Tuesday, September 27, 2011

things that are currently driving me nuts (the art of hyperbole)

having to feed myself every day

my job

the insane crowd at 59th street every afternoon while trying to transfer from the n-q-r to the 6 (a train which, by the by, transports more people on a daily basis than the entire DC Metro and Boston T COMBINED)

my empty bank account

my empty life

other people's blogs

not being able to stop reading stupid news websites that basically illustrate the coming of the apocalypse

my job

people in love (this can be anywhere: on the street, on subway platforms, on tv, in the movies...)

people that like their jobs

the pimple on my chin


Sunday, September 11, 2011

long live the world trade

When I think about 9/11 I try not to think about it in it's meaning in the vast landscape of American thought and politics. I try not the think of what was borne out of an unthinkable tragedy: the unceasing, expensive, needless wars, the blighted economy, the pointless 24-hour news loops that accomplish nothing but hype over weather phenomenons and political races. What I think about is the buildings. The heart of a city that was torn down over and over and over in front of us. And I would venture to say that most of us, when we close our eyes and fish from our memories "9/11", what we see is the one burning building and the second plane coming in, fast, and the explosion. And then we see the collapse. And then the second collapse. We don't even need to watch the footage, though sometimes that helps to re-open the wound.

When I first moved to New York, about a year ago, I increasingly thought about 9/11. How I remember the whole day, from my pretty blond Spanish teacher wrinkling her brow at the loudspeaker announcement, saying, "That's strange," to coming home from school to my dad in tears on the couch to watching the footage and seeing for the first time what had really happened to attending a dance that Friday night and feeling funny about living my life and having a good time. I thought more and more about the towers, what they meant to the city, and what it must have been for New Yorkers at the time like to see them cut down. They're a ghost in the city. I realized this when taking the ferry out to Staten Island to visit my sister; that something seemed to be missing, that I was picturing the towers rising above the skyline, monstrous and looming, that I could close my eyes and see them burning.

How is this possible? That a girl who was a mere 8th grader living three states away during the actual event could feel so viscerally the events of 9/11? The popular phrase in regards to 9/11 is "Never Forget". But the thing is, we can't forget. The collapsing towers became a part of us, a part of our country's rhetoric, part of the way we see life. All we need to do is close our eyes and see it. For my generation, it was the end of our childhood. We were welcomed into the fold of the adult world and inaugurated with footage of matching buildings that burned and burned and then, horribly, collapsed. We couldn't be protected from it. We were thrust forward by it.

And even I, a girl from far away, mourn the towers, everyone inside of them, and everything they stood for.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

why does hollywood think that everyone just wants to dance?

This is going to be so lame. A town bans dancing because kids got into a car accident coming back from a dance? I know this is a remake of a classic, but COME ON PEOPLE. People are getting in trouble for DANCING? WTF?

Also, this just looks like Step-Up with white kids from Kansas. And, newsflash, Hollywood, I'm from a small town, and I've never met anyone who just wanted to dance. That is a completely unsustainable career.

And I think that kid is trying to have some kind of Boston accent, and it's pissing me off because he's not doing it right.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

have car, will travel?

That question mark is there for a good reason. Here was the weekend plan. My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on September 1.

Let's hold the phone for a minute. You heard me right. My paternal grandparents have been married for SIXTY YEARS. They were high school sweethearts, married at 21, and had 6 kids in 10 years and raised them in the same town where they grew up (and where I grew up!). They are still sharp as tacks, live in their own house 5 minutes from my parents. They have 19 grandkids and even a great-grandbaby to boot. I mean, what a feat! How lucky are they?? How lucky am I that THEY are my family?

Anyway, my dad and his siblings were throwing a party for their parents down on the Cape on Saturday. Because I had to work, and because of holiday weekend traffic, my sister and I thought it best to leave later in the evening of Friday, listen to some good tunes, and get the hell out of dodge in a timely manner.

I have bad travel luck. I just do. I'm one of those people that perpetually runs late, hits every red light, gets stuck on trains that go 10 miles per hour for an entire journey (no, that really happened to me in 2006. It was horrible.), and gets caught in traffic that turns a 4-hour-trip into a 8-hour-trip on a bus next to some poindexter with hygiene issues (how is it that I can never have a cute seat mate?). But, I thought, maybe, just maybe, this night would go smoothly.

And it did. Smooth out of Staten Island, where my sister goes to school, smooth across the Verrazzano Bridge, smooth tunes on the radio, a smooth plan to indulge in fast food once we had crossed into Connecticut. I admired the glowing city skyline--the blue and red Empire State Building, the shining white Chrysler Building-- from the window as we zoomed along the Bronx-Queens Expressway. My sister was driving, and it was planned for me to take over in a couple of hours.

Then things started to get hairy. The traffic slowed a bit, but we kept a good pace. Then the interior car lights began to dim.

"Um," my sister said, "Uh, all these sensors are flashing,"

I looked over, and the airbag lights, battery light, and a few other sensors were blinking. But, being that this car is about 12 years old, and it's had some funky issues like that in the past, I assured my sister we were fine.

"Is it driving the same?" I asked.

"I think so.."

Then the radio stopped working. And then the odometer started pulsing up and down, and I started saying "pull over! pull over!" and I stuck my head out the window to try to stop the oncoming traffic in the right hand lane. Then the car was dead.

Dead. Dead. Dead. Between the right hand and center lanes on a bridge in the middle of the Bronx-Queens Expressway. Dead.

We didn't know what to do. My sister called 911, I called AAA while continuing to wave cars on that were beeping behind us, and occasionally yelling expletives and people who eased by with disgusted looks on their faces.

I mean, it was like a scene out of a hapless chick flick, without the comedy and with much more swearing, and many more tears (on my sister's part! promise!).

To boot, 911 did nothing to help us. The first guy to show up was in a towtruck that didn't have jurisdiction on our side of the highway (wacky NYC traffic rules), but set up some flares and offered me a cigarette which was, truthfully, the nicest thing he could have done. We were hoping for a statie, someone to keep the traffic moving, but we just waited it out, sitting ducks, in our old clunky car.

3 hours and $200 later, we arrived back on Staten Island, our fun evening of driving home turned into an unforeseeable pain in the ass. And we missed our family reunion.

The verdict? I just shouldn't travel.

Monday, September 5, 2011

the best commercial i've ever seen

Your life is your life. Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission. Be on the watch. There are ways out. There is light somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness. Be on the watch. The gods will offer you chances. Know them. Take them. You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life, sometimes. And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. Your life is your life. Know it while you have it. YOU ARE MARVELOUS. The gods wait to delight in YOU.
(Charles Bukowski, Laughing Heart)

I mean, is there a better message than that?  What a perfect piece of poetry set against a perfect series of filmed shots. I just wish it wasn't a commercial for blue jeans, but rather a commercial to make everyone just FEEL GOOD about living, because it makes ME feel good about living.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

this article is a joke, right?

Please, someone tell me that this New York Times op-ed is of the school of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal and this author isn't really suggesting that 'ugly' people should be treated as minority or disabled groups. I mean I'm all bleeding heart and liberal and believe in justice and all of that, but...suing a company based on the fact that you believe you were too ugly to work there? COME ON. That's just stoking the fire of insecure people everywhere.

Too often, I blame certain things on the way I look. It's easy. Watch:
I don't have a boyfriend because I'm not pretty enough.
My job sucks because I wasn't pretty enough to get the one I wanted.
People generally like my sister/friends/cousins/classmates better than me because I'm ugly/fat/stupid/whatever.

None of these are legitimate excuses. They are lame, self-pitying, wallowing excuses. Sure, they stem from a real place and a lifetime of self doubt, but it's up to the PERSON to grow out of those feelings. It's easy to feel trapped by your looks, question your beauty and, at the end of the day, if you do not feel pretty enough, decide whether you will allow those feelings to rule your life.

Because they shouldn't. People who are not 10s need to find other ways to augment their good qualities. Not everyone can be a 10...that's why there's a numbering system.

But give a 7th grade girl who is already five foot eight, weighs a hundred and fifty pounds, has a poor complexion to match her pissy outlook on life (so not me....) and tell her that, sure, one day she might be pretty, but if not she can just sue the pants off of everyone who thinks she isn't pretty...that's just a disaster waiting to happen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

the 6 month rule

Hello friends! It's been awhile,  I know. I've been incredibly busy with mostly mundane life-tasks, and in a mostly reflective mood--not one that was incredibly conducive to writing anything funny or non-personal. It's a journal-keeping, staring out windows, listening to Radiohead's In Rainbows over and over (and, to be honest, I'm still not totally sick of it) kind of mood. Perhaps I should consult my horoscope and find out if Pluto is in my Saturn or some shit. I am a Scorpio after all, prone to deep waters and locked in emotions.

But anywho, while I've been away I've had a pretty great summer. I went on vacation with my family (and we only had like one half of a fight, which is QUITE the feat for family vacation, if I do say so myself), spent of time with my friends from home (though not enough), weekend tripped it to the beach, Connecticut, had visitors to NYC, melted in the heat, ate good food, drank plenty of beer, inhaled the hot pee stink of NY in the summer, and am now ready to rejoice the freshness fall that is rapidly (cross your fingers) approaching. It was strange to see summer pass so quickly; in years past (especially my Vineyard summers), the season seemed to stretch on from late May, each day a wonderful surprise of sunshine and lush green trees. This year, stuck in a cubicle, I could do nothing but complain about my pasty skin and hunger for the next weekend when I could escape the noise and oppressive air of the city. Every time I looked up, half a month had ticked by, and, though it is still August, I feel that summer is over. Kids are going back to school, and I'm sincerely envious. I would give anything to hunker down with my books and write a research paper, head to class with a spiral bound notebook, take everything in. There are some days where I honestly feel brain-dead. But such is my lot in life at this moment, and it's apparently up to me, the adult, to stimulate my mind.

I cannot believe that I've been in New York for nearly a year. It just seems crazy. I feel like nothing happened, and at the same time, everything happened. How is it possible that I can live in the same place for 11 months and not feel endeared to any of it, and when I return to the Vineyard, a place where I spent, in total, only about 10 months, I feel home? Truthfully, I still feel like my life is very in flux, that nothing is permanent or settled. There's always someplace else I'd rather be, something else I'd rather be doing, than what I happen to be doing at that moment. I've some to a crux: what is next? Well, nothing is next. Not nothing, but not moving on is next. Staying is next. Making myself see things through is next. "Next" is now.

Sometimes when I think about things too far in advance, I start to panic. I just can't shake the feeling that "OH my GOD. I'm going to wake up and be 30 and single and living in this damn apartment and working at the same damn job and I've gotta make a plan and I've gotta get out of here!!" Which is so silly because a.) I'm 23, and b.) I already "got out of here" so to speak, if "here" represents the stagnation of the dreaded "home". I mean, for Christ's sake, I live in the biggest, most vibrant city in the United States. If I can't be satisfied with adventure here, where WILL I be satisfied?

So for now, I have a solution. The 6-month-rule. I will only think about the next 6 months in concrete terms. 6 months beyond whatever date it happens to me exists only has hazy "maybes". Maybe I'll go somewhere else. Maybe I'll switch jobs. Maybe I'll go back to school. Until then, I'll hazily make plans, and then cross the bridge when I come to it. The future exists out there, the 5-10-20-year future, complete with a faceless husband and faceless children, a nameless dog on a nameless street in a little house where there's a room for me full of books and a career that has yet to be determined. I'm comfortable with this notion, and the concrete (for now) exists within 6 months from the right now. It calms my panicky listlessness. It helps me through the doldrums of routine: the endlessness of eating, bathing, grocery shopping, laundry doing, and existing only for myself and living only in my brain (which is exhausting, no?).

I do miss excitement.

Friday, June 10, 2011

a nail-biter

This may or may not be a confession: I have an oral fixation.

Now. Before you get all excited, let me just explain that its not a good oral fixation. I'm talking the nail-biting, pen-chewing, thum-sucking, ice crunching, food stuffing, and occational cigarette smoking. Anything that involves mindless hand-to-mouth action (again...not meant to be dirty).

My worst habit? The nail biting. I actually cannot remember a time in my life when I did not bite my nails. For at least 20 years of my life, my mother has said: don't bite your nails!!! like she was horrified and had never seen me do something so unladylike. I really can't explain the appeal. I never liked the way short nails looked, and to make matters worse, my sister was blessed with beautiful hands, complete with long nail beds that, shined up with red or pink polish, completed her petite, sophisticated girliness. But there was something about the relief from the stress that biting that nail gives. The pressure of my canine on the edge of the nail, just the riiiight amount and then CRACK...ahhh. Are you grossed out yet? Good. It is gross.

So I've taken matters into my own hands, people. Yes. You've heard it here first. I quit biting my nails. COLD TURKEY.

How did I do it, you ask? So glad you did.

Nail polish. That's it, though I should mentions that I can't leave the polish off for more than 10 minutes or I start to get grossed out by how long they look (two decades of biting, especially during your formative years yields tiny little nail beds, so the tips look downright scary). Oh, and I guess I should mention that I sometimes imaine an engagement ring on my finger with my old, bitten, stubby nails to stop myself from biting. I wish I was kidding.

At first, it wasn't so bad. I bought a couple fun nail colors, and eventually a file as they started to grow out.

But this week has been really hard. Guys, I'm like an alcoholic that has ten beers growing on her fingers. Beers that I can put right in my mouth but not taste. Beers I can stare at. Beers I can feel. I end up teasing myself, because I just want to bite them so bad. I think...oh...maybe I'll just take a little top off of the middle one because it's so long...BUT I CAN'T. Because if I bit one, I would bite them all, and they would be gone. Its strange to think how much I've learned about addiction. I literally can't tell myself that I'll never bite another nail, because then I have this overwhelming feeling to just BITE BITE BITE. I actually have to take it one day at a time. Am I going to bite my nails today? No.

In fact, I'm going to go home and put a sparkly coat of raspberry polish on them. Mostly because it's harder to see the tips through a darker color.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

oh, hey

How are you? It's been awhile. Come here often? You look great. No, seriously. That top looks amazing on you.

I've been a little...sad recently. And the 'sadness' has really curbed my want to write in a public way. I hope you understand. It's funny, the purpose of my blog is basically to write about things that suck, and then when I'm actually feeling sucky, I really don't want to write about it.

So I'm not. I'll talk about what people always talk about in these times: the weather.

It's hot out there. Like, really hot. How's everyone holding up? I would say that I was melting, but I'm actually kind of enjoying it. I know, I know. It's kind of weird, though it might have something to do with the fact that i spend 8 hours a day in a windowless cubicle.

Something about the heat makes everything heat-cancelling feel better: a glass of really cold water, the slightest breath of a breeze, the cool side of the pillow, the shady side of the street. It's a sluggish weather to go with my sluggish mood as of late.

The heat, really, serves as a memory trigger for me (as so many things do, but just go with it for me, ok?). I grew up without air conditioning, and summertime meant everything was hot and just a little damp. When we complained at night, my mom would tell us just to put our heads at the foot of our beds, a change of scenery would help us sleep. And sleep always did come, if only on the breeze that fluttered through the windows and over our cool thin sheets. I loved the heat most of all because cooling off was the most fun part: slipping away into the dark basement to watch a marathon of Jurassic Park (a family favorite), practicing our dives and playing Shark in the neighbor's pool, days at the beach playing in the waves. I'm always relaxed when it's hot out--you have to be.

But what I love the most about the summertime is the way it makes you think about all the other seasons and all the other summers. I love to pit the lush green and humidity of the summertime against the frozen pink and blue winter. Think about it: on the hottest day of the summer, you can't even contemplate the coldest day of the winter, but there they are, both in existence. It's nature's way of showing us that no matter how sad you feel, you will feel happy again, and no matter how happy you feel, you will be sad again. And there's nothing wrong with that. It was intended to be that way.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

smoke signals

i've been in a funk (see last post).
fret not. i'm still here.
big ideas are brewing.

in the interim: listen to this song. it makes me want to be in love.

Friday, May 6, 2011

my week

Guys, I've been sick. No, I don't have a cold, and I don't have the flu. I'm just sick. Exhausted, achy, pounding head, upset stomach, sensitive to light and noise. For like a week--almost 2 now. I've been to two doctors, both of whom listened to my symptoms, took my temperature and shrugged. "Drink fluids," they said (aside from feeling awful, I don't have a fever, so all must be right with my body). "Keep taking those allergy meds."

THANKS, GENIUSES. I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP. Please explain to me, doctor, why I can't leave the house without sunglasses, and why I can barely be in public for more than 20 minutes without wanting to punch a baby. Please explain to me why I've barely been able to eat and why I have to pop 2 Excedrines almost every day. I DON'T FEEL WELL. DIAGNOSE ME.

I just hate feeling lousy without a concrete explanation. I hate taking 2 hours out of my day to go to the doctor--twice--only to later have to explain to my boss that well, in reality, nothing is wrong with me. I'm just in a black black pit of sickly sadness and generally feeling like I'm about to meet my maker.

Ok, fine. I'm exaggerating a tad. I'm clearly not about to meet my maker. But today while riding the Q train, the jerky motion combined with some kid's 8 AM serenade of hip hop blasting from his head phones and the extra stink of the usual Q-train-stenchiness had me almost on my knees begging for mercy. Seriously--the only thing keeping me at the office is the prospect of having to get back on the train to go home. PLEASE. DON'T MAKE ME.

So to make myself feel better I've been watching bad TV on my computer when I get home from work. Specifically, Glee.

And I can't stop. I won't even try to pretend I don't like it. I'm addicted.

But if Rachel Berry sings one more solo I actually might contemplate suicide. It's gotten so bad that I fast forward through them. She's the only character in that show I really, really hate. Does she irritate everyone else? I can't even root for her and Finn because her voice and stupid earnest faces shred my soul.

Glee crushes? Little gay Kurt. And Puck... there's just something about that stupid mohawk.

Oh no.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

using of the rogaine...check

So there's this commercial that I happen to see a lot while watching TV. Specifically, while I'm watching the Daily Show online (because I don't have TV). It's a commercial for Rogaine Foam (tm?). And it's driving me nuts.

I can't find the particular commercial I want to share with you on youtube (or anywhere, except on the Daily Show website), but I'll sum it up for you. This guy noticed his hairline was receding. He started using Rogaine Foam. It's so easy. Like brushing your teeth. It regrows hair in 85% of guys (notice the real smaht ad execs on the Rogaine account used the word "guys" so it would appeal to the younger age set...real clever, real clever. My advice? Next time also use the word "dudes" "homies" and "brahs" to appeal to all the surfers, black men and lacrosse players that are also scared of losing their hair). This is all good stuff. Seems like a great product. But something's amiss. See if you can pick it out in this version of the commercial I'm talking about:

Why are these commercial bugging me? Because these guys look fucking DEPRESSED and EMBARRASSED. Am I wrong? Their nonchalance, shrugging shoulders, and shifty, downcast eyes read like a tail between a dog's legs. They look more ashamed than the men who advertise Viagara.

Is it true? Are men really more embarrassed about losing their hair than losing their potency?

I was watching the episode of Sex and the City yesterday where Carrie and Aidan have a big fight over each other's clutter inside their small apartment. "Why do you have FIVE half empty SpeedSticks?" Carrie yells incredulously, to which Aidan replies, quite innocently, that they have different smells. She continues to pick through his box of toiletries. "Do you even wear musk? and Rogaine?--wait, you use Rogaine?" She softens her expression, as Aidan looks increasingly uncomfortable. "Are you losing--" but before Carrie can finish her sentence Aidan bursts: "I don't want to TALK ABOUT IT!" Weee...what a nerve! Ouch!

Maybe I don't get it. Women don't usually suffer from baldness of the male-patterned kind (I do know it's possible for a woman to have thinning hair). But, gents, I don't happen to see what the big deal is. Sure, full heads of hair are great. But hair does not a man make. My father is bald, and both my grandfathers are bald (my brothers are screwed). Perhaps other women care about baldness. I don't think it's a deal breaker. There are so many other things that can be/probably are wrong with you.

Bald Heroes you can have: Prince William, Bruce Willis, Kevin Youkilis, Tiger Woods, A-Rod, your dad, your uncle, your brother...

Buck up, guys. If baldness is in your genetics, work it! Just try not to look like George Costanza. And please, for the love of God, avoid a comb-over at ALL COSTS. And if you want to use the Rogaine, be my guest. Just don't be so sensitive about it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rom-Com v. Real Life

I'm sure it doesn't come as a shock to you that I really don't care for Romantic Comedies. I prefer serious movies--the darker the better, extra points for things like unhappy endings, deaths of children or lovers, brooding protagonists, and couples that don't end up together. Extra credit for subtitles, but only because the foreign films that make it to the U.S. are typically the cream of the crop in their native countries.

That said, I'll indulge in the occasional romp with a Rom Com. They can be funny after all, and sometimes it is nice to escape into a world where everyone's beautiful and the girl always gets the guy (or whatever). But honestly, people. The plots of these movies are absolutely ridiculous. So ridiculous that I'm going to tell you how each particular situation would end up in real life.

Say Anything
Guy falls head over heels for nerdy high school classmate the summer after graduation. It's the usual sweet little courtship: he walks her home from parties, teaches her how to drive stick shift. They have SEX. She tells her DAD. The whole thing is AWKWARD. She gives him a pen and then breaks up with him...she feels bad she's neglecting her dad. He does everything to win her back, including holding a boombox over his head under her window: in your eyes, the light the heat...
Movie outcome: After much persistence, nerdy girl FINALLY gives in and they go to England together.
Real life outcome: Guy never tries to get back with her. Broke up with him for her dad? That's just creepy.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
A spunky gal who writes a cheeky column for a popular women's magazine in  New York City (she's obviously wayyy above this job--having gotten her PHD or some shit in journalism from Columbia) must find a guy and drive him away in 10 days for her next article, aptly titled "How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days", to point out to women in her spunky, cheeky way everything they're doing wrong with men. She meets a RULLY hot guy who, of course, works for an advertising agency. He appears to be completely smitten while she turns on her undeniable wit and charm, and then she proceeds to torture him by acting completely insane (i.e. pretending to be vegetarian and accusing him of thinking she's fat in public, redecorating his apartment, making him miss the final seconds of the HUGE basketball game they attend by begging him to buy her a soda, making friends with his mom). Little does she know, he's been dared to woo her by his devious, pseudo-lesbian power chick co-workers in a contest to land a big diamond account for their ad agency. LAUGHTER and HILARITY ensue, until they both find out they've been tricking each other the whole time. Both are super pissed, though she would forgive him if opportunity knocked.
Movie outcome: Dude: "I don't care that you drove me nuts for almost two weeks, you are also crazy hot and we had sex at my parent's house in the shower. I love you. Let's be together forever."
Real life outcome: Dude:"Wow. You are bat shit crazy. Bye."

Two people have a chance encounter at a department store at Christmastime. They're super into each other and go out for ice cream. Then they meet by chance again and go ice skating. They're really into each other. But at the end of the night, the girl decides to test fate by believing if they are meant to be together, then fate will bring them back together. They write their phone numbers on random objects: a 5 dollar bill and a book, just to see if they might find them again.
Movie outcome: A complicated series of events take place, and miracle of miracles, they find each other again 7 years later and live happily ever after.
Real life outcome: They never see each other again. There are 6 billion people in the world people, COME ON. There are a million people alone in Manhattan. These two people lost their chances the second they thought a fucking 5 dollar bill with a phone number would make it back to one of them. Besides, most people use plastic anyway.

She's the Man
Girl LOVES SOCCER, but her school just cut the women's soccer program (hi, title IX? that would have solved this movie's problems from the get-go). She dresses up as her brother who, incidentally, is skipping his first year at boarding school to go be in a rock band in England, and tries out for the soccer team. She ends up falling for her RULLY HOT roommate who is also on the soccer team, but he can't tell that she's really a girl. Hilarity, including  a crotch-shot gag, ensues.
Movie outcome: RULLY HOT roommate decides he's in love with her back when it's unveiled that she's actually a girl and not a boy.
Real life outcome: RULLY HOT roommate is really, really weirded out and will probably need therapy for the rest of his life and become irrationally uber masculine for kind of feeling sexually attracted to his roommate who he thought was a guy but was actually a girl.

Sweet Home Alabama
Cute southern gal turned chic NYC fashion designer his proposed to by her super hot, super successful boyfriend: he takes her to Tiffany and lets he pick out whatever she wants. She, elated, says YES YES OOOOH YES!, but has to fly back to her hometown in Alabama 'cause she's got some MAJOR skeletons in her closet. Like, she's still legally married to her high school sweet heart--he's been returning the divorce papers unsigned for 7 years (side note: there has to be some legal stipulation that you can still get divorced with only one partie's signature, right?). Turns out, she still has some feelings for Mr. Wrong. WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE?
Movie outcome: Mr. Wrong ends up being Mr. Right, and they live happily ever after in the back woods of Alabama with their shotguns, hunting dogs, and civil war reenactments.
Real life outcome: Mr. Wrong and Southern Gal have already been divorced for 7 years at the plot's beginning. Southern Gal marries Mr. Right, then divorces him and collects a verrry pretty alimony for the next three decades. Score!

disclaimer: I actually really liked all of these movies. Except for Serendipity. That one really sucked.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

tom brady cried and i dont care

So there's this big hubbub about a special that is airing on ESPN tonight about the 2000 NFL draft, Tom Brady being chosen 199th overall, and what happened to the six quarterbacks that were drafted before arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. Because the rest of the country seems to hate the New England Patriots, all of their players, and everything they have accomplished and would love nothing more than to see the entire franchise burn to the ground, this has been the perfect fodder for PATRIOTS SUCK and other types of jealous hate talk. Let's be real here, ESPN knew they struck gold when they had Tom Brady on film getting all choked up over his draft day 10 years ago, and even if they had done 5 more takes where he DIDN'T cry, they were still going to show the crying video because of this shitstorm of attention they knew it would get.

But whatever, we're Boston fans, we can take it, right? Brady's our boy, our hero, and we love him no matter what, because (despite the last few disappointing season ends) he still loves the Patriots and will work as hard as he can to, hopefully, lead the squad to another Superbowl victory.

Well, that's what I thought. But apparently, lots of Boston fans think that Brady's a huge pussy too, just because he got a little verklempt when remembering the most difficult day of his life thus far. OK FINE. I realize that most other people have worse days EVERY DAY than what Tom Brady went through on the day he almost didn't get drafted by the NFL. And I realize that at the end of the video he says "and I thought, Oh thank God, I don't have to be an insurance salesman'" and that's a little callous; like, sorry bro, we can't all have your heavenly gifts and be insanely good looking and be married to the most beautiful woman on the planet and make astronomically unfair amounts of money, so I don't feel that bad for you because I sit in a cubicle all day drafting correspondence and playing with numbers I don't understand. But these are not sad tears that Tom is crying. If you watch carefully, these are the tears of a man who is, at the end of the day, grateful for what he's been given. These, people, are tears of HAPPINESS.

Allow me to explain.

Imagine you're Tom Brady 10 years ago. You're 22 years old, and something you've wanted as long as you can remember, something you have not only promised yourself to, but that also has been promised back to you in the forms of, in this case, being recruited and signed with a huge college football program, and then scouted and courted by various NFL teams. At first, years before, you think this might happen. As time goes on and more things happen that point directly in the path of your goal (i.e. getting scouted, etc) it gets clearer and clearer: this is going to happen....THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!! Because in a 22 year old's mind, one that has been conditioned to believe that if you work hard enough you can get what you want, doesn't see failure as an option. Then, in one night, televised, you're going to find out your fate. He was led to believe that he would be drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round. So they sit there and wait. Did anyone choose me? Did anyone choose me? Please choose me. Please CHOOSE ME. The rounds pass. Nearly 200 players are drafted. And more and more it looks like it's not going to happen. Something that you were told was probable now looks completely improbable. You realize: I'm not good enough. And you think, 'what am I going to do? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?' That must not be a fun thing. Not one bit.

Big deal, you say. He got chosen. He's a star. Get over it, stop crying, right?

I'm not so sure. See, I think that the cameras might have caught him at a vulnerable moment. He remembers feeling worthless. He remembers, perhaps, thinking that football had been his whole life, and what did he have if it wasn't football? (Think Boobie Miles from Friday Night Lights). He thinks, perhaps, about his parents, and because he's a (dare I say it?) sensitive soul, he feels the love bubbling up as he relays the fact that his parents were with him the whole way, and how much his parents mean to him. HELL. I DON'T KNOW. It's not like Brady's a close personal friend (though, Tom, I wouldn't mind it if we were...), but he chokes precisely at the part where he talks about taking a walk with his mom and dad around the block. That's probably a big memory for him, one of intense familial support. Perhaps this is a show of a man's love and respect and appreciation for, ultimately his parents and everything they had done for him. That night they probably let him know that, in the end, it would be OK if he didn't get drafted by the NFL, that his life would perhaps take a different course, and that they loved him very much. For someone on the brink of adulthood, the moment where you get what you've been working for or don't get what you've been working for is a pivotal one. Perhaps Tom's dad said something to him that he'll always carry with him, something that lifted him out of what was, up until that point, the most awful feeling he'd ever had. I get that.

But, regardless of what the real reason is, I respect those tears and I applaud them because they were not tears of a man who is pompous or inflated. They were not tears of a man who doesn't remember from whence he came, they were not tears of a man who doesn't love his family, and they were not tears of a man who was ungrateful. "The Patriots finally called," he said. They were tears of happiness and a salute to how far he's come.You want to call him a pussy? Fine. So be it. But don't say you wouldn't have the same emotional reaction if that were you up there. Who's to say you're not watching the ESPN special right now, getting choked up?

Maybe I'm too much of a chick and I've read far too deeply into the display of emotion. But I think that he's human. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. He's still the best quarterback in the NFL. Anyone that doesn't think so can suck it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

real inspirationtastical, YO

Guys, it's not news that we live in a world of quotes. Everyone, it seems, loves to talk about how much certain quotes inspire them. Then they list some wonderful, flowery stuff about taking things day by day, and being patient, and loving yourself and those around you. All good things, and all great words to live by. Quotes of the inspirational nature usually come from pretty typical, and pretty reliable, sources--mommas and poets and Jesus and anonymous and political leaders and, lest we forget, Mary Schmich (via Baz Luhrmann). All trustworthy sources.

I happen to be a sucker, too.

But something's missing from our usual canon of quote language. Everyone, it seems, has forgotten that the MOST IMPORTANT inspirational, heart stopping words to live by OBVIOUSLY come from RAP AND HIP HOP SONGS. These singers and songwriters really know WHAT UP, so to speak. They really know how to, ah, get jiggy wid it.

So, accordingly, I have compiled a list of words to live by, to take with you on that long journey we know to be life. (I know, I know. You wish you thought of this before me. I'm a genius, PURE GENIUS.)  I started with my list of 6,000 FAVORITE quotes, and narrowed it down to the following uber inspirational set of lyric quotes, which I will dispense into your reading eyes right...meow.

1. If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it. -Beyonce Knowles
If your man ain't puttin that icey on your finger, guuurl you better drop him fast. He just don't like you enough.

2. No, I don't want your number, no, I don't wanna give you mine, and no, I don't wanna meet you nowhere, no, I don't want none o' your time! NO, I DON'T WANT NO SCRUBS. -TLC
Don't EVER go slumming!

3. Blah, blah, blah. -Kesha
You don't have to listen to the HATERZ if you don't want to!

4. I'm hot 'cause I'm fly, you ain't 'cause you not. -Mims
Because everyone who is fly is, incidentally, also hot.

5. I keep a blue flag hanging out my backside, but only on the left side, yeah, that's the Crip side. -Snoop Dogg
Stay true to your 'hood, knowwhatimsayinnnn?

6. Superman ain't savin' shit. -Eminem
Yeah. He's not even real.

7. Fuck y'all, all y'all. Y'all don't like me? Blow me. -Dr. Dre
Who cares what anyone else thinks? You do you, I'll just continue to be awesome!

8. Yeahya! OOOOKay! Let's go! -Lil' Jon

9. Babay, I know that chu like me. You my future wifey. -Soulja Boy Tell'em
Make sure to leave some room for romanticle things, like pretending to kiss your boyfriend when you call him and he's out scoping other chicks having a guys night.

10. It must be yo ass, 'cause it ain't yo face. -Nelly
We all have to work our best asset.

What are YOUR rapper-words-to-live-by??? Skeet Skeet!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

let them eat cake

On Sunday, my roommate ran a half marathon. To celebrate, I baked her a cake. Nothing fancy, I have no pictures. It's just a Pillsbury Funfetti cake (oh yuhhh) with a center layer of chocolate frosting and an entire can of vanilla wrapping it in a sugary frosting hug. No big deal.

To date, my roommate (who, remember, ran the half marathon) has eaten one piece of the cake, and I have eaten about five.

I guess now would be an appropriate time to acknowledge the fact that it's only Tuesday. LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING.

My love of cake I think has been a lifelong kind of affair. And I don't discriminate. From rich red velvet with heaps of cream cheese frosting sprinkled with just the right amount of walnuts right on down to angel's food with strawberries and cool whip, I love them all. Everything about cake is absolutely to die for: there's the drippy, sickly sweet cake batter, then the warm cake-in-the-oven smell that fills every corner of the house, then layering on the frosting and smoothing it and smoothing it and smoothing it again like you have fucking OCD, and then, and only then, cutting that perfect, perfect square piece. Did you just have an orgasm? I might have.

When I was first waitressing, I worked in a banquet hall. They called me the dessert kid because I happily skipped my employee dinner in favor of the leftover cookies, icecream, and, the motherlode, usually only enjoyed at weddings, yes, yes, yes, the pricey gourmet cake. Brides always want to have the BIGGEST cakes--they want their wedding to be the fanciest and prettiest--but it always ends up being way too much cake. Hunks of that soft yellow cake filled with fresh strawberries and covered in fluffy buttercream frosting used to come home with me in styrofoam to-go containers. And it was orgasmic cake. I ate so much it would give me a stomach ache from all the sugar, and then I would subsequently lapse into the happiest cake induced coma and dream of spongecake clouds in a whipped buttercream sky.

But back to my cake, you know, the one that I made my roommate for running the half marathon? It's sitting there on the stove, calling my name. It wants a home, and that home is my belly. (Did I just sound like Fat Bastard?) I thought about it all the way back to my apartment from work today. I caught myself actually smiling on the subway platform like a schoolgirl in love. I was thinking about that canned, goopy, but amazing vanilla frosting and from-a-box fluffy cake goodness making its way from the fork into my mouth. It was a mantra the whole way home. Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!

I guess it will be like this until the cake is gone. Lord knows I won't be making another one anytime soon. But know this: it has been a very long time since a man has made me quite as happy as cake has made me.

And also know this: if eating cake all day is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

disney crushes

Chances are, if you were anything like me growing up, you watched LOTS of Disney movies. Chances are, if you were anything like me, you had lots of big time CRUSHES on Disney boys. And I was hardcore about these guys, too. In my head, I was totally their love interest--they just hadn't met me yet. But I've been thinking about these crushes lately and what they say about how I choose men, and which men I'm interested in (which, I've proven, has always been those who, for one reason or another, are never interested back). Join me in my psychoanalysis of myself? I bet you never thought I'd ask.

The Beast
He was mean. He was controlling. He was, by all intents and purposes, beastly. And I loved him. Oooh yes Beast, Belle's been a brat! Yell at her some more! How dare she not come to dinner! And then, beneath that hard, gruff exterior, poor sap's nursing a broken heart. Be still my heart. Why do we all love The Beast so much? I mean, Celine Dion sings it beautifully: tale as old as time...But what tale, exactly, Celine? The one in which women are attracted to guys that are mean and make excuses for them--they are damaged souls just in need of a little tender lovin care (and a pretty face to look at)? The one in which women are kept locked away and then expected to not be angry about it? We're a sick, sick society. If anything, the love story of Beauty and the Beast  is one of twisted Stockholm Syndrome.

Huck Finn
Yes, I'm talking about Disney's 1995 depiction of Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Tom & Huck. And while Tom (aptly played by the Tiger Beat star, Jonathan Taylor Thomas) has his mischievous and cheeky cuteness, I was way more into the mysterious Huckleberry Finn. Did I love him because of his blond hair and boyish face? Maybe. Did I love him because he was manlier and bigger than Tom Sawyer, and he looks so cool eating that apple and living in a clearing in the woods? Perhaps. But I think I loved him more because he was a drifter without family, and perhaps a past of pain that I could console. Or we could just run away together, that would have worked out, too.

Peter Pan
I actually always felt a little sorry for Tinkerbell. She was loyal and steadfast, and loved Peter with her whole heart. And then this priss Wendy comes along and steals Tink's thunder! I always found Wendy to be pretty uptight and nervous about everything. Oh PETER, HELP me Peter! Oooo, I'm so helpless! Oh, Petey-pan, lose the ball-and-chain. I'll be your playmate forever! I won't get scared, I won't be afraid to get a little dirty and live in the woods. I think I dug Peter Pan's ripped up clothes and bare feet. Besides, he had it right, why would anyone want to grow up? Peter's a cool dude. Seems like he knows how to party, and is also down for a good rumble every now and again. Come to think of it, most guys I know now are kind of like Peter Pan. Hmm.

 Runners up included (but not limited to) John Smith (Pocahontas), Simba (The Lion King), Woody (Toy Story--don't ask) and Eric (The Little Mermaid). Each offer more of the same: gruff but stragely sensitive, wounded souls that needed my attention. Except for Prince Eric. He was just sexy. I think it was the hair. And the dimples.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

the inexpensive life

In case you slept for the entire month of March (and I'm sincerely so jealous if you did), this would be the only thing you missed (besides that pesky "war" in Libya). You got it, it's the super cool remix of Rebecca Black's FRIDAY, with a new spin: GANG FIGHT!!!

Anywho, if any of you are like me, you're living on a budget. A pretty tight one. There are lean weeks, and leaner weeks (usually when I pay my rent). But you know what? This is part of living in a city, part of being out on your own, and part of not deserving any more salary than you are making. Sometimes the blogging world seems a lot about material goods and things you can buy. But, the reality is, even in the gluttonous consumer world we live in, sometimes it's irresponsible just to go out and buy buy buy. So I'm doing things on the cheap right now, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun interesting. And there are plenty of ways to pass the days...FREE.

1. One of my favorite freebies was The New York Times. They recently set up a paywall  (which doles out 20 free articles a month. Easy, I thought. That'll last me about a week. Sadly, it lasted me one morning. And that was Tuesday.), which is good for them to make money.  Lucky for us, the online subscription isn't too too expensive ($4 for 4 weeks I believe). If you're wary of doling out that kind of bucks, the Boston Globe is still free, as is CNN and the Huffington Post and almost every other online news source. But they won't be far behind NYT.

2. I don't just window-shop. I fondle-shop. As in, at lunchtime I walk over to some favorite clothing stores and touch all the clothes. Everything's so pretty, and I just imagine wearing the pretty spring skirts and pairing them with pretty blouses and feminine ruffled tops. Sometimes, out of spite (especially if I'm cranky), I pick a few things up and deposit them in all the wrong places in the store. But mostly, if I stay long enough, I get desensitized to that want want want NEED feeling and feel happy when I leave with nothing. Which is way better than the guilt of swiping the card.

3. I've drastically cut back my food spending. First, I don't buy food during the day. My office provides coffee, and I always bring lunch--usually leftovers or a PB sandwich, and that saves, at the least, about $20 a week. I've reduced my grocery bill by not buying frilly food. I eat a lot of pasta and a lot of rice, but I'll buy a couple veggies, too. I'm simply not a glutton with my food anymore. It wasn't worth the hit my wallet was taking, and chances are, not worth yours too. I still make delicious food, I'm just creative and cheap about it. My advice: for 1-2 weeks (I can usually make mine last almost 2 weeks) buy the following: 2 boxes of pasta, a loaf of bread, a pound of chicken breast, something for breakfast (a big carton of yogurt, or English muffins, or eggs for scrambling), a jar of  tomato sauce (my fave is Barilla Tomato & Basil), and a couple select veggies, like zucchini, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, and any cooking essentials you might be out of at home (i.e. salad dressing, olive oil, garlic cloves, milk, etc). I ration the tomato sauce by combining it with minced garlic that I cook in olive out--it makes for a much simpler, light, tasty sauce. I just get creative with what I'm making, and I don't waste food.

4. I don't really buy music (but I don't steal it either!). I listen to Pandora Radio and Youtube songs I want to hear multiple times. If you have a favorite radio station from your home city, lots of them stream online. My all time favorite streaming radio station is WMVY (duh, the Martha's Vineyard radio station).

5. My roommate and I pulled our cable. It's a huge amount of savings. Plus, many TV shows are available online. And no TV leaves room for more books, more writing, more knitting (which I FINALLY learned how to do) and getting OUTSIDE. If there's a show you really have to watch, hike on over to a friend's with TV. Or don't watch it. It doesn't really matter in the long run.

6. For the time being, I've decided to pick one night a week to go out, which is usually Saturday. I love going out with friends, and I'm a naturally super social person, but cutting back is cutting back, and two nights a week can get pricey! I'd rather save my money for going out more this summer.

7. There are so many other things you don't have to "splurge" on. Do your own nails. Wash your socks and underwear, if you're running low, in the bathtub. Go to the library instead of Barnes & Noble (it took me years to make myself do this...but now I'm addicted). Now that spring is coming, we'll spend more time in parks. I'll take friends down to the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty (and MAYBE that really cute guy...nahttt). I'll go to the museum for a dollar. If you can walk or take the subway or take the bus, DO NOT take a cab.

The essentials in this early post college life, I believe, are this: rent, bills (loans, credit card, etc), food, fun. Splurging on non-essentials (and, sometimes, even splurging on essentials) just isn't a good way to live. I have to remind myself that I have to earn splurges, that splurges are a privilege, and not take what I have for granted. The most important thing I've learned when trying to manage my money independently is not to get stressed out, but to simply budget better. Don't buy things you know you can't afford. Think long and hard before a big purchase. And hope, hope, hope that this will be a good foundation for being responsible with money in the future.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

glutton for punishment

In my middle and high school years, I had a thing for war movies. From Saving Private Ryan to The Patriot and right on down the line to Pearl Harbor (don't judge me...I was 13 and thought I was going to marry Josh Hartnett). I couldn't get enough blood and guts, couldn't have too many cannon balls and firearms. Plus, America always WON, which was so awesome. Especially in the post 9/11 years, it was nice to see Amurrrica kickin' butt and takin' names, old school. Even when guys were blown up and had their guts hanging out and held their buddies hands while they died, it was all for a good cause, they were dying for something, and we, generations later, existed because of them. I loved when the soldiers in the movies talked about girls at home, or showed pictures of their girls at home, with their pretty hair, pining away for their very own soldier. Dang, how romantic! My perfect Friday night was spend with bowls of popcorn and my brothers and male cousins and neighbor boys watching all the man power on the screen. Something about a man in uniform, my grandmother always said.

I thought war movies were about glory and the amazing righteousness of America, that America in the end was always right. The bugles, the drummerboys, those amazing sounds of the battlecalls in the movies were nothing short of inspiring. Men fighting all together for a common good. I think that is what, in general, attracts people to movies made about war. That, and it's cool to see stuff blow up. And you know the actors aren't really dying. Awesome!!!!!

But something in me changed. I've become more sensitive, I upset much more easily. I still do have quite an affection for movies about war, but, now that I have matured, they frighten me much more than I ever thought they would. A few months ago I watched Saving Private Ryan, a movie I'd seen a dozen times. But I couldn't convince myself to enjoy it like I used to. Death seemed so real to me while watching; the fear and the stress is palpable. Perhaps I simply didn't understand life and the finality of death when I watched these movies as a teenager. Perhaps, because I had never been far away from home, I didn't understand what it meant to want to go back.

The particular scene that gutted me took place in the French countryside where the injured young medic, played by Giovanni Ribisi, dies in the field.  When it becomes apparent that his injuries are too severe to be helped, Tom Hanks says, quietly, 'Tell us what you need. Tell us what you need." He asks for morphine. He knows that no one he is with, despite their best efforts, despite holding his head, despite gripping his hand, can do anything for him. "Oh God, I don't wanna die," he says, and the other soldiers quiet him, comfort him. "I wanna go home," he says, "I wanna go home." He cries out for his mother. Then he gets quiet, and then he dies. And as I watched this scene, I thought, oh God. How can anyone watch this? It is probably the most disturbing scene in almost any war movie I've seen.

But there's something beautiful about it, an honesty that, in the end, is what attracts me to movies about war. Isn't that what we would all want? In our last moment of life, to be with our momma, at home, safe, instead of scared and in pain in some country half a world away? In essence, war movies are one of the only genres where the emotions of people (mostly, because they're about war, men) can come across as raw, brutally honest, and completely moving. There's a scene toward the end of The Hurt Locker where Anthony Mackie's character is overcome with emotion, his nerves fried, and he says he's afraid he'll never get home. He's only got a few days left of his tour and he's convinced he'll die before he makes it to the end.  And really, sometimes a war movie expresses what all of us feel inside (albeit in a violent, violent way): that we want to go home, and we just don't know how to get there. We want to be surrounded by peace and people we love. And if that is what you can take away from a movie about war, I think it's a damn good lesson to learn.

And, because I'm a glutton for pain and punishment, I'll keep watching war movies--the good ones (sorry Josh Hartnett)-- because they will remind me of what has been sacrificed, and they will make me grateful for my home and thankful to be alive. That, and ooo I LOVE and man in uniform. All sweating and dirty. Firing weapons.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

that time i met a guy on the Staten Island ferry

Guys. Today I met the cutest guy. I'm serious.

Because my computer is a little slut and decided to contract a nice, juicy virus last week, I sent it down to Wagner with Auntie Brittie, my lovely sister. And hooray, hooray, the brilliant IT department at her little school on Staten Island fixed my beloved laptop good as new, thus a trip over there was a necessity. Plus, she can feed me dinner. So, after work today, I hopped on down to the Staten Island Ferry. If you're in NYC, make sure to check it out. It's free, and it goes right past the Statue of Liberty.

I boarded the 5:30 ferry out of Manhattan, planning to decompress from my workday before my quality sister-and-cafeteria-food bonding time. But then I saw this guy. Tall, wearing a DOT Staten Island Ferry uniform, strapping, killer jawline, just cute cute cute. Hmm! I thought as I sat down, though I promptly pulled out my book and forgot about him. You see, every other guy (and sometimes, every guy) you see in the city is good looking. Sometimes they're wearing rings, sometimes they're wearing bad footwear. Sometimes they look in your direction, most of the time they don't. Regardless, the wildlife is fun to look at.

So I'm reading, and I'm looking out the window, and then I'm reading. Cute guy walks by, says hello. I try to smile prettily, caught off guard, but manage to say hello back.

"Do you always ride the 5:30?" He asks.

Urmmmm? Is cute guy TALKING to me????

"No, no."  I manage to stammer. "I'm going to visit my sister."

"Your sister?"

"yeah, um, she goes to Wagner."

He leans against the window across from me. Can he see my face getting red? Oh God, I'm not wearing any makeup! But, somehow, he keeps talking, like he actually wants to talk to me. And as it dawns on me that I'm being chatted up by this cute guy that works for the Staten Island Ferry. And I'm really fucking nervous. And when I'm nervous I clam up. I've even been called cold by a date before. OUCH. And this guy is really cute. I even dig his semi-crooked teeth. He's from Long Island, he says, he's in the Coast Guard. Spent some time in Massachusetts, when I mention that's where I'm from. But I'm utterly tactless, my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. I have nothing charming to say. I keep wondering whether or not I should stand. I can't think of anything to say, I can't think of anything to say OH GOD I'M SO BORING, HE'S CUTE AND HE'S GOING TO REALIZE I'M DULL AND WALK AWAY...

The boat docks and I stand abruptly.

"Well, I should get in line. Your name?" and he tells me, and then I shook. his. hand. WTF?!?!? And then I walked away. SO BAD. Didn't have the balls to, perhaps, ask for a number, or give him a chance to ask for mine. Didn't ask him, hey, I might take the 8:30 ferry back, will I see you? I GAVE MYSELF NO OPPORTUNITY TO SEE CUTE GUY AGAIN.

Ok, you're thinking, come on. This is one guy. One time. But I don't know, there was something about him. And I ruined it by being nervous.

Well, at least I know where he works. Should I go stalk his life on the ferry, or is that just too desperate?

Monday, March 21, 2011

What are you, stupid?

For years, adults have called our generation, among other RUDE things, entitled. Entitled became the hot button issue when it came to discussing this generation (do we have a name? is it Generation Me? that's aptly done) and opinion touted psychological and sociological research that proved we were selfish, lazy, puffed up by our parents convincing us (and themselves) that we were all gifted and special and smart, puffed up by our teachers telling us that if we just wanted something enough, the world would eventually give it to us. And, in trying to find our way in the world, we vehemently tried to dispel the notion that we were selfish, lazy and entitled to the world on a string. What was the harm in having faith in ourselves? What was the harm in knowing that we were special and full of ideas?

Yet, when the economy came crashing down around us, and we graduated from our various colleges and universities, we still believed we deserved the best. Yep, that's right. The attitude of an entire new workforce is this: "I totally, like, deserve this job, because, like, my parents paid TONS of money for me to go to a really fancy school, and I dress really nice. And my teachers told me I was smart. And I'M NOT A SECRETARY, I'M NOT A SECRETARY, I STUDIED ECONOMICS!!! EFF YOU, MAKE YOUR OWN PHONECALLS, BOSSMAN/BOSSLADY. PAY ME 75K TO START, NOW!"

Do you understand now, why all adults speak so lowly of our entitlement? Everyone thinks they deserve the job, but the reality is, everyone who is employed is very lucky to have a job. I feel lucky every day. Is my job exciting? No. Is my job stimulating? No. Is it the job I want? No. But I am employed, and I intend to stay that way, and do my best. Do I deserve more? Not right now. I make mistakes. I won't pretend I don't. They're small mistakes that seem to not matter, but they do. Very, very much. And when you make little mistakes, it just further proves to everyone how incompetent you really are. A few papers that needed to be signed were accidently left on your desk for nearly a week amid other various papers? Disorganized. That email you sent that said Tuesday, January 18, 2010 instead of Tuesday, January 18, 2011? Doesn't pay close enough attention. One of the presentations was mistakenly left off the Board Meeting computer? Doesn't care about boss's reputation. Back-up files were scanned crooked the first week of your new job, before you really got the hang of the scanner? Incompetent, no regard for the importance of these backup files.

Mistakes which prompt your boss to think, what are you, stupid?

I don't know about anyone else, but my first professional job has been the most humbling experience of my life. I've learned that I'm really not the victim of adult criticism, but just the stupid (albeit lucky) kid they've decided to hire and train. Every time I make a dumb mistake, it negates nearly everything I've done right--but it makes me want to work harder. I've realized that my education and what I studied and my passions and dreams have next to nothing to do with anything that goes on in a corporate office. Having a diploma only means that you did enough school work to graduate. It doesn't guarantee that you'll understand how to work in an office, and it doesn't mean you don't have to be trained.

Rules of thumb for everyone: Don't make your boss look bad. Take on as much as you can. There will be days when you feel useful, and other days when you'll feel worthless. You, mister entitled, better get over yourself. There's always going to be learning to do. But you already knew this, didnt you? That's right. I forgot. You do deserve a better job.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

blog formula

This just in. I'm gonna write a how-to guide. It's gonna change the lives of millions. Listen up, people! Everyone wants to be a blogger (despite the fact that a dear friend of mine recently had the sentiment that blogging is so last year.) So what? Who cares if you're behind the trend? Lucky for YOU, there is a very distinct formula you can follow. It may not guarantee your success, but if you follow these guidelines and add enough foof, YOU CAN BE A BLOGGER TOO!!!!

Blog Module #1: the college blog
Blog posts should look like this:
Today I got up, had yummy fruit and cereal (with skim milk!!!) for breakfast. AND THEN I WAS SO BUSY. I WENT TO CLASS. I HAD SOME KIND OF PRACTICE. I DRANK SOME COFFEE. Then I was so tired that I took a nap, and skipped lunch!!! Oops! Then my bff and I baked cupcakes for our cute boyfriends' fraternity! Here are some pixxxx!!!!!
p.s. this weekend I'm gonna go out with my friends and maybe have a few drinks and maybe get a little tipsy???? (IDK but my mom reads this blog. HEY MOM! OH! and here's a picture of her...isn't she cute??? don't you just LOVE her Lilly Pulizter dress????) I'll make sure to post some pictures on Sunday after the Sorority Bakesale. Can't wait to hear about YOUR weekends!!! {Said with sarcasm, because this blogger KNOWS her weekend will trump everyone else's}

Blog module #2: the mom blog
Hey everyone! We have been so busy! First, watch this video of my really cute 2 month old lifting his head! You're sooooo cute my little chicken nugget butt!!!! OMG, don't I have the cutest kids? Here's some pictures of them taken with my REALLY EXPENSIVE Digital SLR camera my super rich hubby bought me for Valentine's day. I KNOW...AWWWWW!!! Look at  my outfit! It's all from Anthropologie, no big. LOVE THAT STORE! Can we all agree that I have an AWESOME LIFE???
But seriously, sometimes being a stay at home mom is SO HARD. Between poopy diapers, and cooking food, and cleaning, I don't even put a bra on some days! I KNOW IM SO FUNNY AND HONEST, THAT's WHY YOU READ ME!!!!
But then I just think about GOD and everything is A-O-K (especially if my husband comes home and I get laid, hehehehe).
Speaking of cooking: look at these pictures of the delicious 5 course dinner I cooked last night! YUM YUM!!! My kids LOOOOVE VEGGIES!!!! And look at the whole wheat uber organic very very healthy double double flourless CHOCOLATE CAKE I made!!! We're so healthy and alternative!!! My babies wear cloth diapers, so should everyone elses!
Don't forget about my giveaway of the engraved copper spoons from Etsy! Truly an awesome keepsake! I've got three sets!

Blog Module #3: the decorating blog
Look at this room, isn't it pretty
Look at this couch, isn't it pretty
Look at this mirror, isn't it pretty
Look at this piano, isnt it pretty
Look at this bedspread
Look at this bathroom
Look at this kitchen
Look at these placemats
Look at these towels
Look at these
Look at

Blog module #4: the healthy blog
I LOVE RUNNING!!! But I'm so fat. Let's talk about what we ate today!!!!! Today, I ate some cottage cheese, an apple, and a piece of bread (bad girl!!!) and then for dinner I ate some broccoli. This morning I worked out with my trainer and ran 10 miles!!! My toenails are starting to fall off!!! And work is boring and hard. But when I'm stressed I just exercise and DO I LOOK OK IN THIS MIRROR PIC? I'M IN MY RUNNING OUTFIT!
ps...excuse the poor picture quality, it was taken with my iPhone 4.

Blog module #5: the dude blog
Sup, guys. Here's how to hit on the ladies. Guess how much I drank this weekend. One time I shit my pants and it was so funny, and I'm ballsy because I'm writing about it in public. I'm a lawyer/in law school/have a really bro job, but at heart I'm a writer. Look at this picture I took. Aren't I artsy and angsty? I know it makes you want to sleep with me.

Satisfaction guaranteed!!!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sometimes, when watching TV, I think about weird things

I'm on a serious Mad Men kick right now. Like, serious serious. A la Harry Potter and Mormon Blogs. Can't stop...won't stop. I started watching this show when it was in it's second season and subsequently bought the first season on itunes. Needless to say, the habit has continued. I'm so obsessed. I do love TV. I was a huge fan of the OC back in the day, watched The Practice (a way-too-old-for-me legal show that took place in Boston) every.single.night. (it was in syndication). The summer I was fifteen, I watched two episodes of Dawson's Creek every morning (it was also in syndication), followed by the episode of ER that directly followed. I love Jersey Shore. God help me if there's a marathon of 16 and Pregnant or its evil spawn (I'm so punny) Teen Mom.

But sometimes I wonder things.

Like, when a woman takes of her high heels with a guy present: "don't her feet stink? how can he still be turned on?" or maybe I'm the only girl on the planet with smelly feet after work. And along those same lines, when people kiss passionately (especially in the morning, or directly after eating): "what if your breath stinks?"(Didn't you know that guys are lining up outside my apartment waiting for me? Stinky foot bad breath girl.)

Maybe I'm a cynic and, while I watch these shows, simply don't buy into them. I can't tell you how many times in a lawyer show the argument the lawyer is making would be totally inadmissable, heresay, badgering the witness, and all sorts of other courtroom fraud. "Objection" in a real courtroom is said so often that it fails to be a point of interest, but in TV shows its a spectacle: YOUR HONOR, OBJECTION!!! is just not how it's done in real life. And don't even get me started on all of the horrific accidents that happen on medical shows like Grey's Anatomy. It is so statistically rare that of the 5 surgical interns all working together, one would "drown" and live, another would get stage 4 OMGZZZ YER GONNA DIE cancer and live, and then another would get hit by a bus and die. In real life, they probably all would have died, and then the hospital would be deemed cursed because so many of their doctors are killed in freak accidents.

But I also wonder other thing like: how is it, Don Draper, that we've seen you drink like 7 scotches, four martinis, and smoke three packs of luckies and you can STILL drive home and/or get it up?

Betty looks like she smells like a dozen really expensive roses, and everyone sure acts like she does, but how does she NOT smell like a stubbed out ciggie butt?

This post has been pointless.
Its accidentally been a lot about smelly stuff. And my obsession with television.
What? not much is happening in my life right now.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

a little "me" time

A few weeks ago, my best friend from college moved to New York. She didn't have a bed, so she couch surfed, sharing beds with friends, relegated to sleeping on futons. By the end of the week, she was exhausted. "Ya frustrated?" A friend of ours said to her. "Need a little me time?" He was jesting at her, but the answer was yes. Yes, yes. I need a little me time. Everyone needs a little me time.

  When I was a little girl, my mom would put me in my room for an hour every afternoon. After she put my brother and sister down for naps, she would lead me upstairs to my little room with flowered wallpaper. We would whisper as she would set me up with a few dolls, a favorite book, make sure blankie was there in case I got lonely. Then she would close the door softly and I had a whole hour to myself, to do whatever I pleased. I loved my quiet time. I like to think it fostered my active imagination. I would spend the hour looking out the window, playing little games with myself, reading my books, brushing my dolls' hair. I was too old for naptime, but quiet time was a ritual for quite a few years.

This was important for my mom, too, because she got a little time to chill out. I still love to go in my bedroom, shut the door, and have it be very quiet. No music, no television. Sometimes I read a book or a magazine. Sometimes I just try to quiet my mind for a bit. I don't like being alone all the time, but trust me, if you just spend a little while every day unattached to anyone, simply reading or being quiet for a bit, you'll be happy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

my phone is smarter than your phone

miley...you are soooo cooool.
Just kidding. It really isn't. My phone can basically make phone calls and send text messages. But, honestly, I could care less. Yes, all of my friends (I mean it...seriously) have smart phones. You know, Blackberries, Iphones, Androids, the like. Everyone on the subway has them. Everyone in the office has them.

Not I. My cellphone, which was cool probably three years ago, has a touchscreen that is a bit touch-and-go. As in, it will quit working. As in, no text messages, and phone calls only through voice activation, which I think is a pretty smart invention. Side note: some of my friends are stored as funnily embarrassing names in my phone, such as "God" and "Jesus". It's not so fun to make calls in public using the voice activation for names like that.

Ok, so I'll admit that sometimes I'm a little jealous. Smart phones are pretty. They have cool backgrounds and you always have access to your facebook. They have fun ringtones and take digital-camera-worthy photographs and you can upload your pictures right to your facebook, twitter, blogger...etc. You can look at a map and see where you are. You can play games. You can read your email, or the weather, or the New York Times, and you could probably download porn (but who's asking?). Awesome awesome awesomenessssssss.

But I think that might be part of the problem with smartphones: you can do EVERYTHING on them. Is that what our society is becoming? Our cellphones are extensions of ourselves enough already. Everyone can call each other at any minute of the day, and then be pissed off when the other person doesn't pick up, becauseyou KNOW they have a cellphone that is with them at all times. I get to the point that I'm nervous to leave my cellphone at home, because that's the time when something will be bound to happen, simply due to Murphy's Law. But do we really need all of the extras? Do we really need a porthole to the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the rest of our lives? Not to sound like a neo-hippie, but can't we just be present in the present moment, with the present people?

Nothing drives me more crazy than going trying to spend time with people only to have them be texting/bbming/reading articles on their effing Blackberries the entire time. STOP IT. I'M RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU. For the love of all that is holy, LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING! When I was waiting tables, I can't even tell you how many times I would see parents out with their kids for dinner, only to have both parents on blackberries. Is this what we have? Together, separate lives? That's what we've come to? Do we all have to constantly be having 10 conversations while simultaneously reading blogs (but if you are, it's mine, right?), tweeting your location, retweeting the latest Conan O'Brien post and uploading a picture of your cheeseburger to facebook? COME ON.

I'll admit it, I'm bad with my phone. I forget to text back. I won't look at the damn thing for 12 hour stretches. I'll accidentally leave it on silent for a whole day and then wonder why no one has called me. Oh well; I think I'll keep my phone. I already sit in front of a computer for 9 hours a day. Why the hell do I need a second one in my pocket? I'll find my own way around, thank you very much.

That said, you'd better text me back!

p.s. I hope that some of you are reading this post from a smartphone.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New York Minutes: the imagined reality

New York City is a place that captures the minds (though not always the hearts) of ordinary folks all over the country. People are infatuated with the romance of it all: the lights, the taxis, the alcohol, the powerful and the power-hungry. The reality of it is, however, is that the New York many people are so in love with is one they have never been to, and nor should they ever hope to visit. The New York the population at large loves is the one in the movies and played out on small screens. It is romanticized, made to look lovely, and popularized by stereotype.

I'll pick a little example that saddens me to bring up. My beloved Sex and the City is so horrible innaccurate it makes me want to cry. Sex and the City is the reason an entire generation of girls fell in love with New York. Oh, girls. We were so misguided. But living here has really made me watch my favorite show with a more critical eye. For instance, how the hell is Carrie Bradshaw not destitute? Money is simply no object for these women. Let me tell you, people, you CANNOT make a living off of writing one little column in a newspaper and gallivanting all around Manhattan. You would starve to death and then your parents would be forced to pay off your 10 maxed out credit cards and all of your delinquent cable bills and your bounced rent checks. Or you would have to be a high end call girl. Carrie takes cabs everywhere. She's seen in the swankiest bars with the wealthiest of Manhattan socialites. Let me tell you this: if you are in your mid twenties, supporting yourself, that is, paying your rent, working full time, paying ALL of your bills, and still grocery shopping, you ARE NOT taking cabs everywhere in this city. You just aren't. There is only one scene EVER in the entire series that shows Carrie (or anyone, for that matter) deigning to enter a subway station. And as for brushing shoulders with the "elite", maybe that comes from her longevity in the City, but the only time I ever brush shoulders with anyone that makes over 75k is on the subway. And guys, they're all wearing wedding bands (or they're gay...I can tell by the footwear...honest).

Anyway, my thoughts are a little all over the place on this one. But my whole point is that storylines and nice lighting and soundtracks make New York seem so much nicer than it really is. You never think about how big it really is until someone talking about how their friend so and so lives in Brooklyn or Queens and how you know you would never see them because all five boroughs are such different worlds. Hell, even different neighborhoods might as well be hours apart. Maybe the most annoying thing about Hollywood, etc.'s depcitions of New York is that all the characters have great jobs, they wear the nicest clothes, and always went to an Ivy League school.

Let me tell you about the real New York: it's a struggle. Nobody has a job they like. You're always a paycheck away from poverty. There are holes in the soles of your boots because you would rather eat this week than buy another pair. But you're getting by and it feels nice to pay for the roof over your head, to leave work and pop on your favorite tunes and look up at the lights of Times Square and say: Wow, I really, honest to goodness live here. The real New York isn't about living in a movie. It's about real living. The real New York has an intensity and energy that can never be depicted through the careful, trained eye of a camera. New York is gritty, New York is grey, New York is a windstorm. It glows red red red and it's radioactive. You hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait, your heart pounds, your palms sweat. But to be in the percieved center, caught in the honking and the noise, to be with friends you love in the middle of, well, everything, is better than almost anything I've ever done.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

hey, it's ok, valentine's day edition

Because somewhere deep inside that pink-and-red outfit of yours, you hate Valentine's Day too.

Hey, it's ok...

...to tell the girl in the cubicle next to yours that the two dozen long stemmed roses her Wall street boyfriend sent her will be dead by next week.

...to wear black head to toe. And when someone asks you why, you tell them "it's black like my soul."

...to feel a little slighted that your old boyfriend all but ignored you when you saw him at a party in your hometown last weekend. But, whatever. Doesn't he realize how much better your life is than his? Wait...

...that your valentine's day plans consist of drinking a whole bottle of wine by yourself while eating the chocolates your mom sent, watching "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and wondering why you didn't erase all of your past boyfriends.

...to want to roll your eyes when all of your attached friends tell you how much harder it is to be in a relationship than it is to be single.

...to be thankful that your friends care enough to console you, any way they know how.

...that you get tears in your eyes over the card your dad sent you in the mail.

...that your dad is your only valentine.

...that, when it comes down to it, maybe you would rather be single anyway.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

why I don't date

I read a bunch of blogs that girls write about their various relationships--dating, one night stands, flash-in-the-pan boyfriends, longtime boyfriends, and right on up to the mommy blogs with husbands galore. I, on the other hand, am that single girl. You know, perpetually so, never even has "a guy I'm kind of seeing and like to go home with on weekends." I mean, whatever, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I like having my bed to myself. What? I'm a mattress hog. Seriously.

I did get to thinking the other day, though, about how I became this way. I did have a serious boyfriend back in the day (in high school), but the thought of it now seems so silly and immaterial I could laugh. But back then, I was the other girl. The one with the boyfriend. Funny thing is, as much as I would like to be in a relationship, or be in love, I can't even imagine what that might be like anymore. Really. What's it like to be in love? My high school boyfriend and I would talk on the phone for hours, especially when I went away to college (he stayed home). It baffles me now. What did we TALK about? How was it possible I found anyone that interesting, or anyone found me that interesting? Anyway, it didn't really matter. We broke up and then three weeks later he was in love again...with someone else. AIN'T LOVE GRAND. It's different now, I'm bored by everyone so much faster, it takes way more to have those obsessive feelings that were so commonplace as a teenager. In fact, there are very few men I meet that I could actually see myself with.

Despite this, I've come to find that there are a few distinct groups of men that I'm attracted to (i.e. find interesting enough):

1. Out-of-my-league guy: you know the one. Sexy. Tall. Downright dreamy. On top of that, he's super sweet, loves his momma, has a high paying job, and is SOMEHOW, for some unfathomable reason, SINGLE. That's right, baby, this guy is so good that he's really sticking out for the one. Oh, Mr. Out-of-my-league, you've been waiting for me all along haven't you? And that's where you get snagged. He's out of your league for a reason. He's waiting for the girl that's just like him: sweet, pearl-wearing, marathon running, doesn't fart or burp, calls her father daddy, and probably works at a bank or some other cash cow job. She's got sweet little features, will fit so nicely next to him. Too late, you've already put him on a pedestal, picture yourself moving around the country for him, having a mess of kids and growing old. It takes awhile to realize he'll never be interested in you.

2. Out-of-town guy: you know the one. Really cool and funky, maybe has an ear pierced or dreadlocks (which might be bad on someone else, but so good on him). He's world conscious, wants to see everything, has got a little wanderlust. He's got a great body and a lovely pair of eyes to match. You don't really notice his appeal at first, but it grows on you, and then one day it hits you in the face: he is gorgeous and you would do anything to be with him. Maybe he's a college friend, or a guy you've made friends with over your summer job. No matter, that wanderlust will totally get in the way. Next thing you know, he's moved to Texas. Or California. Or Australia. Or Patagonia. It doesn't matter where, but it never includes you. You would be together but, oh the distance. Poo.

3. You're-really-cool-but-I-have-a-girlfriend guy: you know the one. You get along great. You joke and laugh. He thinks you're a "cool girl". You could talk to him over cereal in the cafeteria for hours, staring into his dark brown eyes. Your heart beats faster when he comes into the room. And then his girlfriend walks in behind him. You wonder: is he flirting with me, or just being nice? If he didn't have this girlfriend, would he be interested in me? Is he interested in me already, but can't do anything, because of his girlfriend? The answer, you eventually learn, is always no. If he didn't want to be with his girlfriend, and wanted to be with you, he would do it already. He is just being nice, and if you take it the wrong way, it gives him the perfect opportunity to take advantage. While not all guys will, some will, and it never ends nicely for anyone. Especially if you're the slut he cheats with.

Maybe someday I'll find someone worth the trouble, someone who will stay interested in me (because, let's face it, I have to be found interesting, too). There's a lid for every pot. I hope.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This post is named after a photo album my photographing friend Carrie keeps adding to on facebook. Not only do I love her photos, but I also just love that word. L'hiver. Mmmm. It makes me want to shiver with delight. Of course, it means "the winter" in French, but its so much prettier. I think about skating on a frozen pond at dusk, pink cheeks, mitted hands, knitted scarf. It makes me think of "The Mitten"--that illustrated story by Jan Brett that I loved as a kid. You know the one, all the animals pile into that grandma-made mitten to get warm.

Anyway, I was thinking today about how the winter is such an easy time to feel blue. It's gloomy, dark early, cold. The holidays are over, and there's still a long way until spring. You're pasty and maybe even somewhat doughy around the middle. The clothing starts to get boring, especially when all the stores have put out their spring lines--clothes we won't be able to wear for months. All you want is the warmth of the sun on a tropical island and a sunburn (even if it hurts) and your blond hair to come back and a cute boy to look at.

But something's always fascinated me about the deep seasons like this, the mid points of Winter and Summer. In the coldest depths of the Winter, it's unimaginable that you'll ever feel warm again; be outside without the armor of a heavy coat, boots, gloves, let alone wear a bathing suit and flip flops. And during the most oppressive heat wave of the summer, it's equally unthinkable that you would ever put on a coat. Even long sleeves are offensive. I could be a pessimist and talk about the fact that the human race is never satisfied: we're always searching for relieve, and once we get it, we want to swing the other way.

Mostly what I do in February is hunker down. It's a period of reflection where I often discover new-to-me music I fall in love with. It's a good time to be alone with your thoughts. It's a good time to write poetry and other stupid shit I like that (which I like to do). If you can, get out of the city. Go to the mountains and listen to the silence, or even the ocean, which is steely gray and hauntingly halcyonic this time of year. For some reason, the cold frees the mind, sharpens everything. Brings things into focus.

Some great wintertime albums to get into:

Ray LaMontagne: Gossip in the Grain (highlight: Winter Birds)

Cat Power: Moon Pix (highlight: Colors and the Kids)

Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (highlight: Skinny Love)

Beth Orton: The Other Side of Daybreak (highlight: Daybreaker)

Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Master and Everyone (highlight: The Way)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

a day in the life

this is what it's like to be single on a Sunday in NYC.

wake at 2pm with a mouth feeling like you ate sawdust thanks to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed last night.

realize you went through thirty dollars taking cabs around the city, and then remember you almost threw up in the cab on your way home, and then stiffed the cabbie because you only had a ten left.

stumble through the piles of clothes, etc, on your bedroom floor on the way to the bathroom, and wonder idly how in God's name your room gets so messy.

pile all your clothes from the floor onto your bed in hopes that you'll soon have the energy to put them away.

eat cold spagetti from a tupperware while sitting on the pile of clothes on top of your unmade bed while facebook stalking.

watch Mean Girls while huddled in a blanket still wearing only underwear and a t-shirt.

think about making dinner.

think about going to the grocery store.

think about all your bills.

sit on top of all the clothes on your bed again and try to think of something to blog about.

try to knit. get frustrated. stop trying.

think about going to bed.