBQ, and a place that serves 100 different kinds of crepes.
The subway system. Yes it's crowed and dirty and sometimes filled with crotch-grabbers. But it's efficient and uncomplicated. You can get to pretty much anywhere by train and/or bus, and you can hop in a taxi for all those other places. Not to say it's perfect, though--you still can't get from Queens to Brooklyn or the Bronx without going through Manhattan.
You'll notice I didn't mention Central Park or the Empire State Building or the museums or Broadway. Yes, all those things are wonderful. But I've traveled a lot. I've seen a lot of museums in my day, most WAY cooler than the ones in NY. I've been to parks that have live volcanoes and flying monkeys. I've been to the tops of church towers and gazed down at cities with red roofs and old forts. I've taken boat rides around islands with private beaches and 400-year old churches. I've watched performances in theaters that royalty built. I've toured castles and shopped at open-air markets where people sell live pigs and handmade garden tools. After all that, the Statue of Liberty seems...well, boring.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not impressed by New York. I recognize its coolness, its urbane air and metropolitan feel. I love the diversity and how everyone seems to find their niche here. But the novelty has worn off. New York used to be a place where artists and musicians gathered to create art. It was a place where radicals and forward-thinkers sat in cafes, smoked cigarettes and discussed the war. It was a place where ideas were born and anything went. Now it's filled with trust fund babies living in million-dollar apartments and a Starbucks on every corner. Those radical thinkers have been replaced by hipsters, and the only ideas coming out of the city are how to get rich. Throw in an enormous sense of entitlement and a "fuck you" attitude, and that's how Manhattan welcomes you.
There you have it. My New York. I rarely miss it when I'm gone or love it when I'm there. (Except maybe when I'm eating sushi with a side of chicken tika masala.)
(2) Michael Phelps's publicist. Did you get a look at the chick he's dating? She's a waitress as the Palms in Vegas. Enough said.
(3) One of the Duggar kids. Aside from the fact that they quote scripture and don't drink alcohol and, here's why:
- Michelle and Jim Bob (that's his real name) Duggar have 17 kids and are pregnant with their 18th.
- They invited a family with 16 children to come stay with their flock for 2 weeks. "I'm used to cooking for so many people, what's 18 more?"
- Their kids wear "modesty swimsuits." I'm pretty sure those are actual Duggar children in the ad.
- They went to a place called The Creation Museum. Because that's how much they don't believe in evolution.
- Their oldest son is engaged to some 18-year old chick who he can't kiss until he's married to her.
(5) Joey Lawrence's wife. Again.... he's gay, right?