Thursday, April 30, 2009

Daniel, I'm sorry your mother is such a creepy bitch

Eloise Hawking, you are.... I'm not sure what you are, but I'll tell you what you're NOT: a good mother. First you have sex with Charles Widmore (okay, I'll give you that one--he's a rich man, you'd be set for life), then you have a baby with him, then you raise your son to do his daddy's dirty work knowing full well the fate that awaits him, and then you kill him! Wtf, lady? You are definitely not up for the mother of the year award.

Aside from confirming my creepy bitch theory, we found out a lot in last night's episode of LOST.
  1. Eloise was an Other/Hostile on the island. Why didn't this ever cross my mind? I remember someone named Ellie being on the island in the 1950's during the Jughead debacle, but why didn't I put two and two together? I'm very mad at myself for not figuring this out earlier.
  2. Charles Widmore finally admitted to being behind the fake Oceanic 815 crash. We all knew he was responsible (at least I assume that was a given?) but now it's confirmed. I still want to know how the Oceanic 6 were explained if all [dead] passengers were accounted for on the fake flight.
  3. Widmore is Daniel's father. I imagine finding that out is a little like finding out Darth Vader is your dad, but also that Hitler is your uncle.
  4. It seems that Eloise is somewhat of a clairvoyant. (CLAIRE, WHERE ARE YOU?!) She seems to be able to see into the future, as evidenced by her comment "For the first time in a long time, I don't know what will happen," and the fact that Daniel accused her of knowing what would happen if he came back to the island and sending him anyway. And there's that whole underground Looking Glass station in Los Angeles.... C-R-E-E-P-Y.
  5. As a completely random aside, do you think Claire's name has anything to do with the clairvoyance thing? Are Christian Shepard and the island training her to be the next Eloise? Is that why she's been missing all this time?
I don't know about you, but hearing Daniel explain how the energy from the hatch/Orchid/Swan set off the chain of events that led up to the 815 crash really helped me understand it better. Observe:
  • Some sort of accident occurs at the Orchid
  • This leads to the hatch being built around it to keep the energy at bay
  • A button is pushed every 108 minutes so that... I don't know what pushing the button does exactly, contain the energy? Release small amounts of it so the world doesn't explode? Who knows.
  • Desmond (who, if I remember correctly, found the island by chance on a sail around the world) somehow joins Dharma and winds up being the only person left to push the button.
  • Desmond fails to push the button
  • Oceanic 815 crashes
  • The Galaga freighter is sent, carrying Charlotte, Miles, Naomi, Lapedus, and Daniel
Daniel has hypothesized that despite not being able to change the past, he can prevent all of those things from happening by using the buried Jughead bomb to destroy the energy being emitted from the Orchid. How this will work is beyond my time-space continuum understanding, but supposedly humans are the variables in changing the past and it can somehow happen. My question is, what good is it preventing the plane from crashing if they're all still stuck in 1977? Or will the island let them time travel back to the future? (HA!) Also, why is the energy emitted from the Orchid so damn powerful? What kind of energy is it? How is it created? Tell me, Island. TELL ME!!

Other random observations:
  • Did anyone else raise their eyebrows when Kate, Jack and Daniel started shooting at the Dharma dudes? I did NOT seeing that coming.
  • I laughed out loud when Sawyer said to Daniel, "Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy." And when he called him H.G. Wells.
  • When Sawyer said to Jack, "I belonged just fine here until you showed up, Doc," my mind immediately yelled, "FIGHT!" I definitely see a showdown coming between Jack and Sawyer in the near future. It's been a loooong time coming.
  • I almost shed a tear when Daniel saw young Charlotte on the swing and told her to leave the island. I see a reunion of sorts happening between them (obviously when Charlotte is not 6 and if Daniel isn't dead) if and when the energy from the Orchid is contained. Ah, so many variables!
  • Jack: You need a gun to talk to your mother? Daniel: You don't know my mother." Hilarious!
  • I smiled when Penny said to Desmond in the hospital, "I thought I lost you." The power of the pun.
  • I wanted to punch Eloise in the face when Daniel looked up at her after she shot him and said, "You knew. You always knew this was going to happen. And you sent me here anyway."
One last random prediction: Juliet is or will become pregnant. That whole having babies on the island thing will definitely pop up again. I just have a feeling. Also, where is Danielle Rousseau? We share a name, I had to ask.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One where I've been and what I've been up to

I realize that I haven't posted anything significant in a few days, and I apologize. But I assure you that there's a good reason for it. Actually, several.

First of all, I've been working on an article I'm writing for an online travel website. It's due on Friday and I will be sure to post a link to the site once it's online. I've never gone through the editing process professionally before, but I'm told it'll take about two weeks to get published. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

Second of all, I've been preoccupied with a little something called "looking for a job that pays well." While I love my punks (and would actually like to volunteer my time when I find a better-paying job), student loans need to be repaid and my summer wardrobe needs to be updated. I'm also in desperate need of a haircut and other basic necessities, and the teaching just isn't cutting it.

Lastly, there are various other people/things/puppies in my life that need socializing/doing/walking. My 13-year-old goddaughter just got her braces taken off the other day, so I went with her and her mom for the special occasion. (She looks so grown up!!) My cousin needed help with a Powerpoint project, and of course there's the ongoing matter of the home renovation. Ah life. I wonder... will it take me under?

My constant reference to early '90's rap songs notwithstanding, I thank you for your continued patronage and witty comments. And if you've never commented on this site before, then I must ask: what are you waiting for?! I love hearing from strangers! I've gotten comments from all over the U.S., Brazil, Europe, and even Australia. I'd like your two cents, so please... feel free to leave it! (And if you have actual money you'd be willing to leave, I can provide my mailing address.)

Good health and Happy LOST Day to all!

Monday, April 27, 2009

There is nothing hot about Russell Brand. And yet....

Strange celebrity crushes. We all have them. There's at least one famous person out there whom you think is hot/cute/so ridiculously good-looking that you would shag them upon sight--but who would also cause you endless hours of ridicule if anyone ever found out about your obsession. Okay, so hopefully you're not jonesin' on Richard Simmons. But maybe you have a little thing for Rod Blagojevich? Oprah? Brian Austin Green?

There are a few people in my closet of celebrities I have a thing for, and I'm not ashamed to reveal them. (Well, most of them.) Here goes:

Jesse James. The tattoos, the muscles, that shit-eating smirk....swoon. I guess every girl likes a bad boy.

Mike Rowe. I've mentioned my obession with Mr. Mike Rowe several times on this website. It's no secret. But it IS a litlte strange. First of all, he's pushing 50. Second of all, he crawls into slimy claustrophobia-inducing spaces for a living. But there's something about his self-deprecating, witty humor that really does it for me.

Seth Rogan. I've always said that what I look for in a man goes something like this: first, you have to make laugh. If you can, then show me that you're smart, that what you're joking about is witty and intelligent. Then come the looks--not super important, but you have to be attractive. Seth Rogan is the perfect embodiment of that template: he's one of the funniest people on the planet, he's clearly brainy, and since he's been getting healthy, he's not that bad on the eyes.

Keith Olbermann. I want to marry this man and have 10,000 of his liberal babies.

Who's your weird celebrity crush? And are you brave enough to admit it to the Internet?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On having kids you can't fool

Scene: Four girls in their mid-twenties are talking about an upcoming bachelorette trip and the debauchery that will likely take place while away. One of the girls makes an off-color remark about the degree to which she will party on said trip, but quickly tries to correct herself as she realizes a nine-year-old boy is the room. Nine-year-old boy makes the following knowing remark:

"Nuh-uh, that's not what you said! There's no such thing as a corn star!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It might be a little too early in the morning for giant penises....

...but I make exceptions for giant, lethal penises. I guarantee you will not find anything better on the internet today than this video. Go on. I DARE YOU.

I'm sort of a light green, maybe sage

LOST was one of those "let's connect the dots" episodes, so there will sadly be no talk of Dharma or the Island today. Instead, I've decided to celebrate Earth Day a little late.

My mom is all about being green. She only buys free range chicken, she grows her own vegetables, buys all organic products, and she's trying to incorporate as many green elements into her new kitchen as possible. While I've followed suit and do my part to help out, there are just certain things I can't bring myself to do. Not because I'm lazy (ok, sometimes because I'm lazy) but mostly because I don't think that that little tiny act will make a difference. Like recycling a gum wrapper. Do people really do that? I use my gum wrapper to wrap the chewed gum before throwing it away. Because who wants wads of gum stuck to their garbage can? I thought I was being polite, but I'm apparently not recycling something that's totally recyclable. Who knew.

Here's a list of things we here at DSB try to do to help reduce our carbon footprint:
  • We buy Green Works cleaning products. All natural, no chemicals.
  • We have a compost pile. Every natural, organic from-the-earth piece of food we throw away goes into this pile: banana peels, eggshells, apple cores, peach pits, coffee grinds, onion peels, you name it. My mom then puts the decomposed soil into the following item on the list...
  • We have a vegetable garden. Every year my mom plants tomatoes, string beans, lettuce, herbs, zucchini, eggplants, and various other vegetables. Let's just say we eat a lot of salad and sauce during the summer.
  • We're putting LED lights in the new kitchen. I'm too lazy (see?) to look up statistics, but I heard they use something like 10% of the energy of a regular light bulb.
  • I ALWAYS turn off lights before I leave a room. My grandmother calls me the electricity Nazi. I tell her that's inappropriate, then yell at her in German to turn off the space heater.
  • We have reusable bags for grocery shopping. And I never take a plastic bag for an item I can carry out or put in my purse. Which is probably how I ended up with that mushed package of HoHo's at the bottom of my bag....
  • I try to bring utensils from home when packing a lunch.
  • I reuse water bottles like nobody's business.
  • We have a Britta.
  • We've started instituting a "yellow is mellow" rule. At least I have. And if you don't know what that is, I feel sort of uncomfortable explaining it in such a public forum. Thank god for Urban Dictionary.
And here's a list of things for which I'm probably going to Green hell:
  • I don't differentiate between bottle caps and bottles, colored glass and regular glass, colored paper and white. It all goes into the appropriate recycling bin and gets hauled to the curb twice a week. What happens to it after that is simply not up to me.
  • I throw recyclable stuff away if I feel it's too dirty to recycle. Like aluminum foil stuck to something cheesy or plastic wrap after it's been in the microwave. Can you recycle that? Or would they just throw it in the "regular garbage" at the recycling plant?
  • Sometimes I turn the A/C on in the summer just to drown out the street noise.
  • If and when I do have children, it's disposable diapers all the way. I don't want to even begin to think about how to wash a cloth diaper.
  • I turn on every light in the kitchen when I cook. I also salsa dance when I cook, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Sometimes when I'm hanging out in that room next to the kitchen that's about 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, I turn the oven on to keep it warm. But hush on that one, Mom thinks I was heating up pizza and forgot to turn it off.
  • I often use multiple paper towels when a sponge or dishcloth would suffice. And that has nothing to do with being lazy and everything to do with wanting things clean and not spreading a germ-infested sponge around.
  • I would never, ever give up my car. Not even if I lived in Brooklyn down the block from a subway station. Not even if I lived in Manhattan. (Mostly because if I could ever afford to live in Manhattan, I could probably afford the extra $500 a month for a place to store it.) I don't care what anyone says, I NEED my car. Not every friend and family member I have lives within easy access of public transportation. And I travel to Long Island. A lot. In fact, every job I've ever had (in NY) was on Long Island. And what about groceries? And Ikea furniture? How would I get that stuff home if I didn't have a car? I won't have to worry about that though, because I will ALWAYS have a car. Preferably a hybrid, but a car nonetheless!
What about you? What dirty little secrets do you have when it comes to not being green? Do you throw away soda bottles? Do you drive a Hummer? Do you stage fake parties with loud music and Christmas lights so burglars don't know you're home alone?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wherein I ask you guys for help and opinions

My best friend of 17+ years is getting married in October. (Hi, Natalie!) As the maid of honor, I've been trying to plan a fun bachelorette weekend in August for six girls and for under $500 each. We don't want to do the stereotypical dinner and strip club, and Atlantic City is definitely out of the question. To stay in Manhattan for the weekend and have spa treatments will run us each about $400 after you calculate meals and other expenses, which is kinda silly considering we all LIVE in New York. We've been looking into destinations outside of New York with a $500 budget, and here's what I've come up with:

Palm Springs, CA. It'll be 110 degrees, but we can stay in a 2-bedroom villa with a kitchen, which will cut down on meal expenses. Fun things to do include outlet shopping, desert parks, a ski lift to the top of mountain where they may be snow, and a huge resort pool.

New Orleans, LA. Hotel and airfare seem to be under $400 per person, but NOLA is notoriously expensive. By the end of the weekend, we'd be well over our budget.

Miami, FL. I sort of feel like this is been-there-done-that territory. While we can get down to Miami for very little, hotels are expensive and so it the nightlife. And really, why go to Miami if you're not gonna partake in the nightlife?

Cruise. A cruise always sounds good in theory because package deals keep costs down. But what they don't tell you about cruises is all the extra fees, port taxes, and expenses [read: alcohol] that go along with the trip. Yes, your accommodations and meals are included in the price, but what about the flight to whatever city the ship leaves from? And the one-night hotel stay in said city the night prior to departure? And all the DRINKING we plan on doing?

Here's where you guys come in. I've gotten comments from readers all over the U.S., so I know y'all are from more places then just New York and San Diego. What are YOUR suggestions for this bachelorette weekend? How do you feel about the places I suggested? Do you have any advice? Can you suggest any other fun places to relax? All you need to know: 6 girls, Friday-Monday any weekend after August 1st up until Labor Day weekend, limit $500 per person. No outdoorsy type activities, please.

Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Rants? Any suggestions and advice would be most helpful! Thank you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

On living with my 80-year old grandmother

Two weeks ago: Plumber comes and fixes a leak in the pipes connecting Nona's upstairs bathroom to our downstairs one. Leaves large gaping hole in ceiling.

Last Sunday: Nona leaves the water running in her upstairs shower all day, thereby causing a leak in our downstairs shower.

Problem with plumbing: Obviously not fixed.

Can't come for another week.

Time leak was discovered:

Time contractor was supposed to come fix large gaping hole in ceiling:
7AM next morning.

Time Mom calls contractor to tell him not to come: 11PM.

Nona's solution to plumbing problem: Leave the shower running full blast to see if it happens again.

The result: No leak.

Tuesday: Nona leaves the water running again, but this time from the faucet instead of the shower head.

The result: No leak.

My explanation: It only happens when you turn the shower on, and when it's left trickling. Stop turning the water on full blast.

Wednesday: She lets the water trickle from the faucet for an hour and then comes downstairs to inspect her work, asking me to climb up on the shower to see if the exposed pipe is wet.

The result: No leak.

My explanation: It only happens when you turn the SHOWER on and when you leave it TRICKLING.

Her decision: To ignore me.

Thursday-Sunday: She intermittently turns the water on and off, alternating between shower head, faucet, high pressure, and trickling water, and asks me to climb up on the tub every single time.

My frustration with her coming downstairs every few hours to have me do this: High.

Me to her: Why do you continue to do this? Did you not believe me when I said I saw the leak? Did you think my mother called the contractor at 11pm on Easter Sunday just to chat?

Today: She turns the shower head on low and lets it tickle for 20 minutes.

The result: A LEAK!

My smugness and I-told-you-so factor: High.

Nona's faith in my knowledge of how shit works and that I sometimes know better than her: Still zero.

My desire to celebrate 420 in the appropriate fashion after this ordeal: High. (Pun intended.)

Not that I would know anything about this subject

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law here in the United States, despite it being legal under state law in California. In AMSTERDAM, however....'s perfectly legal EVERYWHERE.

Happy 420, y'all. Be safe, don't eat too many Cheetos, and definitely don't go to work stoned. Unless you're this guy.

This guy can do whatever he wants.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Light-emitting stars of David

While driving through Park Slope, Brooklyn

MRR: Is that an LED menorah?
Z-man: Yes it is.
MRR: Ooouu that's not Kosher.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do you know how big a bus is?

You can stop searching. The hunt is over. All those hours spent stalking YouTube? All those sleepless nights passed by watching crazed lunatics hawk cleaning accouterments? They're over. Because I have found it: the best TV commercial of all time. Here's why:

  • First of all, the name alone: Jones Big Ass Truck Rental and Storage. I always liked the term "big ass" as an adjective ("that's a big-ass fish taco!" "how am I supposed to park this big-ass Escalade in Manhattan?") but I never actually saw it used as part of a legal business name. I admire your creativity, Mr. Jones. And your balls.
  • Second, Mr. Jones claims the reason for his low prices is that he's drunk. Now, see, while I appreciate a good drunk discount, I don't particularly like that the man in charge of making sure my shit doesn't get messed with is openly intoxicated. What stops him from driving my big bus right off his lot and using it to transport prison inmates?
  • Third, he offers to store my weed. How many times have you looked at your Ziploc bags full of the good stuff and thought to yourself, "I just don't feel comfortable storing these illegal narcotics in my home. If only there was a safe place I could keep them, if only there was a trustworthy individual with whom I could leave my drugs..." Well look no further, my friends. Not only will Mr. Jones hold your stash for the lowest price around, but he'll advertise his willingness to do so on public television. Rest assured that if your shit goes missing, his big ass storage facility is the FIRST place the police will look!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How do you feel about polar bear feces?

When I got a Facebook update from the LOST application yesterday about how last night's show would be all about Miles, I literally yelled "YES!!" out loud in a public place. I got a few stares and one wary glance, but I didn't care. Finally we were going to learn more about Miles and his eerie I-talk-to-dead-people-but-in-a-much-creepier-way-than-Hurley ability. And boy did we ever.

As I predicted, Miles is Pierre Chang's son. Back in the beginning of the season, we caught a glimpse of Pierre Chang playing with a little Asian baby. I thought right then and there that baby had to be Miles. But then the whole Little Ben-Big Ben thing started to transpire, where L.B. was in the 70's and B.B. was in 2008, and it got me thinking: what if both the child and adult version of a person can't be in the same "time" at once? But having Miles around at the same time as his infant self in recent episodes disproves my theory. I guess, like with everything else, we'll just have to wait to see what happens.

I think we learned a lot about Miles last night: he was born (presumably) on the island to mom Lara and dad Pierre Chang. He was taken off the island by his mother (or kicked off by his father, we don't know which is true yet) when he was a baby. Sometime during his childhood, he developed the ability to talk to dead people. Naomi (of Team Widmore) approached Miles about a business offer and lead him to a restaurant where he was to find out what a dead man named Felix had to say. (Turned out that Felix had some info on that fake plane crash Widmore staged.) Miles was then recruited to go on a mission to the island. And now there he is. Working side by side with the daddy who abandoned him. Coincidence? Maybe.

I always liked Miles. He's smart, funny and really sarcastic. (Sound familiar?) He had me laughing a few times last night, particularly in this scene:
Dead man lying in grass with hole in his head.
Miles: What happened to him?
Radzinsky: He had an accident.
Miles: What kind of accident?
Rad: He fell into a ditch.
Miles: Is that a bullet hole in his head?
Miles: The ditch had a gun?
I also liked the scene where Miles is "picked up" and loses his taco in the commotion. Masked men have just thrown him into a moving vehicle and all he has to say is, "You owe me a fish taco." Awesome. And the face he makes when Daddy Chang says he likes country music? PRICESLESS!!

Now for some questions. First, who is Alvarez and how was a filling yanked from his tooth and blown through his head? Did it have anything to do with the the Hatch being built? Something tells me we're going to find out a lot more about Alvarez and his girl Andrea.

Second, where has Faraday been all this time? Three years have passed since he, Miles, Sawyer and Juliet "crashed their boat" on the island, right? So where has he been all this time? In Ann Arbor? Doing what? Why is he back? What does he know?

Third, who is Bram and why does he have to try and talk Miles out of working for Widmore? Why does he ask if Miles knows "what lies in the shadow of the statue"? How does Bram know to ask that question? What does it mean? Why does he say that Miles is playing for the "wrong team?"

And lastly, a question I have had for MONTHS: how was Widmore's fake plane crash explained?! I want an answer to this question and I want it NOW!! Oceanic 815 was supposedly found off of an island in Bali with all (dead) passengers accounted for. How was it explained to the public and in the media that six of those survivors were found on an island presumably hundreds of miles away from that location? Did the Six explain this in their press conference and I missed it? Someone please answer this question for me!!

Assumptions: remember when Naomi died and that bracelet with the initials "R.G." was found on her wrist? Might that have anything to do with Howard Gray and his son Russell who was killed? Also, I think that Pierre Chang is a lot more powerful then we originally thought. He might still be alive and well on the present-day island. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My President is black | His dog is, too

Two things that I love: the President and dogs. All animals really, but especially dogs. So when I woke up this morning and saw pictures of these two things together, interacting in the SAME SPACE, touching each other.... well I almost died from the cuteness.

Meet the First Family's new dog. His name is Bo and he's a Portuguese water dog. And would you look at that face! And those little white paws!

I'm sure Michelle will make the girls walk him and pick up after him, as they should.

A man and his dog. Does it get much better than this?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Broke, single, and loving it!

It's spring break for my little punks, which means it's spring break for Teacher Danielle as well. Teacher Danielle, however, doesn't get compensated nearly enough for teaching her little punks and is looking for supplemental employment. So while it's technically spring break, my job this week is to look for another job. ::Sigh::

In between selling myself (in the non-illegal, non-naked way), I happened to stumble across a post from Red over at Gingers is the Watchword. She lists 5 Signs You Know You've Been Single Too Long, and I'd like to supplement her post (like I'd like to do with income, BOOYAH!) with a few reasons why being single is totally AWESOME:
  1. You don't have to worry about anyone else's social calendar. Seriously, how annoying is it to have to check with someone before committing to plans? It's different when you live with your S.O., because, really, don't you want an evening away from them once in a while? But that whole I-want-to-see-you-this-weekend-but-I'm-not-sure-if-you-want-to-see-me-so-I'll-just-wait-to-see-if-you-call-me-before-I-commit-to-plans-with-my-friends-but-something-tells-me-I'll-end-up-staying-home thing? SO over it.
  2. I don't know about you, but I love sleeping alone. The older I get, the more I realize what a luxury it is to sleep in your own bed, undisturbed. And that luxury comes few and far between once you start dating someone seriously. At first it's all cute and cuddly and sweet. But after a while, the "Hold me, honey" turns into "If you don't stop snoring, I will smother you with that decorative pillow." Again, I don't know about you, but I'd prefer my relationships not to end in homicide.
  3. You save money. Modern society, modern dating rules, right? Sometimes he pays, sometimes she pays, sometimes you split it. But no matter what that "it" is, someone is spending their hard-earned cheese. (And I don't care what anyone says, there's only so many times I'm willing to sit home and watch a movie with my boyfriend before I start hinting at how good the sushi is at Tao.)
  4. No commitments, no being tied down, you can pick up and leave whenever you want. Let's say you have a supercool job that requires you travel all the time. Or let's say you have an uber-shitty job and you've found a new one across the country. If you have a significant other who is gainfully employed and has no interest in moving to a suburb of Berlin, then chances are you won't be moving to Berlin, either. But if you're single and unattached, then the entire world is at your fingertips. You want to teach English to kids in Vietnam? Go right ahead! You want to work for the Peace Corps and travel around Africa? God speed! Chances are, that person with whom you passed the occasional weekend before you left will still be around when you get back. And if not, there are plenty of people in Australia that would LOVE it if you came to visit. Just sayin'.
  5. You don't have to field endless questions from your friends and family about your "new person." Introduce them to ONE friend, take them to ONE wedding, mention their name to ONE cousin and it's all over. First it's questions like, "How's so-and-so, are you bringing him to dinner?" Then later, expect comments like, "So I hear it's getting pretty serious!" and "OMG if we both get engaged this summer, we could have our weddings a month apart!" from all your attached friends. And really, who needs that?
I have been single now for quite some time and I couldn't be happier. I can go on the occasional date and have the occasional drink and not worry about what to get them for their birthdays. I can see Albert on Monday and Barry on Tuesday and Chuck on Wednesday, and they never have to know about each other. And best of all? At the end of the night, I get to kick my heels off in the middle of the floor, remove my makeup with the door open, and crawl into bed wearing my biggest t-shirt, all while NOT wondering what my mother would say if I married someone named Chuck.

I've taught her well

Me, trying desperately to open a stubborn bottle of wine: Sometimes you just gotta put it between your legs and pull.
Aunt: That's what she said!
Mom: Oh my God Danielle, why did you teach her that?
Me: Hey, it's not my fault she's a quick study. I said it once, and all of a sudden she was throwing it around like a pro.
Aunt: That's what she said, that's what she said!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's a Great Friday

Did you know that hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on this holy day? I certainly did not. And I'm Catholic!

Whether you have the day off and are cooking a great big fish dinner or you're stuck at work wishing you were Jewish, I wish you a GREAT FRIDAY!

And in case anyone's interested, here's what we're making tonight:

Crab stuffed flounder

Shrimp and scallop risotto

Grilled branzini

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday, 6:38pm

It's been one of those days.

Dead is dead? Doubtful.

LOST continues to amaze me. I can feel a dramatic season finale coming our way, and it will be nothing short of spectacular. I think everything we've learned this season, all the little tidbits of information that are just starting to make sense, will all come together in a few weeks to answer some huge questions. I can sense it in the air. Much like how Locke can sense bullshit from a mile away.

Speaking of bullshit, I still don't believe a word that comes out of Ben's mouth. For instance:
"Dead is dead. You don't just come back from that. Not even here. So the fact that John Locke is walking around this island scares the living hell out of me."
I'd like to believe you, Ben. Really I would. It's just that your manipulative, cold-hearted and borderline psychotic tendencies get in the way. Even when you refused to kill baby Alex, that fleeting glimmer of hope for your no-heart was quickly replaced by the memory of you letting her die at the hands of a ruthless (and ridiculously hot) killer 15 years later. So you can understand why I don't trust you and why I don't believe that dead really is dead. Sorry, bro.

Despite being an untrustworthy weasel, Ben gets some of the funniest lines on this show. Like when someone on the beach asked how he was feeling and he answered, "Like someone hit me with an oar." Or when he told Locke, "I didn't have time to talk you back into hanging yourself." Heartless or not, I actually laughed out loud at that one.

As you probably noticed, last night's episode was very Ben-centered. A lot of questions I had about him were answered. Like how his face got messed up (Desmond went all Chris Brown on his ass after Ben tried to kill him), why he killed Locke (because "it was in the best interest of the island"), and why he hates Charles Widmore so much (he made Ben choose between the island and his daughter, and Ben choosing the island was Widmore's fault, obvs.)

I can also tell that the writers are trying very hard to make us take sides: believe that Ben has a good side, or believe that he is pure evil. We see things like Ben bringing Sayid sandwiches, refusing to kill Danielle and Alex, and feeling remorse for eventually letting his daughter die; but we also see Ben killing Locke, shooting Caesar and Desmond, blowing up Camp Dharma, etc. It may very well be that all of those things were done in the best interest of the island, and in the end we find out what fate would have awaited Ben had he not protected his almighty island. But at what cost? There is definitely more to this storyline, and I think the good-evil Ben drama will continue right up until the end.

I'd also like to comment on some parallels I've seen recently in the story lines. I'm not sure what they mean yet, but they're too glaring not to notice. First, Ben getting beaten up. One of the very first times the Losties are introduced to him, he has a bloody, badly bruised face. Having just crash landed on the island, they're not sure whether to pity him or be wary of him. In this season, Ben has once again returned to the island with a smashed-up face. This time it was Desmond who gave him the Rihanna makeover, but the same dilemma remains: people who have just crash landed on the island don't know whether to trust him or not. And just like last time, Ben is using his conniving, weasel-like ways to turn everyone against each other.

Another similarity in story lines is what takes place underground. When Locke falls down the well and breaks his leg, he encounters Christian, someone who (we assumed) had died. Christian refuses to help Locke, but gives him directions on how to save the island. "It has to be you," he says, in reference to Locke turning the wheel. In last night's episode, Ben falls down into a level of the Temple and encounters the Smoke Monster, in the form of his daughter Alex, who (we assumed) had died. She basically tells him that Locke is his leader, instructing him, "You will listen to every word he says and follow every order." Coincidence?

Some (more) unanswered questions: (1) What exactly is the Smoke monster? Is it the keeper of the island? A judgment device? The souls of all those who have perished on the island? (2) What lies in the shadow of the statue? Is this code? Is there actually something under the statue? (3) What is Locke's deal? Seriously, is he God? Why and how has the island "chosen" him? And to do what exactly? (4) Will Richard Alpert ever stop wearing eyeliner?

Random observations: (1) Young Charles Widmore is kinda hot! (2) The smirk on Locke's face when Ben tell him that he came back to the island was to be judged by the Smoke monster was PRICELESS. I could practically hear the bullshit radar going off in his head. (3) Ben kinda looks like Alby from "Big Love." (4) Despite being a dick, Keamy is the hottest LOST character to ever grace the Island.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Three things

Okay, four.
  1. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. Things have been kinda busy around here, what with getting beat down by three-year-olds and having holes in my ceiling and these people needing me to run errands for them. Normal posting will resume shortly. I hope.
  2. It SNOWED here today on Long Island. April effing 8th and it SNOWED. I bet it stopped being winter three weeks ago in Minnesota. I bet the slush has already melted in Denver. I bet people in Phoenix are already using their swimming pools, but here in New York IT'S SNOWING. Wtf.
  3. Some guy in Home Depot told me I had a fantastic ass. I will now be wearing my Guess jeans and heels every day. [Yes, I wore heels to Home Depot.]
  4. Sneak peek of what's to come:

Are you kidding me?

You pretty much see it all living in New York City: dogs wearing boots, toddlers with diamond cell phones, and sweatpants that cost more than my first suit. But this, this right here is more than just a little ridiculous:

Kosher pet food? Seriously? The website for this....uh....product boasts approval from top breeders, "not to mention the Almighty." And I just lost my words. This is almost as ridiculous as this. Almost.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thanks. I think?

Scene: Cousin and I are talking about a guy I recently met.

Me: But she says he always goes for girls who need fixing, the wounded birds.
Cousin: Oh well then he definitely wouldn't like you.
Me: Gee, thanks!
Cousin: No, I mean because you're not a wounded bird. You're an eagle. An eagle that soars. Soaring motion with hand.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How I know I'm a good person

I actually always knew I was a good person. But now I have evidence!

I recently started a job working with autistic and mentally retarded children. (It's a clinical term, I promise.) While being in charge of a group of children would normally make me anxious, I find that working with these kids has the opposite effect on me. Instead of following them around pulling them off window sills, I'm calmly telling them to put their toys away and stop eating their boogers. In fact, I'm enjoying these little punks so much that laughing at their missteps and cheering at their triumphs has become my favorite part of the day. Whenever they say a word or master a task they couldn't perform last month, I start acting like a proud mother, yelling and clapping while they look at me all, "Dude, really? I made the sign for 'more,' not tied my own shoes. Relax." It truly is a rewarding job. Exhausting and mentally challenging, but definitely rewarding.

While I'd met and worked with the kids before, my first official day was last Tuesday. Now usually an employer gives you time to get acclimated to your surroundings, a little grace period during which you get into the swing of things--not this job. Here, you hit the ground running. And that word right there, that word pretty much sums an entire day with these punks: running after them, running ahead of them, running toward them, running to clean up after them, running to avoid injuring them. Proudly, the only thing I'm not doing is running away from them. (Can I get a collective "aaawww"?)

Last Tuesday started out like any normal day with the kids: I helped get them off the bus, fed them breakfast, sat with them while they did music therapy, cheered when one of them tried to repeat a word ("buh" is just as good as saying "bus" is this classroom) and read books with them. (For the love of all things holy, please no more Dora).

Halfway through the morning, reading time was over. It was time for the kids to put their books back on the shelf and sit down for an activity. Only the kid I was working with didn't want to put his book away. I took the group leader's cue and sternly repeated the command, "Put book away." No dice. So I did what any teacher would do, what you're supposed to do: I took the book away from him.


The little punk, who happens to be the most behaviorally challenged punk in the class, wasn't having it. He gave me a look, a look that said "Who the hell are you, new chick, and why are you all up in my book?"

And then he went Chuck Norris on my ass.

First came the crying, the oppositional whimpering that alerted me to his discontent as having his Dora book taken away. Then came the screaming. Then the flailing. Then the full body convulsions. And unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough (nor trained enough) to move out of the way. He swung his head violently back into my face, breaking my glasses and sending them flying off my face. The impact of the hit shocked me so badly that I must not have had a grip on him, because the next thing I knew, he was facing me, my bra was up to my neck, and he was biting my boob. Yup, he went for my chichis. And thank God for padded bras, or else I would've had a pretty awkward conversation with an ER nurse.
"Ma'am, how exactly did you get the bite marks?"
"Um...well you see...there's this autistic child..."
"And the broken glasses?"
"Well you see, he threw his head back and--"
"Ma'am, you know if you're being abused, you can tell me. We can help you."
"No, I swear I'm not being abused. I work with autistic children, and this particular one likes to bite."
"He bit your breast?"
"How did he--ma'am, were you breastfeeding him?"
Oh I can see it now.

When all was said and done, the injuries were pretty standard for a toddler Chuck Norris ass-whooping: a gash a few centimeters from my eye where my glasses hit my face, some bite marks on my left boob, a pretty deep bite mark on my right arm, and a broken pair of $300 BCBG glasses.

The best part of the situation, though, was when my boss (who had watched the whole thing happen) asked if I wanted to take a walk to the drugstore to buy some crazy glue so that I could fix my glasses. Obviously my boss doesn't know this, but I am blind without my glasses--the kind of blind where a hand 9 inches away from my face is blurry...the kind of blind where the big "E" on the eye chart barely looks like an "E." I think I was so frustrated and shaken by the incident that the filter between my brain and my mouth stopped working.
"Bob*," I said, "I can't take a walk to the drugstore because I wouldn't make it out of this building without falling down the stairs. And even if I did find my way out, let's be real--we're in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. A white girl walking down the street with her hands out in front of her, feeling her way around the block and asking if that giant sign in front of her says 'Walgreen' thanks, I'm good. So if it's okay with you, I think I'll just sit quietly in the corner for a few minutes with this icepack on my head while I relive getting beat down by a three-year old."
Okay, so maybe I didn't say all that to my boss. But I think he could see that I needed a minute, because he put his hands up in surrender and left me alone until the icepack melted. (Many thanks to my cousin and co-worker Nicolle, who took that walk to Walgreen's for me to buy Crazy Glue, and fixed my glasses.)

So how does this all make me a good person? Getting beat up by a three-year old obviously doesn't make someone a hero. But the fact that I instantly recognized that it wasn't the kid's fault, that he wasn't in control of his actions, the fact that I kept my wits about me while it was happening, the fact that I voluntarily put myself in direct contact with him after it happened, that I didn't give up on him, the fact that I would like to one day see him communicate his frustration without biting, even if it means going all Chuck Norris on me a few more times....well I think THAT kinda makes me a good person. Because by the end of the day, after his diaper was changed and he was groggy from his nap, after he had his snack and flashed me that huge smile when I tickled him, it was all worth it. If that doesn't make someone a good person, a better person, I don't know what does.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Your weekly dose of nonsense

What a dreary day here in New York. But at least IT'S FRIDAY!! Yes, the workweek is almost over and the drinking may commence. Seriously, take an early lunch and get yourself a mojito. Who cares if it's only 11am, it's noon somewhere in the world, right?

For all you responsible adults who can't pick up and leave your desks to get smashed at lunch, here are pictures of some cuddly beasts. Well, most of them are cuddly. Some aren't even real.

A coati in Costa Rica

Lord. (Not THE Lord. Just Lord. That's his name.)

Sea lions on the beach in La Jolla, San Diego.

I have a million pictures from the San Diego Zoo, but this is one of my favorites.

Another reason why I love Berlin: random statues of pigs.

I heart animals so much, I let them eat out of my hand.

Berlin Zoo.

Puppies on the beach in the Dominican Republic.

Bosco in the Truckee River, Northern California.

Ana. Sweetest little puppy.

Bigger Ana and her adopted brothers

Motherlandian cows.


Motherlandian pig.

RI.P. =(

More puppies!

Esmarelda, named after a character on a Spanish novella.

Lord, five years later. And still a sweetheart.

York. He used to sleep in my lap EVERY DAY when he was a kitten.

Rottweiler on a boccie court, San Diego.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Whatever Happened, Happened. True story.

This episode of LOST starts off with Kate going to visit Cassidy, Sawyer's girlfriend. We find out what Sawyer told Kate right before he jumped off the helicopter: to take care of Clementine, his daughter. We also find out what happens to Aaron while Kate is on the island: she gives him back to Carole Littleton, Claire's mother. During the course of these events, Kate reveals to both Carole and Cassidy that there are other survivors still on the island, and that she's going back to find them.
  • We now know Kate's reason for going back: to find Claire. (Or so she says...) But what about her revelations? Non-Losties now know the truth about what happened on the island. What will happen now that the secret is out?
On the island, shit is a mess after the DHARMA van drives itself into a barrack. Sawyer tells Miles to gather Kate, Jack and Hurley to keep them safe. Jack asks if they're under house arrest, and Miles answers, "No, you're free to leave...but I'll shoot you in the leg." When Juliet can't fix Ben's gunshot wound and asks Jack for help, Jack refuses. Kate gets upset and asks him what he's doing, to which Jack replies, "Making some sandwiches." When Kate presses him further, Jack argues that helping Ben won't change the outcome of anything. He also tells her that he's already saved Ben once, and he did it for her.
  • Ouch. I have to admit, I would have done the same thing in this situation. Here I am, back in 1977, being told repeatedly that nothing I do can change the future. So why bother helping the bastard who tries to kill me in thirty years?
The scene where Miles tries to explain time travel to Hurley and then calls him a dingbat is my favorite scene of the episode. Part of me thinks that the writers included this scene to try and explain this time travel business to those who don't stalk Lostpedia. And it actually made sense. Sort of. The scene ends with Hurley posing the question, "But when we first captured Ben and Sayid tortured him, then why wouldn't he remember being shot by that same guy when he was a kid?" Hmm....

Frustrated that Jack won't help young Ben, Kate decides to take him to the one other person on the island who can help him: Richard Alpert. Sawyer catches up with his beloved Freckles and helps her carry Ben into Hostile/Other territory. When they encounter Richard, he explains that if he takes Ben, Ben will not remember any of this, will lose his innocence, and will "always be one of us."
  • This would explain why Ben doesn't remember being shot by the same man who tortured him. And it turns out that Kate and Sawyer help Ben become the sick, twisted man he is today. How about that.
One of the Others tries to stop Richard from taking Ben, saying that Ellie and Charles won't be happy. We see Richard carry Ben into The Temple.
  • The same Temple where the Smoke Monster "ate" Montand, one of Rousseau's men. The same Temple that turned the rest of her crew wonky. The same Temple where Jin tried to save them. Might this explain why Danielle Rousseau and Jin don't recognize each other in 2004 Island time, even though they met in 1988? This Temple seems to be a place that Richard frequents quite often. Might it also be the reason why Richard doesn't recognize Sawyer or Juliet or any of the other Losties? Methinks this Temple has some sort of mind-erasing capability.
The episode ends with present-day Ben waking up in the Hydra to find Locke watching over him. When Ben sees Locke, Locke says, "Welcome back to the land of the living."
  • The look on Mr. Linus' face: priceless.
Thoughts? Flaws in my Temple theory? Theories of your own? LOST makes my brain parts hurt...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I mentioned last week that someone (ahem...Nona....ahem) woke me up on Friday at 6:30am. Why? Because the plumber was supposed to come and fix a leak in our bathroom, and 6:30 is apparently a reasonable time to begin preparing for such an event.

For those of you who don't know me personally, let me give you some insight into my living situation: home is a two-family house in Queens, the house where I've lived for my entire life. Mom and I are on the first floor, while Nona lives upstairs. Nona grew up with 8 brothers and sisters and no bathroom, so she consequently has no sense of personal boundaries. She often does things like walk in on you while you're in the shower to ask if you want soup. And call you at 6:30 in the morning to tell you the side door is locked and she can't get into your apartment, and oh my God, the plumber is coming and she NEEDS to be there because clearly I'm not capable of listening for a doorbell. At 6:30 in the morning. Because that's when plumbers typically begin work: before sunrise. Did I mention this was at 6:30am? No? Well it was actually 6:26.

The point of the story isn't to call my grandmother out on her annoying habits (although I could dedicate a blog entirely to that subject.) The point of this story to inform everyone that IT has begun. The IT that this house has been anticipating for decades. The IT that began with painting my room, the IT that required my mom to refinance her mortgage (4.625% APR, holla!), the IT that will increase the resale value of this property by at least 10%. Yes my friends, RENOVATION IN THE DSB HOUSEHOLD HAS FINALLY BEGUN!!

We're starting with just a few minor repairs in the bathroom. We'd love to get rid of that 1990's baby blue theme, but we're sticking to fixing some leaks and replacing the floor. The rest will have to come later.

First on the list: pulling up the seafoam green carpet that's been gracing my bedroom floor since 1992 and putting down some awesome bamboo flooring.

Second: the kitchen. Gutting it completely. Kocking down walls, pulling up tile, and installing brand new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. New lighting. New kitchen table. (And a wine fridge!)

Third: the living room. Installing some built-ins with a fireplace, and lighting. We have new hardwood floors and modern furniture, but the 1970's wall unit and some other accessories remain. Like this thing:

And that mirror. I hate that mirror. That mirror has been in the living room since I was born and it needs to go. Anyone interested in purchasing it? I'm dead serious.

If there are any funds left over, we'll focus on getting rid of the baby blue in the bathroom. It's perfectly functional, but it's just

Mom and I are off to pick up the bamboo flooring this afternoon. Once it's installed, those pictures I promised back in January will finally be posted. I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be getting rid of this: