Saturday, October 30, 2010

Romantic comedies

They are quite possible the most dead form of art there is (besides alien-adventure-end-of-the-world blockbusters). They are incredible wastes of money, a drain on your wallet and your mind. The acting is usually bad, the writing even worse. I do love a good chick flick every once in awhile, but they are so dang predictable. In the last year they have been bad (When in Rome), badder (You Again), to baddest (The Backup Plan). Notice two of them star Kristen Bell, the queen of the bad chick flick. But Kristen must have been too busy filming her next squeaky clean romantic role, because Rachel McAdams was roped into the next worst romatic comedy of the year: Morning Glory.

Now, this little piece of art isn't in theaters yet, but I have a few predictions to make. You see, what all romantic comedies have, and why they all appeal to women all over America are a few key elements: a pretty girl dedicated to the advancement of her career, a terrible boss/family/sister/situation, and a really hot guy who wants to be with the girl. She tries to balance the career and the guy (which SO MANY women can understand), but ends up failing, and then, winning. That's why she wins our hearts. She does the impossible: she gets it all.

This is what will happen in Morning Glory:
-Smart, pretty girl (probably went to and Ivy league or Stamford-type school, because apparently those are the only schools that exist) lands a nearly IMPOSSIBLE job to get. She's freshfaced and sweet, ready to TAKE ON THE WORLD.
- The hosts of the show will be set in their ways and will hate her and hate each other, but sweet, smart, pretty freshfaced girl will have so many GREAT FUN COOL AWESOME INNOVATIVE IDEAS that she will keep on keepin AMERICAN of her!
- There will be a super HOT GUY she probably WORKS WITH who LOVES HER (for really no reason, in these movies can barely articulate anything besides "love"). She sleeps with him sometimes, but is uber focused on her CAREER and the success of THE SHOW.
- The culmination will come when everything blows up in her face. She will simultaneously: 1. Screw up at work, 2. screw up with guy, 3. realize she loves the guy, but has ruined everything and now has to maybe go live with her parents, or at least visit and they will make her coffee and give her a pep talk.
- Cue sad montage of girl walking sad and lonely through city streets while some "indie" Ben Harper or Ray LaMontagne song plays in the background. (Another thing about these movies: they thing that everything not played on the radio but in their movie makes them avant garde)
- Somehow she issues a tearful, embarrassing mass apology, and everyone forgives her. In the end, she gets the GUY and the CAREER and live HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Cue happy Natasha Bedingfield song. There might even be some old people love between the hosts whose mutual loathing for each other has turned into undeniable LUST.

Nobody ever seems to care that these movies are complete fantasy. Take The Back Up Plan for example, where JLo, pretty far from the block, plays a single gal pregnant by IVF suddenly meets a guy. In real life, this guy wouldn't be sticking around. He would be gone...byebye...see ya never. If Morning Glory was real life, Rachel McAdams wouldn't have gotten this job in the first place, and she would still be living at home with her parents, or working as a desk clerk somewhere. Hollywood sucks.

Bound to happen in this movie as well:
-Clumsiness on the part of the girl, because no matter how smart or savvy female characters are, men have to feel safe about their roles in life, so the girls are always falling all over the place. "Omigod, save me! I'm so silly and I fall all the time!"
- A couple of gags where OLD PEOPLE play with TECHNOLOGY! Gosh, aren't old people so stupid and funny?

Can't wait to see it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

reasons I need a pet

Tonight, after a long week of work (you know, the usual, pulling staples, scanning, pulling staples, scanning, removing paper jams, and scanning some more), I spent some quality time with my best buddies, blanks and lemon.
 I know blankie looks kind of gross.
But I love him.
 Isn't Lemon Bear the cutest? 
My siblings used to fight over him when we were kids. 
But he was always mine!

 Lambs joined too. What a ho. (Just kidding LUVYAGUUURL)
We be snuggsin with Blanks and Lambz allll nighhhht.

We need boyfriends. Or a dog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“they say it’s your birthday…da-nana-nana-nana”

My mom ALWAYS sings that Beatles song on birthdays. Today is my birthday. I am 23. Yesterday I came home from work to find a mailbox full of cards, and a small box of gifts from my parents, all a day early! I’m spoiled rotten. I cried for nearly an hour. Perhaps I was a little homesick, perhaps because I finally felt the impending doom of today, perhaps I felt like I am undeserving of the love that was showered upon me by my parents, siblings, various other family members, and messages from amazing friends. I felt a little like Sally Field: “You like me! You really, really like me!” And though most people make fun of her for that moment, I know what kind of awe she was feeling: you can’t believe that many people can like you that much. And yesterday, it made me a basket case.

Birthdays can be a weird thing: I, believe it or not, have usually shied away from being the center of attention. I much prefer to share the spotlight. Nevertheless, on your birthday you are the center of a lot of love, and you realize just HOW MUCH you love everyone else. Perhaps that was the reason for the tears: when I acknowledge the trueness of pure love, I can’t but cry for happiness.

Best gift a girl could get? My mom filled out a recipe book for me. Some of my favorites from her recipe book, but in my own, with her handwriting. Open the floodgates. God, I can be sentimental.

Thanks everyone, from the bottom of my heart. I love you all so very much.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Annie said

Is totally and completely correct. Mah boy's wicked smaht. But seriously, like I said a couple of posts ago, it's impossible to get experience without actually having experience first. The workforce neither wants us nor needs us, no matter how great our resumes are. BTW, Annie did get a job, she was hired yesterday. Congrats boo!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New York minutes: after work adventures

I just started temping to make a little moo-la to pay for my habits (such as, but not limited to: grocery shopping, bar hopping, online shopping, bookstore browsing...and buying..) at a company with a swanky 5th avenue address. I mean, seriously, on my lunch break I window shop Harry Winston and dream of someday. Ha.

Anywhoo, while doing some worky at work, I thought about what I was going to do this weekend. And what I was going to do when I got home. And what I was going to eat next. As you all know, I'm in the middle of reading American Psycho, and it's getting a little, er...intense, shall we say. Like, I'm pretty much afraid of every handsome Wall-Streeter I see. So I was in the mood for something a bit fluffier, no matter how bad the writing, something a la Something Borrowed. Enter my quest to read The Devil Wears Prada.

Now, after a quick little search for the New York Public Library (I was taking my poor little bank account into consideration), I found that the flagship NY Public Library was a mere 8 blocks away! The Yorkville library is only a few blocks from my apartment, but it closes at 5, but the one on 5th is open until 11PM. Yahoo! I arrived, a bit in awe at the size of the building (and I thought Dinand library was big), wearing my work suit and pumps. They checked my bag for contraband (none...just my copy of American Psycho..hehe) and I proceeded to wander...and wander...for 20 minutes. No map, no indication of where ANYTHING in the library was. Finally, I swallowed my pride and approached a security guard.

"Um, excuse me. This is going to sound really dumb, but are there, like, books here? Novels?" I could feel my face reddening. Luckily, he was very understanding.
"Well, there are branches all over the city. This one is really only for reference books, and nothing can be taken out. Across the street and down a block, there's the Midtown Manhattan branch, where you can take out books."

I thanked the kindly security guard and got on my way. I arrived at the Midtown branch at the same time as about three homeless people, including a lady with a bright purple wig. No sweat, I can see the books. Bad free literature, here I come! But, like everything else in my life, this was a no-go. I couldn't find Devil in the literature stacks, and so I ran over to a trusty computer. There were two copies of the novel in circulation in the New York Public Library system: one in the Bronx, and one in reference at the 42nd street main reading room. Where I had just been. WTF.

So now I was cranky. I walked back 10 blocks to my bus stop, and huffily got on the bus when, of course, my metro card ran out of money. The bus driver took pity on me, probably because I looked like I was about to cry, and let me get on anyway. And up we sped to 79th and Madison, where I hopped off to catch the crosstown bus to the far east side (I'm talking past York Ave, down by the river). But this driver was not so benevolent. I had some money ready to go, but apparently in NYC you can't use dollar bills to get on the bus. Only quarters (that's what they mean when they say exact change...womp womp) or metro cards. Now, at this point, I had walked about 20 blocks round trip after a full day in 4 inch heels and I hadn't eaten since noon. I was hungry and tired and hated all the honking and the noise and just wanted to be back at my little house on the Vineyard doing crossword puzzles in my skivvies on my bed.

"So I'll just walk then," I said to the bus driver (who, rightfully so, didn't give a shit) as I rapidly disintegrated to same ability to control my emotions as a 12-year old and stomped off the bus. I seriously wanted to cry, or call my mom, but that would make me want to cry even more, and I didn't want to be an emotional wreck on the street.

Thankfully, I had simply been in my head too much during the day (quiet office=LOTS of time to think), and I felt much perkier once I'd changed into some yoga pants and had a few crackers with peanut butter and strawberry jelly. Roomie came home and we decided to order Chinese and watch bad TV. Someday I'll get the libraries down pat, though I think I'll stick to the one in my  neighborhood from now on.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New York minutes: things i have learned.

-No one makes eye contact. Ever. Don't be the loser who makes eye contact.
-In accordance, don't smile either.
-In order to get experience, you somehow already need experience. It's catch 22.
-It can take you 45 minutes to go a mile. How does anyone ever commute to this city? It takes long enough when you're in it!
-Buy a good pair of shoes to walk in that don't make you look like the tool wearing Asics with your dress trousers (I never did this).
-Sex and the City made it look like there were guys on every corner just waiting for you to look up. In reality, women outnumber men 5:1, and the :1 is either married or gay. Just saying.
-For the love of God, wait for the light to change to 'walk' before attempting to jaywalk. Especially if crossing a two-way thoroughfare.

Monday, October 18, 2010

American Psycho--a portrait of how much we suck

I hope some of you have at least read something by author Bret Easton Ellis, even if it's not American Psycho. I'm reading this novel for the second time, and this time around I'm really giving attention to not so much the gory, sodomizing, keep-you-up-at-night incredibly graphic sex/murder scenes (yes, they are one and the same), but really Ellis's attention to detail, his gorgeous prose, and the sadness with which he depicts modern American life.

I find that Patrick Bateman's often exhausting attention to detail actually pertains much to our superficial, materialistic existences. With painful precision he describes his morning in the bathroom: "in the shower I use first a water-activated gel cleanser, then a honey-almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Vidal Sassoon shampoo is especially good at getting rid of the coating of dried perspiration, salts, oils, airborne pollutants and dirt that can weight down hair and flatten it to the scalp which can make you look older. The conditioner is also good--silicone technology permits conditioning benefits without weighing down the hair which can also make you look older. On weekends or before a date I prefer to use the Greune Natural Revitalizing Shampoo, the conditioner and the Nutrient Complex. These are formulas that contain D-panthenol, a vitamin B-complex factos; polysorbate 80, a cleansing agent for the scalp; and natural herbs."

and what he is changing into at the gym: "It was a cool morning but seems warmer after I leave the office and I'm wearing a six-button double-breasted chalk-striped suit by Ralph Lauren with a spread-collar pencil-striped Sea Island cotton shirt with French cuffs, also by Polo, and I remove the clothes, gratefully, in the air-conditioned locker room, then slip into a pair of crow-black cotton and lycra shorts with a white waistband and side stripes and a cotton lycra tank top, both by Wilkes....(it goes on)

and what other people are wearing: "He's wearing a linen suit by Canali Milano, a cotton shirt by Ike Behar, a silk tie by Bill Blass and cap-toed leather lace ups by Brooks Brothers. At Harry's we spot [Van Patten] who is wearing a double breasted wool and silk sport coat, button-fly wool and silk trousers with inverted pleats by Mario Valentino, a cotton shirt by Gitman Brothers, a polka-dot silk tie by Bill Blass and leather shoes from Brooks Brothers."

These passages go on and on about clothing, products, electronics, you name it. The point is that these people have everything money can buy them and yet they are all completely miserable human beings. I mean, Patrick Bateman is a serial killer, for God's sake! But I think the point Ellis is trying to make is that when we attach ourselves too much to the importance of material goods we become monster-like. Granted, Bateman's materialism is, in part, a manifestation of his obsessive nature: who can forge the memorable scene between Patrick and his brother Sean (of Rules of Attraction fame, also a great novel) where Sean, the younger of the two, seems infinitely cooler and makes Patrick seem nearly like a pariah. And there's also the scene where Bateman happens to see Tom Cruise in the elevator of his building and so wants to seem cool in front of him, but Tom Cruise has zero interest. What this points to is Bateman's lack of self esteem which leads to his obsessive materialism (to the point where it is all he thinks about) to his (perhaps fantasies of) brutal sodomizing and murdering of both men and women.

If you have the stomach and the patience to see beyond the horror, what you will find is a harrowing, depressing portrait of what may be a little Patrick Bateman in all of us. Without the killing, of course.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So I caved. Like much of the bloggy world, I have started a tumblr account. Mostly it will just be all the random things I want to post, but are not long enough to dignify a blog post (read: stupid quotes, stupid pretty pictures, stupid recipes, stupid poems I may or may not like). I know, it's queer. So what? Who cares? Introducing:

brought to you by your one and only sjt 
(that's me!)
(don't make fun!)
(I can hear you laughing!)
(I'm just trying to get all my emo energy out!!) 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Things I love about New York (so far...)
1. all the things there are to EAT
2. putting on cute outfits and walking around
3. admiring cute shoes in shops from the safety of the sidewalk
4. making eyes at suits on the subway
5. making eyes at suits on the street
6. being able to decipher streets in scenes from shows like sex and the city and how to lose a guy in 10 days (one of the BEST chick flicks out there...)
7. seeing cute puppies all over the place
8. seeing cute suits all over the place.....did I say something to that effect already?
9. wearing my Red Sox hat out in public and feeling way too proud (that must be a Massachusetts thing)
10. knowing that the best is so yet to come...and I can't wait.

Monday, October 11, 2010

new york minutes: the plunger

I have arrived. Wahoo! Mom and Dad and I left my hometown in southeastern Massachusetts at 7am Saturday, October 9. Four hours later, I was on East 79th street. Home for the next year. I know I've said this before, but lets just say it again. WOAH. WOW. GOLLY GEE. I'm a New Yorker now!

Of course, with my life being my life, things don't always go completely smoothly. While roomie was out running some errands, I remembered that I had to pee. That's a thing about people that are in service industries (waitresses, bartenders, hairdressers, taxi drivers): they always have to go to the bathroom, but they're in such a habit of holding it (because their jobs demand that they only pee once every 7 hours), that it can be easy to forget that your bladder is extremely full. Anyway, I overloaded my new, sensitive NYC toilet with too much TP. Dang. So I trekked up the street, having lived there for approximately three hours, to find somewhere I could buy a plunger. Lucky me, there's a D'Agostino's and a Duane Reade right on York ave.

At this point I looked a hot mess. I was wearing some old running shorts and a hoodie and flip flops, and I had just moved my entire life up 5 flights of stairs (ok. so some movers did the bulk of the work. sue me), so I looked a little greasy. On top of that, despite being alone, I was embarrassed over my clogged toilet. No plunger to be found at D'Ags. I was a little discouraged after this. All I wanted to do is take a shower and finish setting up my room and I was a little culture shocked and I didn't really know my way around, and if the drugstore didn't have a plunger I didn't know what I'd do because I didn't know where the hardware store was (still don't). Thank the stars, Duane Reade had 1 plunger left.

Now, there is no dignified way to buy a plunger. It's like buying condoms or Immodium A.D. (which helps with incontinence). Even if the checkout people don't give it away, you know what they're thinking. So I headed up to the counter with my plunger fit for a plumber (I mean seriously, this thing was industrial), but as soon as I swiped my debit card, the system went down. There I am, with a growing line behind me, my first four hours in NYC with a plunger in hand and no way to pay for it. The checkout girl shrugs, "System's down. Sorry." My face burned red. Stupid plunger, sitting up there jauntily on the counter. Everyone knows I clogged my toilet. Now I have to go back to my apartment and get my cash and then do the unthinkable: come back to the drugstore and try to buy the plunger again.

So back down the block I went, sweating in the late afternoon humidity, up 5 flights of stairs, back down 5 flights of stairs, and back up the block to buy my stupid plunger to fix my stupid, pansy NYC toilet. Then, to put a cherry on top of the perfect adventure, I had to ask the clerk if I could buy the plunger because, you see, I left the damn thing on the counter as I slunk away the first time, and there was only one left in the entire store. I reiterate: there is no dignified way to do this.
Me: "I was in here before...."
Checkout girl: (stares blankly)
Me: (softly) "I have to buy the plunger..."
Checkout girl: "Huh?"
Me: (louder now) "I have to BUY THE PLUNGER."
Checkout girl: "Do you want a bag?"

I decided against it. I walked back to my apartment with the plunger slung over my shoulder, my dignity ruined.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

things i need

1. a job. For the love of pete, someone hire me. I look real nice in a blouse sitting behind a desk, and I have a super sexy phone voice.
2. some snugs partners besides blanks, lemon, and tucker (only one of those things is something that's alive)
3. a supercute new boyfriend. any takers? I look real nice in a blouse sitting behind a desk, and I have a super sexy phone voice (wait did I already say that for something?)
4. one of those hour glass things Hermione Granger uses (did I just mention Harry Potter twice in one week?) to turn back time (whaddup Cher), because if I could rewind my life to April and live the last six months over I would in a second, without changing a thing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

cleaning up and cleaning out

I'm moving in four days. WHAT???

That's kind of how my morning went. Today I started the daunting task of packing for NYC. For good. I have to keep remembering that it's not like I'll NEVER come back to my parents house, but I still don't want to leave them with all my shit. I mean, my bedroom is like a museum. I'm one person, I don't need most of knickknacks that are here, but something prevents me from throwing them out.

Cleaning out my childhood bedroom has been strange. There are so many things I've left in here to collect dust for four years and more, things I'm not sure I'm glad I kept--old diaries and love notes (including one terribly pathetic one I wrote to my high school boyfriend that never got sent, telling him how scared I was to go to college and lose him), and, believe it or not, old instant message conversations I for some cruel reason printed out and saved. I found strange old jewelry I remember wearing in elementary and middle school which offered many funny "what was I thinking?" moments. I found ticket stubs for The Village, Bridget Jones' Diary, Rent, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, all from Sharon Cinema 8, the old crappy theatre the next town over. I found fortunes from fortune cookies, old pictures, some really old makeup (gross), wallets, etc etc.

But perhaps the funniest things I came across were the fictitious love notes I wrote to fictitious characters. I was quite the imaginative child, and I had a big literary crush on none other than Ron Weasley of Harry Potter fame. Enough so that I wrote him fake love notes. I so wish I was kidding about this one. There were several notes stored in a plastic baggie at the bottom of a drawer. Apparently my name was Ella Prewett, and I was an American witch (like Hermione but cooler), and Ron was my school boyfriend. I must have been eleven or twelve when I wrote these, all in my best cursive, all addressed to Ron Weasley, 5th floor bedroom, the Burrow, England. And the comedy doesn't stop there:
My Darling Ron,
          I miss you so...these sticky summer days just make me think of you more and more (uhh...what does that mean???). I need you and your face never leaves my thoughts. I had a dream last night that you and I ruled a country. You were the king and I was your queen. If only it could really be that way. I know we were destined to be together. I am coming back next year (presumably to Hogwarts) even if I have to run away from this place. Please write back. I love you x infinity.
xoxox Ella
I mean honestly, where did I come up with something like that? I even had Ron writing back to entire correspondence. Uber pathetic. I don't know whether to throw them out or keep them for posterity. I'm actually having a hard time with throwing out most things that should be thrown out.

There are certain things that will stay here or go to good will: my summer clothing, a couple old t-shirts emblazoned with my name and number from my sports days of high school (HC rugby stuff will come with me), things that have been in my drawers since I was in high school. Many of my books will either stay here or have to be donated (shudder). Lemon bear and blankie of course will come with me (wait am I almost 23? Is it time to give them up? maybe when I get married...or not...). Lemon bear and blanks got put through the ringer in college, each suffering a couple terrible incidents: blanks got chewed up by my doggie Tucker (I'm just thankful blankie didn't meet the same fate as most of my nice undergarments), and good ol' LB was the victim of some vom splatter. Poor guy.

Tomorrow's task: tackle all the crap under my bed, which will probably be more difficult than the dresser.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Tonight, at around 6 PM, I decided to go shopping. I hate shopping. I buy a lot of my clothing online...everything online is organized, you don't have to dig for size or search for color, and a lot of the time the website will recommend stuff to go with pieces you like. Mostly I hate shopping because I detest going to malls. Everything I wrote about in this post seems to have gotten worse. However, I'm moving to the big bad city and haven't really bought myself a good deal of clothing in a long time. I'm talking I own one pair of jeans, three pairs of flip flops, a pair of sperrys, a few sweaters and lots of t-shirts.Comfort, comfort, comfort.

So I drove off in my mom's car and I wasn't a mile from my house when I was struck with this awful, horrible, crushing feeling that I was never going to get back home. Like I was going to get in some sort of freak car accident and DIE.

I wish I was kidding. Then my mind, being my mind, extrapolated that pinch of anxiety to a near panic attack: I imagined what the evening news would say and the phone calls my mom would have to make to my siblings and my poor roommate stranded in an expensive apartment on the upper east side. I thought about the last half hour I spent with my mother, helping her make a buffalo chicken dip for her book club tonight. If I died, surely it would go to waste and book club would be canceled. The whole town would come out for my wake. It would be terrible. But worst of all, I would be dead.

By the time I pulled onto I-95 on my way to Providence, it was all I could do to stay on the road. I turned up the radio and just told myself to concentrate, concentrate. Luckily, the panicky feelings passed, though I was a little sensitive to anyone driving rather speedily within my sight range. I had made it to the mall and parked the car and entered the perfumed doorways before I started to feel panicky again.

Now this is a panicky feeling I cannot explain as readily as the death by fire-y car accident example, because no one was ever killed because they were shopping for sweaters. Shopping gives me an unexplainable anxiety. I feel perfectly fine in bookstores, could spend hours and hours perusing to my hearts content. There's something about clothing, like you have to get in and out as fast as humanly possible OR ELSE. But whats the or else? I can't quite put my finger on it.

I tried to ease myself into my sojourn by going to J. Crew first. I love J. Crew, but do most of my shopping there online. The store was so quiet. I could barely look at a couple of t-shirts (all of which had stunningly high price tags) before I felt a lump rising. I didn't want to dig around for my size, and I didn't want to cart anything around to a dressing room. I didn't want that nice girl folding corduroys to ask me if I needed any help. I didn't want to make anything match, or spend money on necessary accessories (because all of them are so cute, but so expensive!). Needless to say, I hightailed it.

It was down to the wire. I needed a pep talk or I was never going to buy anything. "Stephanie," I told myself, "you need some new clothes. This is not frivolity, you actually need to go into an office and look like a human being. Do you want to end up on What Not to Wear?So I took a deep breath and ducked into Banana Republic. Still a little angst-ridden, I tried to calm down as I looked at some pretty skirts. I tried a skirt on, with a poorly matched (on my part) sweater thing, a cardigan and some jeggings. Bad. All bad. I wanted to cry, and leave. Instead, I forced myself to look more. Look for outfits. Stop looking at prices, I needed stuff anyway. And I succeeded! I felt a little better, and bought three (yes, three!) outfits.

On my way out of the mall I stopped at Borders. I deserved a little reward, after all, for surviving my near panic attack(s). Baby steps.