Friday, September 28, 2007

Heights Cool Musical (Like High School Musical, Get It?)

This is great. Even if you haven't seen the ubiquitous HSM.


Office Party

Last night we had an issue release party hosted by St. Germain at the penthouse of our director. Bond St sushi, cocktails, and pretty people, oh my!

I was wearing a dress from the fashion closet (before you get jealous, our fashion closet is literally the size of a closet, nothing like The Devil Wears Prada). I couldn't remember the name of the designer I was wearing, so I alternately told people that it was from Target or that I had made it myself. Telling random lies to strangers never ceases to amuse me.

Here I am posing (note my "sexyface") with Nick and Daniel from the office:

Here I am drunkenly embracing Cayte, Tori, and Daniel (still sexyfacing):

A lot of celebs were supposed to come (Billy Joel, where were you???), but the only one who showed was Keith from last season of Project Runway. I love PR, so I inserted myself into his general vicinity, and he told me about a time when he peed on a plant and it died. Team Keith!

After knocking back enough free drinks, we all made our way over to Lit for some dancing. I have no pictures of that bacchannal, which is probably for the best if I ever decide to publish a novel or run for public office.

My weekend will be spent recuperating. See y'all Monday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Dangers of Googlebation

If I may coin a term: Googlebation, the act of self-Googling.

Last night I checked my Site Meter to check my blog hits. I'm getting 80 or so a day, which is hardly ground-breaking, but proves that not everyone who reads this thing knows me personally, which, to me, is quite flattering.

I Googled my own name, which brought up the blog, my film and magazine work, and some other odds and ends, but then Jeff suggested I google "Sassy Curmudgeon". Lo and behold, I am linked to by some other blogs, most notably Blue Girl in A Red State, which is awesome. That made me feel good, so I kept going.

I Googled "Sassy Una".

I deserve every bit of this for my hubris. It's like God saying, "80 hits a day, girl? I get way more on"

Don't Googlebate, kids. You'll get hairy keyboards.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Bryan is the King of Karaoke. We don't get anything ... but we might be in Spin magazine. Ah, celebrity. So fleeting.

Let the Choir Sing!

On August 28, I shared with you this voicemail from my co-worker and personal savior Bryan Ambition:

Hey Una, it's Bryan. I have an amazing idea for you, so you can think about it. Basically, for my karaoke thing in September [Editor's Note: Bryan has made it to the semi-finals of a Spin magazine karaoke competition]-- I'm going to do "Like a Prayer" like I told you -- I want to have a few people there who will put on, like, choir costumes really fast when I start the song, so when I say "Let the choir sing" they'll come out of the audience and come up to the stage and it'll freak everybody out, it'll be amazing. And I want you to be one of the choir people, because you have a good voice and all. Anyway, so call me, OK?

Thought it was a joke? Well, feast your eyes on Reverend Ambition and his choir, who debuted last night, spreading the gospel at Angels & Kings:

Hallelujah, praise Madonna!

P.S. The photographer made us sit on the trash cans and I fell in. Twice.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Scariest Celeb Sighting Ever

I was sitting outside my office building with my co-worker Nick when he, in a Tourette's-like burst, said "Carrot Top!"

I looked up, just as a pasty transvestite wearing an African-print shirt sashayed past.
"What?" I asked.
"Carrot Top," he said. "That was Carrot Top."

At this point I recoiled in horror, because I hate Carrot Top. Physically, he makes my skin crawl -- I mean, he's like half body builder, half Amanda LePore, with an extra topping of crazy homicidal clown. And ... what does he do? Is he a comedian? I don't care. He is what you would get if you crossed Kathy Griffin with Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and he is fucking scary as hell.

Without his weird orange hair and freakish biceps, he looked surprisingly tame. But the man has some hip action going on when he walks, so I'm willing to bet he plays for the other circus freak show team. Which, in hindsight, makes perfect sense. No straight man goes to the gym that much.

Ugh. Carrot Top. Shudder. Have great weekends!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jesse Jackson Has Apparently Never Seen 'Jungle Fever'

So, Jesse James called out Barack Obama for acting "too white".

Obama's mother is white, his father is African.

Now imagine a white man telling Obama he's acting "too black".

That is all.

I Have a Serious Illness

Save me from myself!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Waiting for Tonight!

I am so excited for tonight. SO EXCITED. Guess why. No, seriously, guess. If you guessed "something to do with television", you get a gold star. I would also have accepted "something to do with food/alcohol". I have cookies and champagne, but those are mere jewels in a much larger crown: it's the season premiere of America's Next Top Model!

If you are scoffing at my lowbrow tastes right now, then you deserve a Tyra snap to the face, because you don't. Even. KNOW. This show is the most campy, most hilarious, hottest mess you will ever see. It is educational (you will quickly learn to distinguish an expensive weave from a ghetto weave, and Tyra often offers off-the-cuff lessons on how to avoid looking dead and/or busted in photographs) and endlessly entertaining (the premise of the show is watching model wannabes act like straight fools, and to aid them in their humiliation, the CW has enlisted the help of two gay men named Jay, one of whom is the kind of neon orange only seen in Loompa Land and the other of whom often wears hairnets and stiletto heels).

Each season the girls have to endure being dressed as (once, literally) carnival freaks while attempting to be "fierce", which is THE buzzword in high fashion, according to Ms. Tyra Banks (who, as the executive producer and host, is all over this show like white on rice. Or, you might say, like gay on Jay). The models act like assholes and are summarily booted off, one at a time, until only one bitch remains. Have you ever read "The Lottery", by Shirley Jackson? It's like that, except instead of stoning one person to death they make a dozen girls fight to the death with Cover Girl products. Now tell me that's not awesome.

Now look at this and tell Tyra it's not awesome (she'll eat you like so many baby back ribs):

In related news, I will be unavailable for social outings on Wednesdays for the remainder of the fall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

When Flowers Attack

I work right near Union Square, so I'm no stranger to weirdos. But for the past week, I've encountered one of the strangest (not most upsetting -- that would be a tie between the woman peeing against the wall in the subway and the two heroin addicts pushing an empty baby stroller) sights I've ever seen in this fair city: flower decals being forced on taxi cabs.

I looked online and there's something going on called Garden in Transit, which is some kind of moving art project that benefits kids, but there are people in Union Square with megaphones who are berating the taxi drivers for not stopping to have a decal painstakingly applied. I mean, can you imagine driving a cab all day in this city, where people redefine the term "boundaries" and also "batshit insane", and then, while you're just trying to do your job, have some trust fund hippie with a megaphone lean into your window and yell at you to "get your flower"?

Only in New York could a charity art project become a platform for verbal abuse.

They are kind of pretty, though.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hi, My Name is Una, and I .... Love the Emmys. There, I said it.

Sorry for the many days of not posting. I felt like I was kind of reaching for stuff last week, so I gave my brain some time to reboot. Otherwise this blog might have quickly devolved into a Perez Hilton-type mess with nothing but paparazzi photos and expletives scrawled by what looks to be the hand of a cerebral palsy sufferer.

Also this weekend I cleaned house and got a new couch (thanks to my friend Cristina, who kindly allowed me to defer payment until I am not in a financial hole ... what a sucker) and a new rug (thanks to Jeff's grandparents). Oh, and my mom and I figured out table seating for the wedding (true Type A control freaks, we had everyone's names on little slips of paper, which we painstakingly arranged around large circles). So, you know, not the most interesting weekend, but very productive.

I was really looking forward to last night, though. Why, you ask? The Emmys. I know that sounds like getting excited over, say, a rerun of the Lehrer Report, but let me explain. I LOVE awards shows. I love them with a trusting and unconditional love that basically serves as beer goggles for the heart. I know that they suck, that they are unfunny and anticlimactic, and yet I still look forward to them like Christmas morning. I love watching the pre-shows, seeing the crappy musical interludes, listening to winners' acceptance speeches whether they are heartfelt or stuttering. I just love the ceremony of it all.

The problem is that most people don't feel that way, and there's nothing worse than watching a crappy awards show with someone who doesn't appreciate the crappiness. The Oscars, the Emmys, and the Golden Globes get crappier every year, and in order to enjoy them you have to love them like I do, that is to say, totally irrationally and with no accounting for taste. My dad, who made me this way, is like this, but most people are snooty and proud, preferring to watch things that actually matter and that don't bore them for four hours straight.

I'm not even trying to conceal my bitterness. Next year I'm watching the Emmys alone with a bottle of wine and a package of cookies. And no, that doesn't sound pathetic to me. It sounds like what I hope heaven will be like. And, if I don't make it to heaven, I bet hell will at least have the Tonys.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Update: My (Phone) Date with Tim!

Read it here.

I Know I'm Trying To Be a Better Person and Everything ...

But when exactly did it become OK for the non-blind to take dogs on the subway? I have seen this phenomenon twice this week. I get on the train, see the dog, and immediately think, Blind person. You are not allowed to silently hate them or their dog, even though dogs are not known for holding their bladders in enclosed spaces.

Then, the "blind person" checks his BlackBerry. At which point I think, You had better be doing some braille texting, my friend, or you have some 'splaining' to do.

I'm sorry, but dogs are not okay on public transportation. Until they learn to not shit whenever they feel like it. Then they can ride with me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

One Step Away ....

Today my train experienced not one, but two emergency brake stops before we reached the Manhattan Bridge. If there's one day a year you're a little extra skittish getting on a subway ... nice timing, MTA. Also, the conductor didn't really speak English, so she kept saying that there was "a brake emergency", which sounds worse than what was actually wrong. In any event, I got to work OK and was met with an immediate crisis: my co-worker was sick and had a phone interview he couldn't go through with given his cough. He asked me if I could do it.

"Sure, who's it with?" I asked as I set down my bags.

"Martin Freeman."

What followed was probably a shrill squeal, with a babbling crescendo of: "TIM! FROM THE OFFICE!"

Devotees of this blog know that my heart beats only for (my fiance and) Jim Halpert, but before Jim, there was Tim, of the original British office:

Once upon a time I was preoccupied with the fate of Tim and Dawn, not Pam and Jim. Yes, I've always watched that much TV.

The interview itself was kind of a blur, as I hadn't prepared and simply read from a list of questions, however, being me, I did manage to tell Martin Freeman:
1. That my parents were disappointed I wasn't a lesbian;
2. That I once had a dream about shopping with David Bowie;
and 3. That I sing the Spaceman song from the British Office when I'm feeling sad.

He seemed nice, but probably thought I was semi-retarded.

Anyway, having spoken to Tim, I can only hope that my next step is Jim (aka John Krasinski):

Sigh. A girl can dream.

Monday, September 10, 2007

You Better Work!

Of course, after all that smack I talked about fashion and misogynist, superficial culture, I ended up going to a fashion show at the Bryant Park tents on Thursday.

I was going to go home early, as I was feeling unwell (the first symptoms of a cold that kept me home in bed all weekend), but Bryan came by my desk at 1:30. "Unish," he said, "because you look so pretty today, I am taking you with me to the Badgley Mischka show." And really, who could say no to that?

I would be temporarily stealing the identity of our fashion director Elizabeth, and Bryan assured me that there was no way I would be caught and dragged out by -- ha! I have to say this, because for once it's true -- the fashion police. In the cab on the way there, I tightened my bun, applied fresh lipstick, and practiced my best "powerbitch" pout. Bryan grabbed my arm as we exited the taxi and ascended the steps of the Tents. "Look good for the press, darling!" he crowed, even though the photographers, from the looks of it, weren't falling all over themselves to get a glimpse of us.

Inside was ... outside, except under a tent. It was weird. There were booths all around that Bryan described as "living ads", giving out free drinks and strange swag, like cookies emblazoned with the DHL logo. I didn't get to explore much, but it looked like there was one main "tent", and for the afternoon it belonged to Badgley Mischka.

"What's your name?" the woman at the check-in asked. I gave Elizabeth's name, pouting until she handed me my seat card. I was in! Bryan and I were ushered into the bright lights of the main tent, which featured a rectangular runway. In the center were the VIP seats. I craned my neck to spot any celebs.

There was free perfume on our seats, which was awesome. I'll wear it even if it smells bad, that's how committed I am to supporting the free gift industry. I saw Teri Hatcher, Allison Janney, and JC Chasez in the front row, and they were even more visible when the lights came up for the runway show. As Bryan (who has earned himself the title of Gay Pop Culture Yoda) put it, "When the lights come up you see all of the fabulous people!" We searched for Anna Wintour, to no avail (but perhaps she was put off by Bryan's wails of "Where's my Anna?")

The fashion show itself was brief and sort of perfunctory. The clothes were pretty, don't get me wrong, but it's really nothing more than a parade of human coat hangers. Mostly I watched Teri Hatcher -- at least she has facial expressions. I assume that the models each got to choose from a selection of looks, as they were invariably smug, bored, or completely blank. One girl walked with her hips out so far in front of her that I wanted to start singing the limbo song. Unfortunately the loud house music would have drowned me out anyway. The one fun thing about sitting high up at a fashion show is that the models look like midgets with no legs. It's more gratifying than it sounds.

So, I went to a fashion show, and learned that it is mostly an excuse for social whoring and celebrity ogling. The clothes are almost beside the point. One more thing checked off of my nonexistent Life List! Next up: the running of the bulls!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I like Madonna's VOGUE better anyway.

Hold onto your butts, y'all -- I'm giving up magazines. I know this seems rash, and I want you to know that this is NOT a last ditch attempt at finding Jesus or a pre-suicide giving-away-things-that-mean-a-lot-to-me kind of thing. Rather, it is an exercise in stress relief. Also, I'm not exactly giving up all magazines, just the ones that subliminally make me hate myself. Allow me to explain.

I am stressed, pretty much all the time to varying degrees. As I have mentioned a lot on this site, I am a perfectionist. I have recently realized that these two things are not only linked, they are like, kissin' cousins, you know? Just all kinds of wrong.

Anyway, I live in this culture, which means that I automatically get exposed every day to messages -- via advertisements and commercials -- along the lines of: Just _________ and you will be perfect! Fill in the blank with any of the following: work out harder, eat healthily, buy this outfit, buy an apartment, have a baby, get married, use this hair product ... the list is infinite. A non-perfectionist might see these things and say, meh, I like the way I'm doing things just fine, thanks. I, on the other hand, see them as goals. I must be fit and thin. I must be pretty and well-groomed. I must be successful and wealthy. I must be happy and fulfilled at all times. It's like a fucked-up neo-feminism that says, not only can you be anything, but you HAVE to be EVERYTHING. This (however misguided) belief leads me to endlessly criticize myself. I don't want to say there's a voice in my head, because that makes it sound like I'm schizophrenic, but, for instance, if I don't get up and go to the gym before work (which, by the way, I have only done about twice), I think, Why can't you get your ass up and work out, you lazy bitch?. If I don't have time to wash my hair in the morning, every time I look in the mirror over the course of the day I think, Not winning any beauty pageants today. I am constantly vexed over the fact that I'm not living in the perfect, seamless, easy, stress-free land of make-believe propagated by our insane culture, and reminding myself of my shortcomings takes up most of my idle time.

Magazines, as I see it, are the worst offenders for women. You know which ones I'm talking about: the ones that pretend they are celebrating women when really they are just setting you up to feel that you are not enough. They literally scream at you from the newsstands (or, more likley, from your very own mail box): LOSE WEIGHT! DON'T AGE! BUY A NEW FALL WARDROBE! BE PRETTY, GODAMMIT, OR YOUR LIFE WILL SUCK! I read these magazines all the time. I squeal when they come in the mail, I read them to relax, to make me feel better. It's only just now dawning on me that they are actually doing the opposite.

Yesterday was the kicker: I was reading my five-pound Vogue (a magazine that doesn't even pretend it thinks you are okay the way you are, unless you happen to be an anorexic socialite who regularly spends $5,000 on a single pair of shoes) and playing a game I invented called "Imaginary Closet". I flip through the pages, filling a pretend closet with all of the outfits I want. Suddenly, I got depressed. I won't ever be able to afford those clothes. I can't even afford the Gap right now. And, why am I reading a magazine that advertises plastic surgery, something I am personally, wholeheartedly against? Who can afford a $200/hr personal trainer? Who can fit in six gym visits a week? Who can do all of the checklists to "be a better you" and meditate and fix whole-grain pancakes with muddled strawberries every morning before heading off to the park to paint and "take time for you!"???? It's not only Vogue, it's all of them: Lucky, Elle, Shape, Self, Glamour, Marie Claire, Bazaar, InStyle, and countless others. They just make it harder. It's not relaxng to read all about how much less than perfect you are. It's upsetting.

I know I'm not the first person to have this realization, but it's a big step for me. I'm going to take a few weeks and read the newspaper. I'm going to read the New Yorker. I'm going to read actual books. And if I can't get up to go to the gym? Well, then, Anna Wintour can kiss my fat ass.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Aisle Anxiety

So, now that the wedding is officially next month -- holy shit! (or, my new favorite expression thanks to Hollis Gillespie, Jesus God!) -- I am starting to have panic tantrums. Not panic attacks, not exactly temper tantrums, but periods of anxiety and depression in which I bitch and whine and shuffle around like a sad little street urchin (Jeff calls it my "mime walk", as I tend to slouch sideways as if miming descending a flight of stairs). Yesterday I became overwhelmed during a tango lesson and, well, there's a reason you don't often see depressed people tango -- nothing says Latin passion like an empty, forlorn stare. We called it quits early and I self-medicated with fashion magazines. So far so good.

The thing about being a perfectionist when you're getting married is that it's kind of the Tour de France for the Type A psycho in you. A wedding is a showcase for all of your perfectness -- perfect music, perfect ceremony, perfect hair, perfect dress, perfect skin. If you're learning a dance, it's gotta be perfect, and if you're making programs, they've gotta be perfect, too. Obviously, this is subjective, but unless you're totally laid-back or reaaaalllly high all the time, getting married starts to feel like competing in a pageant. Friends and family call me to give blow-by-blows of weddings they go to: "It was okay, but yours will be better," or "They didn't have a cake. Can you believe that??". Like it or not, we judge weddings, giving points for style and originality but taking them away for not fitting the nationally recognized wedding template. Walk down the aisle to G n' R? Sorry. Forgo favors? You're screwed.

Luckily my fiancee is not like me in this way. Last night, he had a great time even though it was not our best dancing. In the midst of my tantrum, he held my hand and smiled. "Even if you don't do 800 sit-ups, even if you trip over your foot when we dance, you are my perfect mate," he said (I swear! He really said that! I would not make up anything that sappy and perfect!), "and I love you."

I can't end it like that, being obnoxious and going all soft when you were probably hoping for a bitchfest. So I'll end it like this: My "Mrs. Poo Pants" undies came in the mail, but they don't say "Mrs.". They just say "Poo Pants". Kind of a different message. Especially on underwear. So I might look pretty on my wedding day, but underneath it all, it will say "Poo Pants" on my ass.
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