Thursday, April 30, 2009
Taking the subway to JFK – Taking the subway to JFK is the best feeling in the world. Oh, you want me to pay $60 for a cab ride to JFK to catch my JetBlue flight that only cost $52? GO FUCK YOURSELF. I don’t know who thought it would OK to charge such a ridiculously exorbitant amount to get to the airport, but it’s rude. So I catch the E train and I ride it long and I ride it hard (that’s what she said) and I switch over to the AirTrain at Jamaica Station and I pay a total of $7 for this ride. And it doesn’t even take that long. Maybe it’s the Jew in me, but I am more than willing to add 20 minutes to my trip in order to save $53. Saving money is a high and I am addicted to it. The Recession is my playground. But sometimes I get a tinge of guilt because am I really sticking it to the man by doing this? It’s more like sticking it to the foreign cab driver that may or may not have been a doctor, judge or priest in his country of origin. Oh well, welcome to America.
Sample Sale / Regular Sales – Oh hey J.Crew, you want to charge me $60 for a pair of shorts that go on sale on your website a week later for $30? Thanks but no thanks. Paying full price for clothes is for amateurs. ESPECIALLY at my favorite place in the world, J.Crew. Obviously if we’re talking about F21 or H&M, yes, full price at those places is the equivalent to a sale somewhere else and “sale” at those places is like the dirtiest grossest discarded clothes ever. But at places like Saks, Bloomingdales, J.Crew and wherever else people shop, full price is sooooooooo over priced that I scoff at every price tag and point and laugh at the people who pay full price. Full price is ONLY acceptable if you fall head-over-heels in love with something – like boots you are going to wear EVERY DAY for the rest of your life, like that kind of purchase. Sample sales are also as good as heroin in my book. I will go hog-wild in a sample sale. Picking up EVERY SINGLE piece of clothing that I find in my size and trying it on and possibly even buying it even though I don’t like it but it’s just SOOOO cheap, how could I not?!?
Stealing Splenda/Ketchup – I’m not going to lie, I do this all the time, I especially love places that make it easier for me to do this. A prime example being Dunkin Donuts, even though I don’t really want to steal from them, because they do God’s work. But they are a massive chain and they probably have more money than I do, so when I take a handful of Splenda and a handful of ketchup and throw it in my purse, just go with it. The best feeling ever is being in a situation where you desperately need ketchup and being able to say “Oh, I think I might have some in my bag…” And then actually having ketchup packets in your bag… Ok, this only happened to me once and it was at the Kip’s Bay movie theater the first and only time I’ve ever gotten French fries there when my roommate and I went to see “P.S. I Love You”. It was a trip to the movies will (and does) live in infamy. Also, where Splenda is concerned, if your product is going to give me cancer, I’m not going to pay for it. I’m still going to use it, but it’s going to be free. K thanks.
Not paying for postage – My roommate’s company does not let this fly. She used to try to send our bills in through her work and they started sending them back to her. This is an anomaly, but this is something I am able to do because I work at a small company, aka in an apartment with a man, instead of for a conglomerate. But I stick our bills in the postage meter here and send them along with the rest of the work-related bills I send out. It’s great. This instance is more like sticking it to "small business" which is like the opposite of sticking it to the man. Oops.
Bringing a flask – I know. I know. This is so dirty and cheap and gross and something that makes me think of people from Long Island/New Jersey. And I’ve only done it a few times, and it wasn’t even to save money, honestly, it was to avoid waiting in a horde or drunk annoying people in order to get a drink. Why should the bartender decide when I get to drink? I’ll refill my drink when I want and where I want (and by “where I want” I mean under a table so no one sees). The fact that you’re screwing over the bar, which is most definitely over charging you for watered down drinks, is really just a plus in this scenario.
20% off coupons for Bed, Bath and Beyond - If you’re buying anything that costs more than $20 from Bed, Bath and Beyond you HAVE to use the 20% off coupon. I think both my grandma and my mom have drawers full of these things. They really come in handy when you’re going for a pricier item. And they say they expire… but they don’t.
First Aid Cabinet – At my old job we had a LOADED first aid cabinet. I’m talking eye drops, pepto, band aids, q-tips, advil, cough drops. You name it, we had it. I didn’t buy band-aids for a year. It was awesome.
This post ended up being kind of weird. Oh well, they can’t all be winners.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I'm sorry. I just don't think I gave The Hills as much attention as it deserves in my post the other week. Maybe I should start doing a weekly review of The Hills because I really could talk about it all day long. Without passing Go or collecting $200. But I would prefer collecting $200. Thanks. AND YOU MUST BE THE MONOPOLY GUYYYYY. I have tourette's, esp when I type. Don't worry about it, it's fine.
So on The Hills episode this Monday, if only I had written this in a more timely manner so that I could have posted a nice "day-after" review. But no. Lets start this off by saying I just chugged a beer because I have to work until 10 tonight so I can answer phones for a radio show called "Talking Metal", interviews and music that are all strictly heavy metal... The phone calls are all pre-planned. And it's one phone. One line, on one phone. AWESOME. This is totally the same setup as z100 and Hot 97. But they did give me free pizza and beer. So I guess they are forgiven. If someone brutally murdered my family and friends and then bought me pizza and beer I'd probably forgive them. And I don't even like beer.
And I'm basically getting paid to eat pizza, drink beer, blog, listen to heavy metal (that's a con, but whatever) and answer the phone approximately 5 times over a 3-hour period. Maybe I'm living the dream. Maybe this is it!. If I was high and in my bed AND watching my DVR while doing all of this it really would be living the dream. So close, yet so far.
But back to the most genius show on television. The Hills. This week Spencer's flesh colored beard was in full force. If Spencer changed the style of his flesh colored mustache (pronounced moo-stash and in a French accent, of course) to a handle-bar mustache I might have to switch from hating him to liking him. But a Hitler-esq toothbrush mustache would be the most appropriate for everything Spencer Pratt stands for. Soooooooo, Spencer met and hung out with Heidi's ex-boyfriend, Colby, who was visiting LA with his girlfriend and is a bible thumper. I understand that Spencer, a 24 year old in LA with no job who drives a BMW has never met such religious freaks. As someone who went to school in the capital of the confederacy I have definitely met and known people who are highly religious, especially in comparison to how people rock it in the blue states.
Spencer was being his usual douchey self, and instead of being really interested and intrigued at how Colby and his girlfriend live their lives (separate hotel rooms), he was seriously appalled. I mean, he could have been ruder about it, but it was still pretty awkward, as all of Spencer-Pratt-to-actual-human interactions are. Making comments left and right about how he doesn't understand how they could wait until marriage until they have sex. The fact that Spencer Pratt has ever had sex in his life is really a testament to how pathetic the human race is. There are zero redeeming qualities to Spencer Pratt. Zee-RO. It would be one thing if he was an attractive douche. But he is not.
The big news on this week's episode is that Brody and Audrina hooked up. THIS. IS. HUGE. But The Hills, aka Adam Divello, managed to pull this one off in like the most awkward way possible. I'm sorry, but in real life if you hook up with Brody Jenner you: A. Talk about it non-stop for the rest of your life 2. Never leave his bed and C. Fake a pregnancy and make him marry you. DUH. But the post-Brody hookup was SOOOOO awkward to talk about in the girl's hotel room in Hawaii. Audrina was like "yeah, I slept in Brody's room" awkward glance here, awkward glance there, staring into space, weird mouth movement, and scene. LIke... no. The first question is "Did you have sex?" and the answer is obviously YES, so I guess it is understandable that that one wasn't asked. But come on. I need details. Dear Audrina, How big is Brody's penis? Love, Brady. That isn't even the one question I would ask if given the chance, but it seems the most appropriate. But it is my theory that no one ever outright talks about hookups because these hookups don’t actually ever happen…. Because the show is downright fake.
Furthermore, who crashes boy's weekend? That is inexcusable unless you bring girls with you who with fuck every boy on boy's weekend, no questions asked. But the only one who got laid was Brody, and that's pretty much a given for everywhere Brody goes, so nothing new there. But when Lauren wore her jean shorts and flannel shirt as she arrived in Hawaii to crash the party I screamed, "I WANT TO BE HER!" like 7 times. I'm sorry, but other than her wet-blanket personality, her bizzarely tan upper-lip/mustache area, her awful flop of a clothing line and the fact that she's famous because of a reality TV show, Lauren Conrad is my idol.
But WHAT is up with Lauren and Brody? Like when they were hooking up we never really knew if they were hooking up or not. And was she mad or annoyed at Audrina? And when Lauren and Brody go out to dinner together, does Brody pay? Or does MTV pay? These are the questions that keep me up at night.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I don't know why I'm like this about certain things, but sometimes I have an annoying/unstoppable amount of brand loyalty, somewhat similar to abused-wife syndrome.
When I was an intern at MSNBC I hated all other news stations. I didn't even like watching news TV in general, but while I was there I thought it was the best thing around. I thought Fox was too conservative (even though I didn't watch it), CNN was too liberal (even though I didn't watch it), and MSNBC was right in the middle- neutral and perfect.
We even filmed a promo while I was there, which I don't think ever made it to air because it was actually the stupidest idea EVER, that had like someone installing a new TV, tuning in to Fox News and having the TV tilt to the right, changing the channel to CNN and having the TV tilt to the left, and then tune into MSNBC and the TV would settle in the middle. STUPID. My fellow interns and I read this script with bewilderment as we helped to make flight and catering arrangements for the HEAD OF OUR DEPARTMENT to fly to LA to supervise the shoot. You need to go to LA to film something I could easily film with the web cam on my MacBook? Get a life.
Anyway, even after seeing genius ideas like that bite the dust, I was still blindly loyal to MSNBC, shleping my way to and fro Secaucus, New Jersey every day. But I kind of think I was brainwashed there. I had two TV's on my desk (having a job without a TV on your desk is not worth having) and one was always tuned in to MSNBC. When Mel Gibson got arrested that summer and spewed his anti-Semitic nonsense I watched (unwillingly) nonstop coverage of that incident for three days straight. It was too much to handle. But once I was done with my internship and back at school, MSNBC and all news television were forever knocked off of radar.
So the other brand that I am tirelessly loyal to is Verizon. I'm not really sure why. But I think I've had the Verizon vs. Cingular/AT&T fight more times than any other argument that has ever been had on this planet. But Verizon and I have a special relationship, and I don't cheat on my loved ones. Although, there is a new Sprint commercial for the new Sprint 4g network that made me seriously consider switching. I've never felt a feeling like that before. It was like something sparked inside me, it was exciting and new. A passion I have never known. I've managed to stifle it thus far and forget about this life-changing commercial and remember all the good times Verizon has been there for me and for those close to me.
My latest issue is with Twitter. Maybe some of you don't understand my very deep bond with Facebook, but as Grace Adler says in the series finale of Will & Grace about the bond between Jews and chicken, "It's deep and it's real". Facebook has seen me through some crazy times. Since I did not go to an Ivy League school, I had to get Facebook sometime during sophomore year, with the rest of the Facebook runner-up schools. But once I was in, there was no turning back. I can't even remember now what the old Facebook looked like.
Recently I was talking with friends about how Facebook has changed through the years and my friend Evan said, "Remember the old sign-in screen?" I can't remember what my boss asked me to do 5 seconds ago, so no, I do not remember the old sign-in screen. And that is when I came up with the million-dollar-idea (still to-be executed): A montage of Facebook lay-outs. Once I do this I am going to: A. Be a millionaire B. Go on millionaire matchmaker and 3. Be so transfixed on this montage and my own genius that I'm going to fall into a daze, staring at the montage for months on end, completely mesmerized, and like Narcissus before me, fall into my computer screen and drown.
One time when I was studying for finals, senior year of college, I obviously started procrastinating by going on Facebook. Well I started just clicking on random people that showed up and on their friends and on their friends and looking at people’s pictures. I was in a total trance. And when I finally looked up, it was 6 hours later. I wish I was kidding. I was nauseous and confused and disoriented. It’s like when people fall in love/lust and lock themselves in a bedroom together for 24 hours… but I prefer to have my love affairs with a social networking website, thanks.
But a new website has made it's way into the game, and it's called Twitter. As of this moment, I have never been to the Twitter homepage. I know what it is. I get the concept. But really? I don't read Perez or follow celebrity gossip (even though I know all of it anyway because my friend makes sure to e-mail all stories I might be interested in), I don't enjoy reading other people's statuses on Facebook (even though I do it anyway, thanks to the redesigned homepage, UGH), and lastly, this point should be an obvious one if you know me at all: DON'T CARE. If I wanted to see what other people were doing, or tell other people what I was doing, I would have signed into AIM or ichat in the last year, but I don't and I haven't. Or I would put up a Facebook status. But I never have and I never will. Or I go on Gchat to talk to the precious few (or twenty) people who are blessed enough to be in my inner-circle.
I'm actually excited to see how long I can hold out on Twitter-mania. I'm sure Tina Fey does have a very funny Twitter, as I've heard. But I guess I'll just have to get my fill of Tine Fey via SNL repeats and 30 Rock... and through our telepathic/mental bond, I know she feels it too.
Another thing that bothers me about Twitter- Why is the action of Twittering now called "Tweeting" or "Tweet" or "Tweeted"? No. Just... No. It's Twittering. Lets do some word play here…
Do - Doing
Make - Making
Shop - Shopping
Read - Reading
Fuck - Fucking
And now with proper nouns (is that even right?)…
E-mail - Emailing
G-chat - Gchatting
IM - IMing
Google - Googling
Facebook - Facebooking
TWITTER - TWITTERING
Get off your high horse, Twitter. Just because you're the website du jour doesn't mean you're going to last forever. Something new will come and wipe you out in due time, you just wait.
But I'll probably end up joining Twitter like tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The hottest water bottle style around this season, (and last season) for sure is Sigg bottles. At first I didn’t get this trend. I’m all for being green, but these canteens kind of weirded me out for a while. I even wanted my parents to trade cars with me because they had a hybrid and I wanted to be green. And then when they offered to get me a new car I obviously took full advantage of it and got my dream car instead of a hybrid. I’m sure you feel REALLY bad for me right now. HA. If it’s any consolation, which I’m sure it’s not, I only had my “dream car” for a year AND I still regret not getting a Prius. Sometimes I am tempted to move to a city where cars or necessary (or at the very least, acceptable/affordable) so that I can get a Prius and right my wrong. Walk backwards in my carbon footprints, if you will.
Anyway, the reviews are in and I have decided I looooove my Sigg water bottle. It took me a while to get one because I wanted the perfect color. This is not a decision to go about willy-nilly, the color of a water bottle that you’re going to be toting around with you EVERY day is a big one. It’s basically like a second purse- an accessory to be viewed and judged by your peers and the other random people who see you with it... And gay men. When I saw the perfect shade of blue/green one day at Whole Foods, I knew it was time for me to just got for it. And when I found out it was like $20, although annoyed, I still went for it.
My main issue with the Sigg bottle, which deterred me from re-entering the world of no-waste water packaging, is that I was convinced there would be a metallic taste involved. If you didn’t think there was a weird/distinct taste with a Nalgene bottle (no matter how many times you washed it) then I think you should get your taste buds examined. But I took a sip from my roommate’s Sigg bottle at the gym and was seriously shocked when there was no metallic taste involved. My other issue is that the mouth isn’t really big enough to fit ice cubes into. And I love me some chilled agua. There’s nothing better. But, the Sigg has some magical powers…
Yesterday was my first day using mine. I seriously think I drank, at the very least, a total of 3 liters of water while at work yesterday. That’s some serious fucking water drinking right there. The water was delicious. I’m usually fine with drinking tap water as long as it’s cold. When it warms up to somewhere between cold and room temperature it usually tastes a little icky. But yesterday my Sigg water was delicious. I couldn’t stop drinking it. I didn’t want to stop drinking it. Ever.
It’s hard for me to get used to carrying around water, which is strange because I love water and am always thirsty. But, and maybe this is a totally Kings-Highway-Elementary-School-specific thing, I was never in a class where people had water bottles on their desks. I remember walking by other classrooms and seeing every single desk having a water bottle on it.
Not like a Poland Spring water bottle, but like a water bottle from home that you brought every day, or maybe you left it there? Who knows! What a mystery! My mind is and was boggled by these classrooms (shout out to anyone who had Mrs. Cirino, because that’s the main one I remember as being water-bottle land). And apparently I either never socialized outside of the people who were in my classes OR just never asked any of my friends in those classes, but it mystifies me to this day. If you have any answers, your comments would be greatly appreciated.
But even after a day full of Sigg-loving/writing/drinking, I somehow managed to leave it in my fridge this morning and forget to bring it to work. So typical of me on so many levels. Awesome.
And finally: HAPPY EARTH DAY! What a time-appropriate/relevant post!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
And here's a side note for everyone/anyone who has ever said a bad thing about 30 Rock and/or Tina Fey - Telling me you don't like Tina Fey is like telling me you think George Bush was a good President. A. You're just wrong. B. I like you significantly less than I did the second before you said that to me, regardless of how much i liked or disliked you before. and C. Get a life and/or sense of humor.
But back to Dean Winters. The mental scavenger hunt I had to go on to find Dean Winter's name on imdb was a good time. The first thing I remembered him from when I saw him was Sex and the City. I said that to the group of people I was with, who responded with blank stares. That's like one of the worst feelings ever. Not really the worst feeling as much as just the exact opposite of the feeling of extreme joy I get when someone else knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I clarified to the group by saying, "He plays Carrie's fuck buddy in the episode he's in...?" (the "...?" denotes my voice going up at the end of the sentence and my brows raising in hope that someone is going to catch on here!) More blank stares and also one fake gasp regarding my using the word "fuck" in front of Julie's parents. Trust me, I know which parents I can swear in front of and which ones I can't. I was fine with Marty and Joan.
First I thought my poor description was the reason no one else knew who he was -- no one else had seen him walk by because they were all faced towards me to greet me as I approached them on the street and he was walking towards me, so their backs were to him (all eyes on me in the center of a ring just like a ciirrrrcus?). But after I imdb-ed Sex and the City and realized (more like re-realized, since this has happened to me at least 4 times in the history of my life) that finding a random man that was a love-interest of one of the ladies on Sex an the City is WAY harder than finding a needle in a hay stack. There are just too many. Even if you know the title of the episode, which in this case, was in fact, "The Fuck Buddy", it's not easy enough to navigate imdb on a blackberry. And getting an iphone is certainly not an option, so on went the scavenger hunt...
I switched over to the next show I recognized him from: Law and Order: SVU (it should have been 30 Rock but I was thinking in terms of older shows and I didn't even remember he has been on 30 Rock multiple times until I read it on imdb). We're not talking about Benson and Stabler here people (although everyone everywhere should ALWAYS be talking about Benson and Stabler because they're the best detective tag-team-duo EVERRRRRR) we're talking the second-rate actors who played second-rate detectives that are in older eps. (Like a poor-man's Munch and Finn- a reference for the avid SVU watchers) Dean Winters was "Detective Cassidy" on SVU in the 1999-2000 season, which I believe was the inaugural season of SVU. Obviously finding the name "Dean Winters" only confused the people I was with even more, because they still had no clue who I was talking about and putting a name to the face when the name doesn't ring a bell was just a step backwards on this journey.
I then scrolled through Dean Winter's filmography on imdb, saying "Oh my god, I'm so stupid. You guys watch 30 Rock right?" More. Blank. Stares. He's also in "P.S. I Love You" which I didn't bring up to them because I still can't really remember who he was in that movie, maybe that's because when I saw that movie in theaters I spent it curled up in a ball in my movie chair, rocking back and forth and hysterically crying. What? Don't act like you've never done it. Very therapeutic and far less expensive than a therapist. The thing about crying in a movie is that once you're done, you cant just look back and be like, oh it's just a movie. I love crying in movies because of that and always prefer crying at the fake awful events of someone else's life as opposed to the hideous ones in my own. It would be too depressing. And even though the movie people's lives aren't real, the stuff that happens in them is usually way worse than what's gone down in mine so far. But it is a good reminder to be thankful for what you have because it could be worse... WHOA. TOOOOO SERIOUS!
Back to Dean Winters. At this point I had showed Julie, her sister, her boyfriend, her mom and her dad the picture of Dean Winters on my phone and still no one knew who he was. I had given up on them and decided I needed to share this with someone who would appreciate it as much as I did A-SAP. Step 1: bbm my roommate even though at this point I'm sitting at a dinner table (I'm rude). It took her a little while, I said "Detective Cassidy from old school SVU" to which she responded "The girl?" Easy mistake, she was obviously thinking of Detective Jefferies, the black female detective who was also a second rate back-up detective in old school SVU and was only on for the first two seasons. I responded "NO! The guy!!!!!!!!" and then she knew what I was talking about.
But then Saturday, when I was taking a leisurely walk with my good friend Dickie, I said "OMG! Did I tell you who I saw last night? Detective Cassidy from old school SVU... Tina Fey's ex-boyfriend on 30 Rock..." her response: "Oh! The guy from Sex and the City?" YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So THAT'S why we're best friends??!!
Monday, April 20, 2009
While watching a very intellectually stimulating episode of “Samantha Who?” on my DVR yesterday (I never said I liked good sitcoms, just ALL sitcoms) I was reminded of the phrase “The House Always Wins”. For those of you who have not seen this Christina Applegate/Barry Watson critically acclaimed show, it’s a show about a woman who is a horrible person until she gets amnesia and becomes a good person and forgets about all the horrible things she’s done in the past.
So on last week’s episode Sam went to Vegas, where she had a flashback that she used to be a regular in this casino and had won and lost a bunch of money there but also had a romantic relationship with the owner, who also owned the company she used to work for. I started thinking about the phrase “The House Always Wins” and how I use that phrase in my day-to-day life in non-gambling-related instances. I think my main usage of it pertains to the MTA and the constant battle/struggle in my life that I like to call “The Limited vs. The Local”.
This phenomenon is somewhat similar to “The Road Less Traveled” but more applicable to ANY situation in which you have two route choices to get to a given destination. I have an uncanny ability to ALWAYS choose the one that ends up taking longer. For example, the subway platform at 57th street that I stand on to go from my day job to my night job: On one side of the track there is the Q, 57th street is the last stop for the Q so it sits there idly after it arrives and then leaves and goes straight to 42nd street, which is where I need to go. But across the way we have the local track, which houses the N-R-W, which are the local trains.
When I get to the platform, the Q is almost always sitting there with it’s doors open, and the opposite N-R-W track is empty. But an N-R-W almost always comes through while I’m waiting for the Q to leave and I almost always get up off the idle Q, and walk over to the N-R-W so that instead of sitting still I’m on a moving train, even though the moving train has one extra stop in the short ride I’m taking it.
Side note: people who take the subway one stop used to boggle my mind, actually they still do. If you use the subway to travel 10 blocks or less you BETTER be either an elderly person or have some sort of foot condition which does not allow you to walk more than a couple of blocks, because if you’re too lazy to walk 10 blocks, get a fucking life.
Anyway, my issue with taking the local N-R-W is that while the train is making it’s one stop at 49th street, I almost ALWAYS see the Q go zooming by on it’s express path to 42nd street. This makes me start sweating with anger and the probably 5 seconds I have lost on my inferior route choice. What does that 5 seconds mean in the grand scheme of things? Nothing. But what if it did. I mean, who hasn’t seen the movie “Sliding Doors” starring Gwyneth Paltrow (who, in my opinion, is long over-due for a return to the big screen… “Great Expectations” anyone? Best movie ever.)
So some days I decide, “I’m going to sit and wait on the Q for it to leave even if an N-R-W comes by on the other track”. I kid you not, about 95% of the time that I decide to do this, I am sitting on the Q train for 10 minutes while 3, count ‘em, THREE, N-R-W (probably one of each) trains come by and stop across the platform from me. And I sit there in anger, “Why, Brady, WHYYYYY” but I have already made my decision and I stick with it, no matter how much my body is shaking with rage as I sit and listen to my ipod and wear my sunglasses so no one can see me staring at them… even though my lenses aren’t dark enough to hide my eyes so they can totally see me staring that them.
I don’t know who exactly is “winning” in this scenario, or why the MTA is out to steal my precious 5 seconds, but with technology today there should definitely be a system that tells me which train will get me where faster. That’s it. It’s been decided. I’m taking this idea to that guy who wears the green suit with question marks and dollar signs and screams about patenting you invention, or whatever the hell he says, I don’t pay attention. But we’re going into business together and making millions. Done. But the fact remains, I do sit on the Q train and think as I watch the local trains come and go, “The House Always Wins”.
I also have this uncanny ability to make the wrong decision when driving, specifically, on my drive out of the city to Connecticut. There is a time-saving route that I use that cuts off of 95 and onto the Hutch for like 5 min and then cuts back over to 95, saving you the drive through Co-op City, which is sometimes/often trafficky (word I made up, go with it). When this short cut works, it is golden. But somehow, the times I decide to take it, it is also trafficky. And when this happens I am convinced that the other route is clear. But as one of my friends pointed out to me last summer, if the short cut is trafficky that probably means the long way is trafficky too. Valid point.
But. But but but, When I am the driver and I choose the trafficky route, I am always convinced that the alternative is clear and I made the wrong choice. It’s just how my life goes. And I’ve realized it, and accepted it. Or haven’t I? If I had accepted it I might make the attempt to pad my scheduled journeys with the time allotments for these holdups that I foresee, but instead, I always leave later than planned and arrive doubly later than planned because of these funnnnn detours and traffic jams. So have I learned anything? Is there anything to learn from these trials and tribulations with public transportation and public roads? You decide. Either way I choose to go, the house always wins.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Ok, so keeping with Tuesday’s theme of reality TV, I’ve been thinking a lot about The Bachelor lately. As I said on Tuesday, I only like fake scripted reality. I’m not that into competition/dating shows (excluding Project Runway, which I am convinced is going to be totally ruined by moving to California, but only time will tell). I have only seen The Bachelor a handful of times in my life. And I get it. I get the attraction to shows like that. They’re addictive. Once you know the characters you just can’t wait to see the drama and who wins and who loses and blah blah blah. I just don’t have the time in my very busy TV-watching schedule to add in shows like that. I don’t like them enough and they are not worth my time.
But lets get something straight about Reality TV and it’s stars – these people are hungry for fame. This isn’t fucking 1998 where struggling actors go on Real World because they think it’s going to help their acting career. For the most part, I’m going to say about 98% of Reality TV stars never make it outside of the realm of Reality TV. And going further, 95% of them never appear on television again. And it always comes as some big surprise on these dating shows when the main person finds out their potential love interest has been on another dating show. GASP! You’re all fame hungry fools who will do anything to get on camera.
When people bring up everything that happened on The Bachelor this year my standard response is “DON’T CARE” but since I’m writing about it now, I guess I care a little. For those of you who have been living under a rock the past few months, let me fill you in with a Spewing-Nonsense-abridged version: The Bachelor was down to his final 2 girls. He chose Melissa. He proposed to Melissa On the reunion show, he decided to dump his fiancé and choose the girl who he had previously discarded in the final elimination. Aaaaaaand scene. If you watch the show and I got something in there wrong, please feel free to correct me, because I only know any of this because someone felt it necessary to take the time to explain it to me, and every major/minor gossip/news show talked about it non-stop for about a month.
So this girl who got dumped, does anyone else realize she got what she wanted? Even my beloved Chelsea Handler went off on a tirade a few weeks ago saying “good for her” about Melissa, because apparently she has recovered from this heinous tragedy and is now going to be on Dancing With the Stars. It may not have been her master plan to be dumped on national television, but she did go on one reality show and now she is going to be on another one. This is how people make money. This is now her career. Do you people think Ryan and Trista had their wedding televised for their health? I don’t think so. ABC paid them $1 million for that shit.
There is no question that getting dumped was definitely the best plausible scenario for Melissa’s career. If she really gave a shit she’d pull a Zora (of Joe Millionaire, best dating show in the history of dating shows). Pulling a “Zora” entails being really awkward on camera because you’re not used to a camera following you around all the time and you don’t really like it and also realizing you don’t want your life to be televised. Zora and Joe Millionaire (who I lovingly refer to as Joey Mills), aka Evan Marriot, did not stay together. It was perfect. It’s not like they admitted the show was fake but they just didn’t end up liking each other. It was a bizarrely honest ending to a show that was all about lying. Whatever, it happens. They split half a million dollars at the end so it’s not like anyone walked away empty-handed. Zora went on to a life of semi-normalcy, and became the spokeswoman for NutriSystem at some point. Who knows where Evan Marriot went, probably back to the construction site the Fox producers plucked him out of in the first place. Zora and Evan were the last of their kind in the world of Reality Television.
So when someone brings up The Bachelor, which they inevitably will in the not-so-distant future, do not shed a tear over poor Melissa being dumped on TV, give that girl a mental high five for making buckets of money and extending her 15 minutes of fame to two nights a week in YOUR living room BECAUSE she got dumped on TV. It’s a trade-off, yes, but I think she’ll be OK.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I prefer the fakest of all reality TV. Because when it’s real it’s just not as funny. I need someone in there intricately setting the scenes and feeding every “character” his/her exact line. A puppet-master, if you will. And though all “reality” shows are fake, I prefer for mine to be as much like a soap-opera as possible (even though I hate soap-operas). Hence, my favorite reality show of all time is The Hills. I may or may not sing along to the entire theme song every time I watch. Every single time.
Let’s be honest. MTV basically invented the concept of Reality TV as far as I’m concerned. With the gem like the Real World (which I probably haven’t watched since the 90’s… blatant lie…) to kick off a genre of TV that has basically taken over the world. It’s like Reality TV shows are Godzilla and every other type of TV show the world has to offer are the fleeing Japanese. It’s too much for me to handle, as I’m an avid supporter of the Sitcom. Situational. Comedy. What could be better? It’s like life, but funny.
But within the macrocosm of Reality TV we have the microcosm of the Laguna Beach series. MTV really hit that jackpot with that one. Because after however many seasons of Laguna Beach were spun out to The Hills and then The City. There was also one season of Newport Harbor, which should really make a come back. And along the way we just meet an endless cast of characters that could have their own shows. And half the time there’s not even an introduction needed. A new character appears and we, as the viewers just accept them as part of the cast.
I’m excited to see what direction MTV goes once Lauren is done with The Hills. But why would Lauren ever leave The Hills. Bad career move on her part, because her life is so typecast at this point she should really just accept it before she becomes Mischa Barton (Who?? Exactly.)
So last night’s episode of The Hills just made me fall more and more in love with it. Most episodes have that effect on me.
Lets start it off with Stephanie Pratt’s interview with Kelly Cutrone (aka perhaps the most unfortunate looking person to ever walk this earth). Wow. Just… Wow. I thought I was the worst interviewee in the history of job interviews. But this was so bad that my entire body was clenched in some sort of full-body wince for the ENTIRE scene. Seriously though, on one interview I was asked what my strengths and weaknesses were and I think I just laughed and smiled and waited for the next question. The only good interview I’ve ever been on is for the job (“job”) I have now. And it’s my second “real” job since I graduated college. Don’t ask me how I got the first one, although they could have gotten either an intern or anyone with as much as a 4th grade education to do it. Oh, I guess that’s why I got it.
Anyway, the sheer heinousness and awkwardness of Stephanie’s interview scenario was just genius. Who wrote that? I wish the credits for The Hills included titles like “head writer” and horde of other names for “writers” because that is way funnier (and more truthful) than calling them all “Producers”.
Allow me to jump back to the season premiere, which contains my two favorite parts of scripted conversation:
1. When Lauren asks Lo and Steph who invited Heidi to her party. Steph replies “Lo?” and Lauren looks at her and goes “I know it wasn’t Lo, I was just like being nice.” That was priceless. But who can think of lines like that on the spot?
2. When Lauren decides to have a conversation with Steph about the fact that she invited Heidi to the party. There one point in this argument where Steph is just like begging Lauren to be friends with Heidi again, Lauren asks why Steph thought it would be a good idea to bring Heidi to her birthday party. “Why wouldn’t you just ask me to go out to dinner with her or something?” asks Lauren. Steph: “Because you would have never done that.” Lauren: “Well if I wouldn’t go out to dinner with her than don’t you think I wouldn’t want her at my birthday party either?”
The maze of circular logic Lauren (read: MTV producers) introduced here absolutely blew my mind. I was screaming “GENIUS” at the top of my lungs the second Lauren dropped that amazing line.
So back to Steph’s interview. Even after Kelly told Lauren it was by far the worst interview she’s ever been a part of Lauren continued to defend Steph and say that she thinks Steph would be a good addition to People’s Revolution. Um… Lauren… If Steph isn’t smart enough to realize letting Heidi tag along to your birthday party isn’t a good idea, you probably don’t want to take responsibility for her actions in the work place.
And yet, I’m beyond excited to see exactly how Steph is going to fuck everything up. That is why this plot line is just so great. It opens up so many doors. Because obviously Steph is going to fuck shit up. There is not a doubt in my mind. But will Lauren get fake fired when Steph fake fucks up? It’s all a journey.
When I have more time, in the near future, I’m going to devise a list of possible ways Steph is going to fuck up at People’s Revolution.
Anyway, as bad as the acting is on this show sometimes, other times it’s just great. And I really couldn’t ask for more out of a reality TV show. It’s got everything: drama, humor, girls I want to look like, guys I want to slip roofies to. The Hills is the cherry on top of a fabulous night of Monday night television (better known as CBS comedy Mondays- If you don’t watch How I Met Your Mother you should probably just stop watching TV all together, you’re not worth it).
Monday, April 13, 2009
This is the story. Of two strangers. Who took a 3-hour road trip together. Because their flight was canceled.
Hopefully someone actually caught that Real World reference. I don't even know why I made it. I haven’t watched Real World since “the slap heard round the world”. Good times.
Let's talk about how awful airlines are. First of all, I hate flying on any airline other than American Airlines or Jet Blue. I have like some legitimate reasons for why I feel this way, but mostly it's just because I’m crazy. I mean obviously Jet Blue is superior to all other airlines because it has personal TVs on every flight. I mean, what could beat that? Free alcohol? Touché. I will put all the airlines out of business when I launch my airline, Party On Air… Wasted Air? Sounds like an 90s band.
I'm a nervous flier, and for some reason I feel WAYYYYYYYYY safer on AA or JB as opposed to ohhh... I dont know... let's kick this off with my experience with Delta two weekends ago: I was flying on Delta to DC for the weekend (out of Laguardia, which I HATE with a passion and will never fly out of again) but I did it because the tickets were cheap on priceline.com... and I'm Jewish. So it was a match made in heaven... Until....
I arrive to the airport for my Friday evening flight. I like to think of myself as a seasoned traveler. I try to arrive at the last minute possible for my flights so that I don’t have to sit and wait in the airport, because I hate it there. And I have never missed a flight. True story. So I obviously printed out my boarding pass from work (because if you wait until you get to the airport to check in you should probably just stop reading this because I want nothing to do with you) and I notice there is no assigned seat on my boarding pass. I was like hm, priceline is pretty ghetto (although their William Shatner commercials are lol material), maybe they just save like the last seats for the poor people / idiots who decide to book their tickets through a third party vendor (Booking through third-party vendor is just stupid). So I let it slide. I get to the gate and to my dismay the flight isn’t boarding yet. So I take a seat and wait, get up at one point to get a $4.50 Fiji water from Starbucks, such a bargain.
So they announce boarding for my flight and I go to get on. The gate agent informs me to stand to the side with the other rejects who also don't have assigned seats. The gate agent looked like a bizarro/chonga version of Ellen Barkin but young and Latina and I couldn’t stop staring at her. I'm pretty sure she was wearing a wig. So I'm just standing infront of the gate staring into this freakshow's eyes, waiting for her to clear us for boarding. I think I asked her like 3 separate times if I could board. Maybe 4.
At one point this genius asks her co-gate agent "Yo, how do you check how many bags are on board again?" Um... isn't this something you should know!?!?!?! I mean I don’t know what I’m doing at work half the time either, but seriously, get your act together lady. Then finally, FINALLY, she looks at the 4 rejects and goes "Ok, OK, your seats have been assigned.” And as she’s printing out our seat assignments she says: “Hurry, hurry! The plane is leaving!" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I was the first person to attempt to board the plane, and now you're telling me to hurry? You have got to be out of your mind. In the world of human-to-human interaction this is just unacceptable. I was so angry at her I thought my heart was going to spontaneously combust in my chest. I’m still mad I didn’t at least say “Are you serious?” to her.
Not to mention that on the flight that left the gate before mine, this same fake/latina Ellen Barkin somehow let someone from the later flight to Wilmington board on the early flight to Wilmington. And there was all this hubbub and calling back and forth to tell this woman to get off the plane and to get her bags out of checked baggage, and then when she comes up the runway/gateway or WHATEVER it's called, Ellen Barkin looks at her and goes "You're back on the flight! Run! Run! Run!" Really? REALLY???? When I saw that happen I knew I was in for an adventure. Their infrastructure is less organized than a 5-year old’s lemonade stand business.
So the weekend goes by and Sunday rolls around. Everyone else that I’m with leaves to take the bus back to NYC and I head to the Metro to go to the airport. As I’m on the Metro I get a call from a 1-800 number. I pick it up and it’s DELTA with an automated message that my 2:10 pm flight has been delayed until 5:00pm. I get off the Metro and go to my friend’s house to hang. I would rather gauge my eyes out with a hot spoon (Slumdog-style) than sit in an airport for an extra 3 hours. So 3:20 rolls around and I’m starting to entertain the idea of taking the Metro back to the airport when Delta calls me again. I put the call on speaker-phone for my friends to listen to… and the automated voice announces the flight is departing at 4:20.
My heart drops because I had JUST been bragging about how I’ve never missed a flight and I thought it was way later than 3:20. So my friend drove me to the airport and when I get to the terminal my flight number is not on the TV screen of information… I started freaking out… until I realized I was looking at Arrivals instead of Departures. I start to calm down as I walk over to the Departures screen… where my flight is still not listed, at which point I pick my freak out right back up, aka my heart is pounding, I am sweating uncontrollably and my eyes are darting nervously around the terminal as I try to figure out my next move. I find some bootleg Delta ticket counter that says it’s for DC-Laguardia shuttle only (I’m flying into JFK) and wait in line and ask them what gate I’m at. Luckily the flight has not left yet and is at Gate 22. Phew.
My heart continues to pound and I continue to drip sweat as I wait in line behind 3 people, for an inordinately long amount of time, to go through security. I speed walk to the mysterious Gate 22, which is, of course, the last gate in the terminal, and when I get there the screen has no information about my flight. The gate agent informs me that my flight will now be leaving at 4:50. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
At that point my body was actually exhausted from the amount of panicking I had just done and from the amount of water I had lost from sweating. So I decided taking a Xanax was my best option. It was. I calmed down, boarded my flight (they gave me a seat this time and I was literally the first person on the plane, it was a great feeling… but don’t worry, it didn’t last too long.) and settled in for a nap.
The one thing I enjoyed about this flight was how informed the pilot kept us. I like to have as much information as possible so I can decide for myself if the plane is about to plummet out of the sky and we’re all going to die. But the pilot would say “we’ll be off the ground in 3 minutes” and then get back on a minute later and say, “New York has just advised us to stay on the ground for another 30 minutes”. It was really bizarre. But I hate when pilots lie, and they lie a lot. Why are you lying? Just hit me with the truth. I can’t yell at you or physically assault you or anything, the cockpit (haha, cockpit) door is locked for your safety.
We take off around 5:30, fly for 20 minutes, and then the pilot announces we’ve entered a holding pattern that is supposed to last for 30 minutes because New York now has zero visibility. And he goes “But I doubt it will last the whole 30 minutes”. An hour later he tells us we need to fly up to Albany to refuel. We land in Albany and he comes out of the cockpit to address a plane of about 42 empty seats and 8 passengers. He apologizes for everything that’s happened (it was so nice of him, I wanted to hug him) and says we should take our stuff off of the plane and stretch our legs.
As soon as we get into the terminal he announces that air traffic control has cancelled our flight into New York. Awesome. It’s 7:30 on Sunday night and I am now in Albany. This is when I hear one of my co-passengers say that he has to be at work tomorrow morning and he’s going to rent a car. I don’t know what got into me, because this is sooooooo not me, but I went up to him and asked, “Would you mind if I came along?” I just didn’t have the energy or the patience to deal with arranging a hotel and waking up at 5am for a 6am flight and feeling like shit all day. And I’m a night person, so I figured might as well get the traveling out of the way ASAP. We stop for a bite to eat at Mo’s (Welcome to Mo’s!!!!!) and I got a Margarita. I thought maybe getting some tequila flowing through my veins would calm me down. It kind of did, until we start driving through a torrential downpour and the windshield wipers on the passenger’s side barely worked. So instead of being able to watch where we’re going and attempt to monitor the driving abilities of this stranger, I stared out a blurry window that I could see nothing out of.
At first we didn’t talk that much. Then as the rain eased up we had some conversations. He’s married with 4 kids, all in their 20s and he lives on Long Island and is a Radiologist. Definitely a Jew. And his nephew wrote the book that Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was based on. I had just seen that movie the week before so I was really excited about that little tid-bit of information. For the final 45 minutes we were mostly silent because we were both dying to get out of the car. Don’t worry, there’s a final twist in this story that makes my journey ever more unbearable. From the beginning my “driver” informed me he wasn’t driving into the city, he was driving to JFK because that’s where his car is parked. That’s fine, I’ll just take a cab. But as we approach the airport he says “I still have to drive another hour home, so I’m just going to drive straight to the Hertz lot”. So you’re going to leave a girl in her 20s at the Hertz rental car lot at midnight on a Sunday? How exactly would you feel, sir, if someone did that to your daughter? I imagine not too good.
So I got on the AirTrain, which is seriously my favorite mode of transportation, and take it on over to Terminal 1. Well it’s almost 12:30 and Terminal 1 is almost empty, so there are no cabs there. Instead of going back to the AirTrain I decide to just walk to Terminals 2/3. There isn’t exactly a sidewalk to do that on. So I was walking through the street and at one point had to run so I wasn’t hit by an available cab, which wouldn’t let me get in because I had to go wait in the taxi line. And so we reach the end of my weekend, a $55 cab ride that got me home at 1pm. From DC. To New York.
Wait for it…
I had to fly out of Laguardia on US Air to Richmond a mere 4 days later. Thank God I was at least with friends this time. Our flight got cancelled. I decide our only viable option is to rent a car. We drive to Richmond on Thursday night from Laguardia and arrived at 4:30am Friday. THE END!
Friday, April 10, 2009
For those of you who DON’T know the story of Passover (you should be ashamed of yourself) I’m about to give you the Spewing-Nonsense version of it. The Jews were enslaved by the Egyptians. The Pharaoh was mean. Someone found baby Moses in a basket in the river. God decided to punish the Egyptians with the plagues. The Jews escaped and ran away through the desert and had to eat matzo because there wasn’t time for the bread to rise. The end! That is how long my ideal Seder lasts. Plus a few fun songs and lots of wine.
Last night we had a Seder at my cousin’s apartment on the Upper West Side. I warned them that I would arrive late because I couldn’t leave work early. And also told them not to wait for me for anything. Which ended up being beyond perfect because I walked in the door just as the Jew-speak was ending and the matzo-ball soup was being served.
So after a couple of glasses of wine I obviously started screaming across the table (if you’ve ever had a meal with me you already know I will scream across the dinner table even if there isn’t any wine involved… but as the amount of wine intake increases, so does the VOLUME OF MY VOICE). And because I am not religious at all, and we had some non-Jews at the dinner table, I decided to start being semi-blasphemous.
And let me kick off my blaspheming by saying I am currently eating an English muffin- The first of many not Kosher for Passover foods I will be consuming this week. But I found these seasonal Maple French Toast flavored English Muffins, so I’m sorry Jews who were enslaved thousands of years ago, but as you can see, my hands are tied here.
We were talking about who was keeping Kosher for Passover (which means basically eating matzo in place of bread for the next week) and I decided to respond with “I’ll go home and eat pizza after this meal. That is how Kosher for Passover I am.” For the record, I did not go home and eat pizza as I was bursting at the seams with brisket and chicken and stuffing. Mmmmmm. But that comment was just to let everyone at the table know where I stand with being observant, just in case there was any confusion.
Here is my issue with people who keep kosher for Passover: I understand that it’s a nod to our ancestors and what they went through thousands of years ago. But really. Taking hours to cook these intricate dishes without yeast so that they are “Kosher for Passover” is totally hypocritical to the original concept of keeping Kosher for Passover. Matzo only exists because of a time constraint.
And if there was a ripple in the time-space continuum and our ancestors saw us with our paved roads and our airplanes and our blue-tooth head sets and saw that for 8 days we were cutting out bread to acknowledge them don’t you think they would laugh? Don't you think they would say, "Take the Matzo you bought for Passover and give it to someone who is can't afford a meal." Or, "Take the energy you're using to cut out bread (gasp!) and help someone in need." I'm not saying I'm doing either of those things, but I'm also not pretending like I give two shits about staying Kosher for Passover. It’s just sooooooo insignificant. And also, don’t complain to me about how you have to eat matzo all week. Because A. it’s your choice and B. if you’ve never taken the Atkins diet out for a test drive this is your chance. Screw Matzo. Just cut out carbs for a week. Big whoop.
Side note: It has always bothered me that matzo isn’t spelled matzah. I’m all about being phonetic when translating.
Back to Seder: After my grandma spilled a glass of wine and my aunt spilled two, the red wine supply was running pretty low. I’m not sure if we actually ran out or not – it’s one of those things that no one wanted to bring up because everyone was pretty drunk and no one was sure how inappropriate it would be if we kept asking for more bottles. I guess it’s proper etiquette to let the hosts decide how much wine should be served. So part of the Seder involves pouring a glass of wine for the phantom ghost of Elijah (pronounced el-lee-ah-hoo in Hebrew). I don’t know what the significance of this is at all. I just know that you close your eyes and sing a song and then Elijah is supposed to come and drink some of the wine out of his special silver goblet. As I’m typing this I’m realizing more than ever how bizarre religion is.
With the red wine supply running low and no one really caring about following the proper Seder directions, I decided to dump the wine from Elijah’s silver goblet wine glass into my grandma’s empty wine glass (I think this was directly after she spilled her wine, but the series of events are blurred in my wined-up memory). This managed to get a nice chuckle out of most of the table, except for my Great Aunt Charlotte, whose daughter is orthodox, and insisted we pour the wine back into Elijah’s goblet as I was screaming “She needs it more than he does, he’s not even here!” So my grandma poured like half of it back and kept the rest for herself. I’ve never been prouder.
That was when I realized that if anyone was truly serious about this Seder I would have (and should have) been thrown out. But everyone was too wined-up to care and I was also informed shortly after I first asked, “On a scale of one to Jesus, how blasphemous was that?” that the hostess had said that since many of the old people have died out (literally) that no one knows what to do at the Seder anymore. So I took that as a cue to go hog-wild.
Next I decided to sing/yell the weird prayer we sang before breakfast at my summer camp. The lyrics are as follows (feel free to sing along!):
The Lord is good to me!
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun and the rain and the apple trees
The Lord is good to me!
YEEEE HAWWW!!! (with accompanying fist pump)
Aunt Charlotte responded with, “That doesn’t sound Jewish”. Astute observation, Aunt Charlotte. Although my camp was jam-packed with Jews, the owners were not only Christian, but their last name was literally “Christian”… So yeah… Although if we want to get technical the Jewish God and the Christian God are the same entity (right?), I pretty much felt like I was praising Jesus in the middle of Passover Seder. Whoops. Don’t. Care.