Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kittehs takes ridez

A little while ago, I posted a video of a cat on a Roomba. I'd like to present the sequel, Kittens on a Roomba. Also featured in this video are a huge dog and moobs. Enjoy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Friday! Do the Carlton dance!

Happy Friday, Internet!!! I hope you all do a little dance in celebration of this shitastic week being over. And if you had a good week, then you should still celebrate that it's over!!

Here's some things to help distract you from from getting any real work done today.

David Beckham looking muy caliente in an Armani ad. YUMMY.

If you're going to San Francisco.... please take me with you! One of my favorite cities in California.

There's a reason why people love San Diego.

Remember the scene in Men In Black with the alien spaceship? I'm neither confirming nor denying the accuracy of that scene, but let's just say it might be true.

If you haven't seen this video of Ahston Kutcher complaining about his neighbor's construction, please take a moment to watch the minute-long clip. Poor Ahston, being woken up at the ungodly hour of 7AM. The horror!

Okay, WTF is this? Seriously. Like we don't have enough enough people wearing Crocs in this world, we now want our dogs associated with this abomination of footwear? I guess since dogs can't wear shoes, the next best thing was to create doggy beds in the shape of a hideous rubber version of something the Dutch created many years ago. Here is the website from which this atrocity came. And I'm warning you, if you're going to that website to purchase one of these vomit-inducing things, you are no longer welcome on this site. I'm serious. (Ok, not really. But I think you get how much I can't stand this idea.)

So I tried to convince a friend (that's right, I called you out!) to see this movie last night but he refused. I tried for a good 10 minutes to get him to understand what a spectacular movie this is, how many awards it's won, that every single person I've spoken to that's seen it has raved about it. I had my iPhone out, ready to pull up a preview on YouTube, even looked up movie times in surrounding areas. But no. He didn't think it was a movie he'd be interested in seeing and basically told me to drop it. ::Shaking head:: I implore, nay I DEMAND that anyone reading this who has seen this movie leave a comment about how good it was. And if you'd like to go see it again or haven't seen it at all (like me) let me know. Because I feel like I'm the only one who hasn't had the pleasure.

And finally, I know someone who is going to the Superbowl. He is in Tampa as we speak, probably assisting his best friend, a photographer for, in taking pictures of the players. AND! He will be seeing Journey live before the game on Sunday. I officially hate you, Steve. So much.
UPDATE: I just got the following text message from Steve in Tampa: "I just saw the little person from In Bruges." The level of jealousy over here has reached volatile levels.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Like I have any right to discuss this topic... or do I?

I'm an internet aficionado. Which is really just a nice way of saying "addicted to the internet." I've stumbled across some pretty interesting things in my search for entertainment, some awesome and some I'd like to forget. Sometime last summer while I was going through Hell on Earth, I stumbled across a wesbite called Dooce is actually a woman named Heather Armstrong who got fired from her job in 2001 because of her blog. It chronicles her life from then to now and it's hilarious. She's apparently won a bunch of awards for her blog and is pretty famous in certain circles. She's also a mom, and a lot of what she writes has to do with parenting. Because of that, her site has links to other mommy blogs and websites, which, as a non-mommy, I thought would be totally uninteresting.

Dude, was I ever wrong.

Even though I'm not a mom (and don't think I ever want to be) some of the websites I've come across in the past year are amazing. Women from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, from every culture imaginable, talking about their experiences as mothers, as well as just plain old life experiences. Some of these sites have really opened my eyes to the ins and outs of parenting and I have to say... it's not boring at all! In fact, some of the sites I now visit daily are blogs written my moms. Sometimes they talk about mommy stuff, but more often then not, they talk about every day life and things I can relate to. For instance, there's this one blog I read that's written by a chick named Rebecca Woolf. She's a writer, moved to L.A. at a young age, had the good life: she had tattoos, piercings, gay male roommate and best friend, partied all the time, etc. And then, at 26, she got pregnant and married and her whole life changed. The name of the website is Girls Gone Child and it chronicles her life as young, hip L.A. mom who's trying to balance mommyhood and her writing career.

As a result of reading these websites written by mothers, I've learned a lot about parenting and children... enough to know that I'm pretty sure I want nothing to do with parenthood. I'm not knocking it, there are plenty of people out there who are or would make great parents. I just don't think it's for me. Of course that could change in a few years, but for now, it's the way I feel.

So I have a question: even though I'm not a mom, and don't think I want to be, do I have a right to discuss parenting issues? Do I have a right to voice my opinion on homeschooling or circumcision or disciplining children? Because I do have opinions on all of those topics, opinions that I've gathered from watching other people parent their kids, from my own experiences as a kid, from reading articles and websites about other people's parenting experiences. I'm just not sure that I have a right to voice them, even in this forum, my own blog. I feel like I'd be stepping on toes, like I'd be offending people.

Any moms or dads out there? Any non-moms or dads who want to weigh in? What do you think: do I, a non-parent, have the right to voice my opinions on parenting?

Weekly recap: LOST

I have to say, I wasn't impressed with last night's episode. It was slow, uninteresting, and dare I say boring. Also, there are now so many story lines and twists to this damn show that they can't explain a plot line or show all the cast members in one episode. And yet I continue to watch. Because LOST is my own person Jesus soap opera and I can't give it up.

Favorite parts: (1) The Axe commercial with the pig.... BEST COMMERCIAL EVER! (2) When the soldier who runs away from Locke (whom we later find out is Charles Widmore circa 1954 *GASP*) gets back to camp and retorts, in answer to whether Locke followed him, "He's an old man! You think he knows this island better than I do?" Oh Charles Widmore. How little you knew back in 1954. (3) When Miles walked over the fresh graves and knew who had died, when and how. That is a cool ability. (4) When I made this fun connection: the name of the bomb is Jughead and Widmore's alias is Jones--Jughead Jones from the Archie comics.

Questions answered: What Charles Widmore's connection is to the island and how he knows so much about it.

Questions I still want answered: Who/what is Jacob? What is Richard Alpert's obsession with Locke?

New Questions: Who are these other Others and how did they get on and off the island? What is Daniel's connection to Ellie, who does she resemble? Is there a connection between Ellie and Theresa? Why is Charles Widmore really paying for Theresa's care? Is there a weird time/space connection between Charlie from the island and Desmond's son Charlie? Or did Des just name his son after the dude who saved his life?

Assumptions: Juliet is untrustworthy. That creepy cloaked lady from last week's episode is Daniel's mother. Richard Alpert knows about the time travel (contrary to what he told Locke in the forest) and is somehow testing Locke, or keeping it from him for a reason.

Things I learned by stalking Lostpedia: In Locke's dream he saw Boone bloodied and repeating "Theresa falls up thhe stairs, Theresa falls down the stairs" She was Boone's nanny as a child.

Oh my god the CONNECTIONS!!! Where do they all end?!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm so Pacey

Have you ever watched a show or movie and thought, "OMG my friend Jen is so much like that character!" or "if those were my friends, I'd totally be Brandon and Dave would totally be Dylan"? No? Not ever? Well then I guess it's a good thing I have. In fact, I do it all the time. When I watch a show for the first time, I can't help but think which character I most relate to.

Sex and the City: Miranda. Because I'm [technically] a lawyer and have a knack for being blunt. Also, I can be a bit of a bitch sometimes.

How I Met Your Mother: Marshall or Robin. Robin obviously because I can be a bit of a bitch sometimes. (I feel like I just pointed that out.) And Marshall because I also have a tendency to be a bit of a wuss at times.

Entourage: Eric. But only because I'm not as cool and calm as Vinnie, I'm not as desperate as Drama, and don't smoke nearly enough weed to be as chill as Turtle. And Ari.... well I don't think it's possible for anyone to be like Ari. There is only one, and he is the epitome of awesome.

30 Rock: Josh, the weird one that kinda looks like Illeana Douglas. Can't explain this one, I just feel a connection.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Shame on you if you think I actually saw this movie.

House: Wilson, because I love playing mommy and solving other people's problems.

The Golden Girls: Sophia. Because I carry my wicker purse with me EVERYWHERE I go, including midnight trips to the kitchen for cheesecake and Blanche's sex stories.

LOST: Danielle Rousseau. Isn't it obvious why? We both love booby traps and kidnapping people just to let them go!

Your turn! Which Gossip Girl would you be? If you lived on Melrose Place, would you be Alison, Jane or Amanda? If you fought wookies or whatever in Star Wars Land, who/what would you be?

If I had a million dollars

It's award season, which means all the celebrities are out 'n' aboot. (I'm having a Canadian moment, go with it.) And when the celebrities come out to play, the gossip websites go nuts: Angelina and Brad totally snubbing Ryan Seacrest at the Golden Globes, Eva Longoria trying to be Jennifer Lopez, and.....this is my favorite part of all..... Angie didn't get ONE SINGLE AWARD. Not one! HA!!

Watching all of these celebrities makes me think about if I were famous. What would I do? Where would I go? How would I occupy all my free time and spend my millions? Ah, to have money. But it also got me thinking about the perks of being a celebrity and how you pretty much don't have to do anything yourself. Wouldn't it be nice to never have to pay another bill yourself? Or schedule a doctor's appointment or make a restaurant reservation? There are definitely things I would leave to my gaggle of assistants if I were famous. But there are also some things I wouldn't want anyone else doing for me.

I WOULD let someone else make all my travel arrangements for me. I WOULD NOT let them carry my luggage.

I WOULD get all of my cutting, plucking, waxing and painting done professionally. I WOULD NOT hire people to come to my house and do all of those things.

I WOULD hire a housekeeper and someone to do the cooking. I WOULD NOT want them to live in my house or be there for 16 hours a day.

I WOULD hire an assistant to take care of scheduling, booking, etc. I WOULD NOT let said assistant do my shopping for me, not even grocery shopping and especially not gift shopping.

I WOULD buy more expensive clothes and shop at upscale furniture stores. I WOULD NOT be above shopping at Crate & Barrel, Pier One or even Ikea.

I WOULD get a great big house in the Hollywood Hills (or La Jolla in San Diego). I WOULD NOT buy all the surrounding properties and turn it into Bill Gates' estate Never Never Land.

I WOULD get a dog. I WOULD NOT take it everywhere with me. Dogs do not belong on red carpets or in supermarkets.

What would you do? What wouldn't you do?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

LOST returns for a fifth season, fans lose their shit

So my mind was officially blown last night at around 9pm. I watched the 2-hour season premiere of LOST and oh my God, the questions. THE QUESTIONS! Let's briefly re-cap.

Favorite parts: (1) When Hurley basically summed up all 4 seasons of the show in less than 30 seconds. The more he talked, the more I realized what a ridiculous premise the show is based on. Smoke monsters? Islands disappearing? Really? And yet.... (2) Watching Sawyer run around without his shirt for an hour.

Questions answered: how the island "disappeared," what sparked the Desmond-Faraday connection, if Ben will ever be trusted. (Hellz to the no!)

Questions I still want answered: why is it so g-damn important for the Oceanic 6 to go back to the island?! Why did their departure spark a rift in the space-time continuum? Why does the island want them back so badly? What IS the island? What will happen if and when they do come back to it? And whatever happened with that fake plane crash Charles Widmore planted in the Pacific Ocean, the one made to look like the Oceanic flight? According to news reports, all passengers were dead and accounted for, so how were the 6 survivors explained?

New questions: Is Locke really dead? Who is that butcher lady? Who is the nun lady? Do they run shit? Whose side is Sun on, and why was she wearing a wedding/engagement ring in the airport?

Assumptions: Sawyer and Juliette will become the new island leaders and/or bang, Kate will return and complicate shit. Ben sent those "lawyers" to Kate's house to scare her into going back to the island. I think Miles is Pierre Chang's son. Hurley may not be as crazy as we think. Jin isn't dead; Sun may or may not know this. Faraday's mother, whoever she may be, is somehow connected to Desmond and/or Pierre Chang. Maybe she's the cloaked nun in that creepy church basement scene; maybe she's Jacob. Who the fuck knows anymore.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Meet the newest member of the DSB family: Signorina Bellisma Bacci della Venezia. (Or just Bacci.)

Here's how this happened: my cousin Nicolle (who is basically my sister) and I are at the gym on Saturday morning. We decide to get Subway for lunch and go to the nearest strip mall. A pet store just happens to be right next door to Subway, so we go in. We both see this devastatingly adorable little face peering down at us from above and we absolutely lose our shit. The salesgirl notices our hands clutched to our hearts scrunched-up faces and asks if we want to hold the puppy. (Here's where it all goes downhill.) Nicolle of course says yes, and after maybe two minutes of holding her, she turns to me and asks, "Should I get her?" We then spend the next five minutes trying to find a valid reason to bring the puppy home. We decide on the most obvious one: Nicolle's mom is going through a divorce and could really use a distraction. We debate how their existing dog (Cookie the Wonder Poodle) will react to the puppy, what my aunt will say, how much work it is to raise a puppy, etc. Fifteen minutes later, I'm walking out of the pet store with a 1-pound, 2-month old puppy under my jacket.

By the way, my aunt LOVED the surprise. She started crying and couldn't stop thanking us. And for those interested, Bacci is a Poodle-Bichon mix. She was born on November 4th and despite the photos, is about the size of a fuzzy slipper.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lost in translation

So my aunt and grandmother and I are sitting around the kitchen table last evening. My aunt and I, in English, are talking about how the heat gives us dry skin in the winter. My grandmother, who's 80 and doesn't really speak much English, says something that has nothing to do with the conversation. So in our native tongue, I explain to her that I have a dry goat.

Yup, you read that correctly. Because the words for "skin" and "goat" sound very similar in our language, I explained that my itchy back was due to an arid.....goat. (I don't know any euphemisms for goats, do you?)


Every time I see one of these, I wonder who I can contact to participate.

Friday, January 16, 2009

How reality TV ruined television

It's just a theory, but roll with me here for a second.

Waaaay back in 1992, when I was just 10 years old, a little show called The Real World made its debut on MTV. The premise was simple: seven strangers picked to live in a house and have their lives taped. (To find out what happens when people stop being polite.....and start getting REAL!) It was the very first TV show with a documentary-style theme that didn't center around anything specific. It wasn't a show about the animal kingdom or an investigative report on the Nixon era; it was just a show about some people living in New York. In a way, The Real World was reality TV's version of Seinfeld--a show about nothing. And people LOVED IT. In fact, people loved TRW so much that 17 years later, its basic premise still exists. (And by "basic premise," I mean only that 7 people are chosen to live together.)

The first RW season I watched with any interest was San Francisco. In 1994, the RW producers put together in one house a Cuban gay man with AIDS, a 3rd-year medical student from Harvard, a classless punk named Puck, a staunch republican, a comedian, a white chick named Cory, a black musician named Mohammad, and (after Puck left) a CRAZY British woman named Jo. All the makings for fabulous reality TV, right? You just read all that and thought to yourself, "Man, if that show was on NBC today, it would be the a #1 hit." Well back in the '90's, the creators of TRW weren't interested in killer ratings and book deals. There were interested in controversial, REAL TV. And that's exactly what they gave us: a bunch of different people living together and dealing with every day life.

If you ever get a chance to watch old episodes of the San Francisco season, you'll notice right away how "real" it was. Bathroom doors closed, there were no cameras set up in bedrooms, conflicts were not scripted. Pam was a medical student and went to work every day. Pedro was campaigning for gay rights and speaking out about AIDS. Cory actually went out and (gasp!) looked for a job because MTV didn't pay her. And Puck... well, we'll get to Puck in a minute. But the point is that back then, it was real. You can tell that the only involvement the producers had was filming what went on in the house. They didn't stage conflict, they didn't pay the cast or set a curfew so they would spend more time in the house being filmed, and they didn't hand out trips or concert tickets so they would have something new to film. They just turned the camera on and let life happen. Sure it wasn't as interesting as hot tub sex, but it was real.

As for Puck.... well I think Puck was truly the catalyst, the one who started it all. You know it was Puck's booger-picking and self-absorbed, ignorant opinions that made the producers go, "I wonder what this guy will do next... wait, we can use that as a marketing ploy! And if it works, we can do the same thing again next season with an equally crazy cast! Can you imagine the ratings?!" A few years later, roommates were bitchslapping each other and having sex while the cameras rolled. And voila, reality TV as we know it today was born. (Thanks, Puck!)

Today, "reality" TV isn't just passive filming, it's not based on the idea of "sit back and watch what happens." Today, reality is centered on manufactured ideas and ridiculous, fucked-up shit that makes people go, "Oh now THAT I have to see!" Take American Idol for instance: hundreds of people who can't sing or dance making fools out of themselves on national television, and whoever "wins" is deemed the next big pop star. This idea is now so interesting that it holds the #1 time slot every week TWICE a week. And when you're not laughing at someone having their voice compared to a pig on crack, you can watch wives being traded. Or someone's mom choose their spouse. Or idiots in shopping carts falling off a roof. Because somehow, THAT has become interesting. And I think the result of such fuckery is that people have come to expect too much from regular, scripted TV. No longer is a show about lawyers in Boston interesting, unless those lawyers are also rogue assassins out to make sure justice is done. A medical drama must now include sex with ghosts or drug-addicted doctors with a God-complex to be deemed worthy of the 9 o'clock spot. People want controversy, they want to be awed, they want to see dads kicking in each other in the nuts. Consequently, little people dressing up as teddy bears and eating out of honey pots is now considered entertainment.

Somewhere in Hollywood, Lucille Ball is turning over in her grave. And I don't blame her.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bitter much?

I was going to do a "How to annoy me," but changed my mind upon reading my last post. Man was I in a foul mood this morning! Since the last post sounded like the ravings of a woman in need of a major bong hit, perhaps I should tone it down a little bit. Chill out max and relax all cool, as one Mr. Fresh Prince would say. So here a some good, POSITIVE things that I can focus on:

Red over at Gingers Is the Watchword did a post about magazines today and it totally got me thinking about my new obsession:

Domino magazine. I have always loved interior design and home organization, and this magazine captures my style completely. The second I have a bit more disposable income, I will be treating myself to a subscription.

I haven't had a cigarette in about 6 weeks. I was never really a habitual smoker, but this year was definitely not a healthy one, lung-wise. I went from studying for the bar (also known as Hell on Earth) straight to two months in Europe, which really isn't the place to go if you want to quit smoking. The amount and caffeine and nicotine I consumed while in the Motherland this year was ridiculous, even for my standards. Needless to say I continued the habit after I got home. But I am very happy to report that cigarettes are now BANNED from my body!

I joined a gym. Well, to be more precise, my cousin got me a 3-month membership for Christmas. And I can honestly say that I love it! I'm not looking to lose weight, but damn if I don't feel ten times better about myself after an hour of aerobics. Yay for being healthy and in shape!

See? I'm not all sarcasm and bitterness. I may have been in a funk this morning, but I recognize that it had everything to do with resenting a responsibility that fell on my shoulders and nothing to do with being sick. And once I got over myself, it actually turned out to be a not-so-awful day. See what a positive attitude can do?! A few more bong hits and I'll soon love Monday mornings like I used to love Marlboro Lights and double espressos.

Still sick

Yup, I'm still sick. That doesn't mean I got out of hospital duty, though. My mom's uncle had double knee replacement surgery on Monday and I have been anointed the "one who shall do everything and anything related to his surgery." Duties include going to every pre-op doctor's appointment with him, filling out his medical forms, driving my aunt to and from the hospital (IN MANHATTAN) every day, speaking with the nursing staff and physical therapists to make sure he's comfortable, and choosing a rehabilitation facility for after he gets out of the petri dish hospital. After he gets home, I'm sure some other duties will be added: doing his bills, perhaps collecting rent from his tenants, maybe even attending his granddaughter's school play. You know, because that's what family does for each other.

What was that? You say you wouldn't do all that for anyone but your mom? Yeah well.... that's how we roll in this family. You bite your tongue and do favors in hopes that someday, when you're laid up in a hospital bed getting pumped full of morphine, someone will come in and say, "Relax. I took care of everything. You just worry about getting better."

On a "this day couldn't get any better" note, last night as I pulled up in front of my aunt's house after 7 hours in the hospital, we were greeted with this lovely scene of 20 twenty firetrucks, ambulances, police cars and nosy neighbors:

I had no idea what was going on at first, but I heard helicopters. And any New Yorker knows that when you see News Chopper 7 floating around above your head, whatever's going on must be BIG. Then I noticed the smoke:

Turns out some dumb-dumb was replacing a boiler in his basement and it exploded, causing the whole building to go up in flames. After being stranded at my aunt's house for 2 hours (ok, so we ate Chinese food and watched TV, we weren't exactly stranded) I walked out and saw that the FDNY had left the local residents a little present:

An open fire hydrant. That flooded the street. In 20-degree weather. SMART!

I'm off to the hospital now. Feel free to leave me lots of comments so I have something to do in between being told what demands to make of the nursing staff!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Public service announcement

I realize I haven't posted in a few days, and I send my heartfelt apologies for the break in communication. But I have a very good reason. Actually, I have several good reasons. First, I've been pretty busy getting my room back in order. What started out as a simple paint job turned into some full-on construction. And it's not done yet. I promise to post pictures when the new hardwood floors go down in two weeks. Until then, you'll just have to trust that the room looks awesome so far.

The second reason for the hiatus is a little something called the flu. I'm pretty convinced I have it. Not only have I had a headache for 3 days, as well as a sore throat, runny nose and hacking cough, but there's another little present going along with this illness that makes it all the more fun...the kind of stomach ailment you get from eating the whole burrito (because you NEVER eat the whole burrito in one sitting), the kind of illness you don't wish on your worst enemy. Yeah. THAT kind.

But despite feeling like shit (ha!) I still managed to make it into Manhattan today to run an errand with my grandmother. All I really had to do was sit in the car while she went into an office building, so it wasn't that bad. I even managed to take some pictures. So while I try to stay hydrated and not cough up a lung, enjoy these pictures of my hometown. (All photos taken with my iPhone.)

Manhattan Skyline

59th Street Bridge

59th Street Bridge (AKA Queensboro Bridge)

Lexington Avenue

Grand Central Station

Park Avenue

Farewell Shea Stadium

And the card attached would say....

I have this friend. Let's call him James. James and I met about 2 years ago under interesting circumstances. Since then, our friendship has only gotten more interesting. It has run the gamete from friends to romantically interested to romantically involved to I-can't-believe-you-could-be-such-a-douche to you're-actually-pretty-awesome, and recently made the full circle back to friends. In many ways, James has become my go-to person. Whether it's because we share similar experiences or because we just get each other, I can rely on him for an objective opinion and honest advice, no matter what the situation.

James and I recently had a minor falling out due to some insensitive words on my part. (Me? Insensitive? Can you even imagine that?!) I fully expected to get the silent treatment from him, even after I apologized. I instead got nothing but respect, kindness and forgiveness. And what started out as a 10-minute "I'm sorry/it's okay" conversation turned into a 4-hour marathon discussion about life, love, loss and dogs changing color. And Internet, if you can find a friend who appreciates the humor in that last one, then hold on to them. Rad people like that don't come around too often.

....James, thank you for being a friend.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chocolate milk and Kahlua is DELICIOUS

So I spent the weekend spackling, sanding, priming and painting. (More pictures to come soon.) As a result, I'm just a little sore. And when say "a little," I mean "OW OW MY NECK." Thankfully the last time my neck went ow, I was studying for the bar and my script-happy doctor gave me something for the pain....a little something called muscle relaxant. Wash one of those down with a White Russian, and man does it feel good. I did the same thing last night and slept for 12 hours. TWELVE! I think the last time I slept for that long was that time in the Motherland when--wait. I just realized I'm posting publicly on the internet while under the influence of some very potent drugs. Something tells me if I finish that sentence, I'll regret in the morning. Moving on...

I think 2009 will see a lot of home improvement in the DSB household. My best friend of 17 years (GOD I'm old) is getting married in October and I have volunteered our house as the "get ready" house. And we certainly can't have people getting their hair and makeup did in a tired-looking home. So up next is new hardwood floors in my room, followed by a kitchen remodel in late spring/early summer. Hopefully I can convince my mother to do the bathroom at the same time, but we'll see how things go. One thing the maternal unit doesn't have to worry about is electrical work, as the bride's fiance just happens to be an electrician. Yay for connections! (Pun totally intended.)

Tomorrow will be spent at another non-life threatening doctor's appointment with some relatives. The same relatives with whom I spent a lovely day in this post. At least this time I have my iPhone to keep me occupied.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Heels on your hardwood floor

A friend and I were talking recently about parties in people's homes. For the most part, a get-together at someone's house is a lot of fun--good company, good conversation, good food, and my personal favorite, board games.

The thing about going to someone's home, though, is that you have to follow their rules. If they have kids, you can't exactly play strip poker. If they're vegetarian or don't drink, it's unlikely you'll be having hot dogs or beer.

And if they ask you to take your shoes off, you have to comply.

I've never had a problem with the no-shoe rule. In fact, I almost expect that I'll be walking around in my socks when I visit a person's house for the first time. If they've just put down new floors, who am I go traipsing through their living room in my Uggs? (Note: I don't own Uggs.) If they live an apartment building, of course they don't want people stomping around in heels. And I even humor the "we have kids and god knows what you drag in from the street" excuse. It's your house, I'm just a guest.

But a line must be drawn somewhere. There are instances when asking guests to remove their shoes is rude and/or tacky. And that line gets drawn when your guests show up in ties and gowns.

A couple of years ago, I accompanied a friend to his co-worker's house for a "formal gathering." The event was at a big, fancy house on Long Island and the attire was not casual: my date wore a suit and tie, and I had on a cocktail dress and high heels. We arrived at the house and were immediately asked to remove our shoes. I remember hesitating for a moment and fighting the urge to ask the hostess if she was kidding--she definitely was not. We left our shoes by the door and I spent the next three hours in my stockings.

Now let me tell you something--being barefoot at a friend's house is a lot different than being barefoot at a party filled with strangers. For one thing, you're usually sitting on the couch at a friend's house, not walking around a mansion with tiled floors. For another, you're not wearing a party dress and pantyhose while shaking hands with business executives. You want to know what awkward is? Awkward is watching your date make nice with a bigwig attorney while you compare toenail polish with his wife. Awkward is trying not to laugh when you see a drunk woman in a short dress fall a flight of hardwood stairs. Awkward is taking your pantyhose off in a stranger's bathroom because they have multiple runs from being snagged on the floors. The only way that party could have been more awkward is if the host handed out slippers at the door. (And don't doubt for a minute I wouldn't have worn a pair. I hate cold feet.)

No one should ever have to endure that kind of awkward. Guests shouldn't feel like they're at a hotel after party with their boss while in your home. Someone will inevitably forget to wear their good socks and be embarrassed to remove their shoes. And that chick who's 5'2"? I'm sure she doesn't appreciate having to take her heels off. So please. Before you ask people to remove their shoes at your next party, ask yourself one question: do you enjoy the feel of creamed lobster and cheese squished between your toes? Chances are your guests don't, either.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How to annoy me*

This installment of "How to annoy me" will be told in story form because THAT'S HOW ANNOYED I AM.

As you learned in this post, I love to read. It's hands-down my favorite pastime. So I was super excited when my mom gave me a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card for Christmas. FIFTY DOLLARS!! That I could spend on BOOKS!! See all the exclamation points?! That's how happy I was!!

I even had a great plan: I would go to Barnes & Noble and check out all the new books, write down the titles of the ones I wanted, then go to and find them for less. Brilliant, right?

WRONG. Only certain books are actually cheaper online, and only by a few cents. You can find them for way cheaper by selecting the "find used" option, but you still have to pay for shipping--about $4 per book. Which is sometimes more expensive than the actual book.

So basically I just spent $34 on books, and another $20 on shipping.

Barnes & Noble, I don't care how much fun I had working for you back in college. I think I am now officially a Border's fan. I signed up for their membership card at the airport in Cincinnati last year, so I might as well use it. Not only are their prices better, but I hear you can use their gift cards on Amazon--something that will surely save me money. And THAT is something that Mr. Barnes and Mr. Noble seem to frown upon.

*It seems fitting that my 100th post is about how to annoy me.

What I'd like to see YOU do in 2009

I have never been one for new year's resolutions. They're just a setup for disappointment and failure, and I've had enough of that in my life. So instead of making my own list of things I probably should do but never will, I thought I'd talk about what I'd like other people to do this year.

Stop giving your kids dumbass names. There is one day going to be a classroom in Beverly Hills where the roster will look like a list of encyclopedia topics: Moses, Bronx, Puma, Pilot, Banjo, Battlestar Galactica. I'm just waiting for Mariah Carey to name her twins Dolce and Gabana for the circle to be complete.

Pull your pants up. I am BEYOND thrilled that we're moving away from the "I wear my pants below my waist because I'm so hood" look. Most men have figured out that there's nothing sexy about size 44 jeans. But there are still a few hoodrats holdouts that haven't gotten the memo. (I'm looking at you, Katie Holmes.)

Don't have 18 kids. Even if your husband's name is Jim Bob. Even if you can think of 20 names that start with the same letter. Unless you are giving birth to trained assassins created solely to protect Jason Bourne, there's really no good reason for it.

Travel. If you can afford it, don't spend your vacation on your couch. Because before you know it, that couch will be filled with screaming, whiny kids that don't travel well and really kill the mood in Amsterdam. Oh and I hear San Diego is really nice.

Buy some property. If you have money stashed away for a rainy day, that rainy has come. And it's called The Recession of 2009. Sure, you may have to put 20% down and do some minor repairs. But that foreclosure you just bought for $200,000 can probably be sold for $500,000 in a couple of years. (Disclaimer: that was in no way intended as legal or financial advice. Invest at your own risk.)

Watch all the TV shows I like. Not only because they're really good shows, but because the more people watch them, the less likely they are to go off the air. Here are a few: Burn Notice (on USA, also on Hulu and, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy (yes I still watch it, shut up), Weeds, Californication, Dexter (all on Showtime), and Entourage (HBO.) I haven't reached Mad Men in my Netflix queue yet, but I'll be sure to let you know how it is!

And finally: don't be a douchebag in 2009.
Have some respect for the people around you. Don't preach your way as if it's the only way. Be tolerant. Be helpful. If someone is running towards you screaming, "Hold the elevator!" then hold the elevator. Unless that screaming person is Tom Cruise. In which case push that DOOR CLOSE button like your life depends on it and run like hell if he makes it on.

Happy New Year, everyone!