Saturday, October 31, 2009
Mostly I didn't show it to you because I totally half-assed it.
I mean, I had the Fendi bag (sort of)...
And the bamboo earrings (only one pair, sorry LL)...
Some sweet old-school Reeboks...
And this shirt...
I also bought a Cross Colours jacket on eBay too amp up my early 90s cred...
But it smelled like someone's mildewy basement, and even after much Febreezeing it was unwearable. Sad!
I was missing extensions only because the clip-on bangs I ordered from the Jessica Simpson fake hair collection (yes, really) were backordered! Luckily I made up for it with extra bad attitude:
Hope you all have a great Halloween! Here's a blast from the past to one of my finest Halloween moments, circa 1997:
Undead Ernie and Bert was truly inspired. And I'm so glad my partner in crime, Adri, is back in NYC after a long stint in the Bay Area. Adri will have you know that she hates both the Phillies and the Yankees, and hopes they both lose.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Hansel wears a brown suede fringed jacket, which I was not about to buy just for a costume, so instead I gathered a cheap hippie shirt, hideous leggings meant to approximate snakeskin pants (I actually once owned fake snakeskin pants in college, and wore them unironically and NOT as part of a costume! But I had the good sense to get rid of them years ago), and a blonde wig that the box described as "Surfer Dude."
Ok, so I might get mistaken for Anne Heche during one of her schizophrenic episodes as Celestia...or maybe Chynna Phillips on a 90s worst-dressed list, but at least I look convincingly high.
Shout-outs to Rich, our fearless leader, aka Mugatu; Anthony, who makes a ridiculously good-looking Derek Zoolander and even made his own tiny cellphone!; and Christie, who vamped it up as Katinka.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The other day, The Tyra Banks Show tweeted, Do you folks have any “BFF’s: Best Food Frenemies”?!
This made me think, Oh, sweet fancy cupcakes, yes.
I have never met a fat-filled dish I didn’t like. I try to eat healthy, but I’ll never enjoy it; I’m fine with health nuts as long as they’re honest. Go ahead and eat tofu noodles if you’re cutting out carbs, but if I hear you say it’s just as good as spaghetti I will slap you in the face. Shun cheese if you’re a vegan, but otherwise what is wrong with you???
To me, there is nothing more depressing to me than those pictures in Shape magazine of pale, pasty baked chicken breasts posed alongside a cupful of steamed vegetables that are supposed to be the picture of a healthy meal. It’s the opposite of food porn; my taste buds recoil and I frantically search the plate for signs of hidden cheese, or the faintest glimmer of oil. I sometimes eat these kinds of meals when I’m feeling self-punitive. I realize that they are, in truth, healthy, but there’s no pleasure in them. I am strictly a food for pleasure, not food for fuel, kind of girl.
Jeff, on the other hand, claims that he would not eat if he didn’t have to. Believe me, I grappled with this for years—it came very close to being a dealbreaker. He hates sauce of any kind. He doesn’t like pasta. He will only eat fish under duress. He doesn’t like cheese, unless it’s an anemic slice of provolone in a sandwich. Jeff’s ideal diet would consist of white bread, meats, potatoes, and the occasional cooked carrot or simple salad. Luckily, the saving grace is that Jeff loves sweets. He’ll pig out on sundaes and candy and pie. Thank God. Otherwise I might go insane.
I wish I could say that I eat whatever I want all the time, but A) I’m a woman living in present-day America and B) I do want to protect my heart and keep my genetically high cholesterol at a reasonable number. I eat bad food sometimes, but not nearly as much as I’d like to. But I crave it, oh how I crave it. If I had a day to eat anything I wanted without any physical ramifications, kind of like in Defending Your Life's Judgment City, I would stuff my face with the following:
Nachos. With everything. Suspect-looking ground beef, black beans, gobs of sour cream and guac, melted cheese, jalapenos... I like the chips to take on a mushy, wilted consistency so that I can basically eat nachos with a spoon.
Tater Tots. Crispy and golden brown, drowning in ketchup. I used to be so jealous when the school lunch included Tater Tots and I was stuck with my sad whole-wheat peanut butter (no jelly) sandwich that no one wanted to trade for.
Rice Krispies Treats. Not the kind they sell at bodegas; the kind you make from scratch that taste like real butter and stick to your fingers. I can’t make these anymore because I just start eating from the pan before they cool and then I get a crazy sugar high and start reorganizing my closet.
Pasta. I love pasta so fucking much. If I had to cut out carbs I would seriously consider suicide, and I would kill myself WITH PASTA. Giant bowls of linguine with clam sauce, tortellini with pesto sauce and parmesan cheese, penne a la vodka, orrechiete with sausage and cream, spaghetto carbonara, baked ziti, rigatoni Bolognese, oozing lasagnas piled with veggies... now I’m just tormenting myself.
Indian food, specifically rich, creamy chicken tikka masala into which I dip chunks of soft, warm naan. Rice? Fuck rice.
Sushi, specifically spicy salmon rolls liberally topped with that heavenly spicy mayonnaise that negates the healthfulness of the fish.
Everything bagels, the crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside kind, perfect New York kind, slathered with full-fat cream cheese and topped with a thin slice of lox.
An artery-clogging cheese plate—triple crème L’Explorateur, creamy goat cheese with truffles, nutty manchego, smoked gouda and extra-sharp cheddar—served with slices of crusty French bread.
Frosted strawberry Pop Tarts, toasted to slightly burned ooziness, served with a tall glass of cold milk (full fat).
UPDATE: HAHAHAHA. I finally clicked on the Tyra Show’s link and they meant friends who tempt you to eat more, not frenemies actually MADE OF FOOD.
Whatever, Tyra. Me and Nachos don’t need you anyway.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Last night, as we were falling asleep:
ME: I wish I could retain information the way you do. You can speak so intelligently about history off the top of your head.
JEFF: You retain information.
JEFF: Name five actors from Melrose Place.
ME: The 1992 version?
ME: Grant Show, Doug Savant, Thomas Calabro, Andrew Shue...and, um, Rob Estes was on it later.
JEFF: See? Now actresses.
ME: Courtney Thorne-Smith, Josie Bissett, Amy Locane for like one season, Vanessa Williams—not the one who sings "Save the Best for Last"—and, of course, Heather Locklear.
ME: Oh! And Daphne Zuniga. Bonus point!
JEFF: (Falls silent)
ME: Oh dear.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
People always ask me about my name, expecting a good story. There isn't one. I don't have an interesting ethnic background or ancestors from a far-flung country where Unas sprout like Cabbage Patch Kids from the fragrant, dusky earth. It's just that my parents liked the name. Well, actually my father wanted to name me Alice, after his great aunt, but my mom nixed it, which is probably for the best. I'd be a terrible Alice. That name demands a refined air and a ladylike sensibility that I simply do not possess. Though I wonder... if I had been an Alice, would I still have drawn all over my body with Magic Marker and run around the house naked? Would I have preferred He-Man over She-Ra and insisted on being Peter Pan for Halloween? I probably would have learned how to blow-dry my own hair, at least. Alices always have such pretty hair.
A lot of people ask if Una is short for something, which it isn't. A lot of people also think my name is Uma, which is all the fault of that bitch Thurman, who is the only person in the entire Western world with that name. Sometimes I can't tell that someone has been calling me Uma until several minutes into a conversation, and because I am passive I let it go on and on until it's far too late to correct them and so I just have to pretend they have it right. I once went a whole weekend being called Uma by a rich housewife who kept feeding me margaritas and nachos, and for that kind of trade I'd do it again.
Here is a great joke you should tell if you meet me: "Is your sister's name Dos?" That one never gets old.
Often I am asked what my name means, and I usually answer with a quip at first. "It's an article in most languages," I say. "It means 'a'." Then I explain that it's Latin for "one" and Gaelic for "lamb," and that I'm sure my parents didn't put any thought into its meaning when they named me. They had an Irish friend with the name, and they liked it, and since my mother had so sensibly intuited that I was not an Alice, I became an Una.
I like that my name is spelled with a U and not an Oo, but it causes some problems. For example, throughout elementary school my phonetically-challenged teachers would unfailingly get to my name on the roll call sheet and stumble, looking at it like it was written in Cantonese. Usually I just said "Here!" before they had a chance to mangle it, but at my sixth grade graduation I could not escape the announcement, broadcast to the entire assembly by microphone, that Ewe-na La-March-ee had won the General Excellence award. I've made this joke before, but I must reiterate that Ewe-na La-March-ee sounds like an alter ego from the deep South who subscribes to the Garden & Gun and might have won the General Excellence award for her homemade mayonnaise recipe.
The great thing about an unusual name is that it gets better with age. From sixth through twelfth grade, all I wanted to do was fit in, to fall in line as an anonymous teenager, albeit one with braces and acne and a penchant for wearing oversize sweatshirts and carrying a set of colored pencils on my person at all times. But once I got to college, suddenly the best thing to be was different, and my name became part of that. The downside was that, due to its Latin etymology, my boyfriends took to calling me "The One." (I never had boyfriends in high school, otherwise it might have started earlier, although "Unabrow" was still in full effect through about tenth grade.)
I know they didn't mean "The One" like I wanted them to mean it, but it was a heady moniker. It made a girl think of monogrammed guest towels and cushion cut diamonds. It made me imagine myself a be-spangled chorus girl being twirled around an imaginary stage by potential paramours:
One moment in her presence and you can forget the rest
For the girl is second best to none, son
Oooh! Sigh! Give her your attention
Do I really have to mention
She's the one
Eventually, of course, they all dumped me, and I was left wailing, "but I was The One!" In one of my more desperate moments, when I suspected that a boyfriend was pulling away, I ordered fortune cookies off the Internet and had each of them stuffed with the same message: "She is the one." I planned to somehow finagle it so that he got one of the doctored cookies and I got a regular one, so he would open it and think that the universe was talking to him. I KNOW. Even just typing this I am consumed by shame. I never got the chance to carry out my plan, though. Either we didn't order Chinese food or he broke up with me because I was kind of manipulative, I can't remember which.
I think it is telling that Jeff has never called me "The One," at least not as a nickname. He calls me Poo Butt, which I swear is not rooted in any sort of actual mishap. Maybe for our next anniversary, though, I'll make him go out for Chinese with me. I'll get him all liquored up, and then when the check comes I'll distract him and slip a special fortune cookie onto his napkin. He'll crack it open, read it, and start to laugh.
It will read: "The one with the butt of poo is for you."
P.S. Check out this image I found while searching for Una signs:
OMG. Arkansas roadtrip, anyone?
P.P.S. Um, when i checked my email right after posting this, look what was in my inbox:
What does it all mean?
Monday, October 26, 2009
This is the part where normally I would flash back to the trials and travails of my day and figure out how I went from shiny penny of hope to spilled bucket of rage. But I can sum up the transition in one word: Estrogen. Or Progesterone. I can never remember which one brings on the crazies.
Oh! But I forget that there is the soothing balm of television yet to come. Heal me, So You Think You Can Dance. Massage my uterus, Gossip Girl, and while you're at it send Dan Humphrey over to feed me Reese's Pieces. I'll be needing that bucket of candy, after all. The lucky penny, on the other hand, can kiss my ass.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Anyway, here are my top 12 dads, in no particular order:
1. Steven Keaton from Family Ties, aka Michael Gross
What would we do, baby, without us? The Keatons were such hippies, which was awesome, and I always thought Steven was sexy in a dorky way. I had a thing for men with beards as a kid, probably because my actual dad had one... gross.
2. Troy Garland from Out of This World, aka Burt Reynolds (voice)
He's an alien dad that talks through a Tetris-looking crystal! That sounds like the Bandit! Best dad ever!
3. Willie Tanner from Alf, aka Max Wright
So nerdy and world-weary (presumably from having to put up with aiding and abetting an illegal alien), I love Willie Tanner, but mostly I want him on the show to bicker with the other Mr. Tanner (see below).
4. Jack Arnold from The Wonder Years, aka Dan Lauria
Mr. Arnold was so scary and hardcore that I used to hold my breath when he came into a room, even though we were separated by, like, electrodes and time-space continuums and, probably, 3,000 miles. He was comforting, too, though, like a protective pit bull.
5. & 6. Michael Taylor and Joey Harris from My Two Dads, aka Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan
If I had been Stacy Keanan, I would have demanded the results of that DNA test, because if Greg Evigan was NOT my dad, I would want to make out with him. (Related: OH MY GOD do not click on this Wikipedia link if you want Greg Evigan to remain forever hot in your mind's eye.)
7. Dr. Jason Seaver from Growing Pains, aka Alan Thicke
Confession: I never really liked Jason Seaver; he always struck me as kind of a dick. But he lorded over my formative years with that magnificent white man flat-top, plus he faux-sired dreamy Kirk Cameron (who I will always remember as he was before he found Jesus in the mid-90s). So that's something.
8. Tony Micelli from Who's The Boss, aka Tony Danza
Do you ever wonder if when characters have the same name as the actor who plays them it's because the actor is too dumb to respond to another name? No matter. I love Tony Danza, Tony Banta, and Tony Micelli. His good-hearted but clueless efforts to parent Alyssa Milano without a mom always tug at my heartstrings. (P.S. Someone put Katherine Helmond back on TV. Mona rocked.)
9., 10., & 11. Danny Tanner, Joey Gladstone, and Jesse Katsopolis from Full House, aka Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, and John Stamos
Danny and Joey always irked me (especially the latter. No, really--CUT. IT. OUT, motherfucker.), but these three are kind of like a single, three-headed dad so I feel they must all be recognized. Actually every single character on this show--with the exception of DJ, who I sort of identified with and whose crimped hair I coveted, and Uncle Jesse, who is hottttt--made me wince. And yet I watched Full House anyway. Ah, my devotion to even horrendous television was always there, as if from birth...
...and of course, the Grand Poobah of sitcom dads,
12. Dr. Heathcliff "Cliff" Huxtable from The Cosby Show, aka Bill Cosby
Who didn't want to be a stow away in the Huxtable's Brooklyn brownstone? Cosby's Cliff remains one of the most lovable, drily hilarious fictional dads of all time. Although to interview Cosby himself might be depressing, as his real life seems, um, darker than Cliff's (see also: his sexual harassment suit).
Some dads didn't make this list, either because they're
UPDATE: Thank you, Chessa, for reminding me that I cruelly disregarded Dan Conner from Roseanne, aka John Goodman.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
We didn't go to shop—there was a Groupon that got us into the event for $15, where we were promised 5 drinks and a swag bag, which we figured were worth more than the cost of admission already. Plus, Kara Janx from season three of ProjRun was supposed to be there selling her stuff, which Sarah thought would be good blog fodder.
The place was packed, but we pushed our way through to the bar and got electric pink cocktails (because, you know, we're girls). We perused all of the stalls—mostly clothing, bags, jewelry, and one solitary Cabot cheese table which was fucking mobbed because it was the only food in the place, if you don't count the Atkins snack bars being handed out like hors d'oevures.
We couldn't find Kara, so Sarah got in line to get a makeover while I tried on feathered Kenley headbands and bumped into people. Then, finally, I spotted her in a corner, sitting behind a table surrounded by racks of her designs. I pulled Sarah from the line (someone held her place) and we rushed over in the hopes of getting a photo op.
That's when I chickened out. I don't like to inconvenience people, and as Kara rose up from behind her table I saw that she was pregnant. She also looked vaguely frightened, as if anticipating fans like me who would try to corner her. I decided to work up my nerve by asking her about her work.
"Excuse me," I said, plucking a sparkly dress from the racks, "Do you know what size this is?"
"It's a small or medium," she said. "Go ahead, just try it on over your clothes."
I shuffled over to the wall and dumped my bags and coat. Then I shimmied the dress over my voluminous teal top and jeans. I walked over to the full length mirror to see what it looked like as Kara watched me. It was cute enough, but fell below my knees, making me look squat and kind of rotund. I had hoped that it would be perfect, so that I could buy it, but I couldn't justify buying an unflattering dress in order to take a photo with a reality show fourth runner up, so I took it off and put it back. Then I pretended to look for other potential purchases.
"Do you want me to ask?" Sarah whispered. "I can tell her you're really shy."
"No!" I hissed. "That would be so much worse."
"Just ask," she said.
But I couldn't. I don't know why. It just seemed so lame. Sarah flipped through some photos she'd taken of me trying on the dress.
"Oh look!" she said, pointing to one. "There she is." In the background of one photo, Kara's head could be seen peeking out from behind the table as I looked in the mirror. I had unwittingly pulled a Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything. But at least, I guess, I got a photo [which will be posted here when Sarah sends it to me].
I also got drunk! And I got a bag full of interesting swag, which I've decided to showcase via video. My sister, Zoe, was here hanging out so she helped. [We are not drunk in the video, depite giggling to the contrary. Also for some reason my PhotoBooth function takes videos that are backwards, so all type and branding shows up in reverse. Oops.] Enjoy!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
When I heard about it, I was like, Fuck yes. All I have ever wanted was for my life to become a musical comedy (even though Jeff would probably divorce me, as he is definitely more of a Ken Burns PBS series).
So of course I’ve been watching, and I’ll be honest: It could be better. The pilot episode was sharp, funny, nerdy and slightly twisted (in the best way—it was like the movie Election on the small screen, plus musical numbers) but subsequent episodes have been uneven, with ridiculous plotlines that develop too fast, like the writers are so excited that they’re blowing their wad, um, prematurely. Wow, I’ve alluded to semen twice already. Which is fitting because...
Despite all of its shortcomings I still have a total boner for Glee. I am still all Fuck yes when I watch it, because this show is like my adolescent unconscious mind made flesh and given a microphone. I WANT TO GO TO THERE.
I was not very cool (okay, not at all cool) from ages 12 through 19, and I loved to sing even though I was shy and never sang in front of anyone. But when I got home, I would pop Madonna’s Immaculate Collection or the Dick Tracy soundtrack into my Walkman and roller skate around the house imagining that I was performing for the whole school. All of the boys I had crushes on would be watching. For “Like a Prayer” I would have a gospel choir, and some sort of laser effects in the background, and during the crescendo I would rise up on an illuminated platform (yes, really). If I was feeling saucy I'd perform "Hanky Panky," shocking all of my teachers and titillating all of the jocks who never gave me a second glance. Or maybe I’d take it down to a slow jam, singing “Crazy for You” with my eyes fixed longingly on the unrequited (and, as it turned out later, gay) object of my affection. I think it goes without saying that my acne had magically vanished, and also that my hair fell in perfect, shiny waves that gleamed under the spotlights.
This odd fantasy cabaret I invented in adolescence remains my adulthood escape. When I listen to my iPod on shuffle, I often scan past any male vocalists, waiting for Heart or Elle Fitzgerald or Pat Benatar to appear on the screen (I have amazing range in my imagination). Depending on the song, I will conjure up the perfect setting. Maybe I’m a finalist on American Idol (let’s forget about the age limit for a sec). Maybe I’m a lounge singer a la Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys, draped across a piano, making grown men cry into their martinis. Maybe I’m bringing down the house at a karaoke bar that happens to also be frequented by every ex boyfriend I have ever had, who all feel like assholes because I am so awesome, or, better yet, Beyoncé, who’s all, Girl you can SING! Do you want to tour with me and also learn the Single Ladies dance? And I’m like, um, YES.
So the reason I can’t help but love Glee is that it lets me live inside my fantasy for an hour each week, without having to be that girl who sings her heart out in a private room in a karaoke bar at 2 in the afternoon (not that I’d...um...judge someone who did that, hypothetically). It tides me over until the day that I actually do get to perform “We Belong” to Jeff on that set from Singin’ in the Rain where Cyd Charisse wears the long, flowy scarf. It validates the part of my brain that, despite being unable to tell right from left without first holding my hands in front of my face (and even then sometimes I get confused), still knows all the words to "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid.
Also, I kind of want to bang Mr. Schu. Is that so wrong?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Foreign countries, apart from having amazing public health care (a friend told me recently that women in Austria get three years of maternity leave. THREE. YEARS. Shoot me in the face. Well, no, don't, because my insurance is crappy and I'd probably end up without a nose...) also have way better snackfoods than we do here in the old US of A. Pringles in Iceland, for example, come flavored like pork ribs. Hell yes. It gives me great hope that somewhere—perhaps in the back room of a bodega in a dusty Mexican village—Sabor de Soledad actually exists.
Amy also brought back candy, which would normally be awesome. Except she unwittingly brought back this:
Harmless-looking enough, right? WRONG. So very wrong. Apparently Nordic tastebuds are as freakish as their cornsilk-colored eyebrows, because Draumur is made of chocolate-covered licorice.
That's like dipping a circus peanut in caramel or burying a Mike & Ike in center of a Tootsie Roll. That is a cruel, cruel surprise. That, my friends, is worse than gorilla balls.
Anyway, I came home, changed into some fetching capri sweatpants and a tee-shirt, and flopped into Jeff's arms.
"Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" I wailed.
Jeff stroked my hair. "You're so pretty," he said.
"You think I'm pretty right now?" I was incredulous.
He smiled. "I always think you're pretty."
"You think I'm just as pretty now as when I get dressed up and have clean hair and do not resemble a pepperoni pizza?"
He nodded. I paused.
"Then why do I even tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" I cried, burrowing my face in his neck as he began to laugh.
Oh, I am just so manipulative.
P.S. Later on, largely due to Jeff's cheerleading, my mood improved. And since he finally joined Facebook, we e-flirted from approximately 20 feet away.
He's just the best.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I got this email yesterday when I was halfway through a pint-sized margarita and I almost cried. Did Tyra read my ANTM post? Does she like me? Does she really like me?
Immediately I had fantasies about being called to appear on the Tyra show as a special guest, maybe for a very special show about excess facial hair or problems wearing hats or—in the most literal sense—eating disorders.
Sadly this morning I discovered that the Tyra Show is following everyone who uses the hashtag #antm on Twitter. But seriously. Ty Ty, if you're reading this, know that I am SPECIAL. Both with and without quotations. And I am great on camera.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We've decided not to exchange anniversary gifts. Instead each year we'll have a nice dinner out and just celebrate our magical union. But this year I couldn't resist getting Jeff a card I found on my recent trip to Virginia:
Oh, and for our first dance at our wedding, we performed a tango, taught by the same friend who inadvertently brought us together over 6 years ago. We didn't have a videographer but my bridesmaid Chessa, wisely realizing that I would want to have a record of the payoff of our painstaking rehearsals, took a video on her camera. So I'd like to introduce the world premiere video of our first dance. We may have forgotten the steps over the last two years, but we're still perfectly in sync. (Did that sound too much like a Sex and the City voiceover? I couldn't help but wonder...)
Friday, October 16, 2009
I also kind of REALLY want it. A uterus doll with a unibrow that's lovable and huggable... it's like being able to squeeze my future fetus!
For some reason this reminds me of the South Park episode where Cartman's fist becomes Jennifer Lopez. I really want this Frida Kahlo's uterus doll to start talking in a falsetto and tell me that she wants my taco flavored kisses.
Just look at these fun-filled pics from last year's event:
The now-demolished Underberg building, cleared to make space for a giant squashed fedora.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
(See also my previous words of wisdom.)
11. If you drink too much and wake up feeling too gross to shower, that means you MUST shower, unless you want to spend the rest of the day futilely styling your limp, oily hair and smelling of Eau de Half-Empty Beer Bottle Filled With Cigarette Butts.
12. Avoid chocolate flavored with lavender. It will not make you calm and serene; it will make you wonder why your chocolate tastes like soap.
13. Sledding down a flight of stairs seems like it would be fun, but it is never, ever a good idea; neither is drinking a gallon of ANY liquid on a dare. You will puke. (Courtesy of Aunt Zoe)
14. The best way to get revenge on someone is to anonymously report them to the IRS. They only get in real trouble if they've cheated on their taxes, but being audited is far worse than receiving 20 pizzas you did not order.
15. Don't do anything on camera that you wouldn't let your parents watch. And that includes confessional video diaries. You are not Blossom.
16. If someone ever says something really mean to you, you should say "I would work up the energy to be offended by that if I didn't find you so fucking pathetic." Trust me, I've been working on that comeback since 7th grade; it's been honed to a fine, sharp point. You won't regret saying it. Unless you get in trouble for saying "fuck" in school, in which case deny, deny, deny.
17. Do not—I repeat, do NOT—ever order pants online. That is a fool's game.
18. You should start a garage band and call yourselves The Trapperkeepers. What, can I not live out my one dream through my children? Also in keeping with the theme your stage name should be Lisa Frank.
19. A great trick if you have to read a book for school and you don't have time to finish it is to read a few pages really carefully and then, at the very beginning of class, raise your hand and make a comment about something that happened in those pages. You won't get called on, promise. (Note: this does not work for exams. Also, questions—like "Who is Hester Prynne?"—are not advised.)
20. When, in the future, we speak of Melrose Place, which we will often do (wistfully, and over cocktails), remember that the only MP that exists to me is the original version that premiered in 1992. So much as mention the remake of 2009 and I will send you to your room faster than you can say "OH MY GOD IT'S A WIG! AHHHHH! IT'S A WIG!!!"
To be continued...
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I used to be the world's worst sick person (see the second bullet point in this post from 2006), and now I am somewhat reformed. I no longer beat myself up physically, which is something, and yesterday when I stayed home I stayed in the house ALL DAY and didn't even attempt to do an exercise video. It's possible I mixed myself a whiskey-ginger ale to go with my chickarina soup dinner... but that's medicinal, right?
Anyway, Jeff is just as bad of a sick person as I am, and I'm not even talking about the times when he selfishly begs me to take him to the hospital. He wears a perpetual scowl, and when he's not being angry at his own virus he constantly needs to be petted and snuggled (that is, when he's not busy smoking his medicinal cigarettes, which I nag him mercilessly about, which only brings the return of the scowl). Normally I enjoy taking care of him, but when I too am sick all I want is to re-read my musty old Stephen King hardcovers and eat Saltines with cream cheese and pretend I am a pathetic invalid who may never walk again. Is that too much to ask?
JK, honey, I love you. I'm going to come home and just cough all over you. You're going to love it.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
I love Nora Ephron and I love clothes, so I think I already love Love, Loss and What I Wore, the new Broadway play Ephron has written with her sister Delia. This month’s Elle magazine, which has been sitting on my coffee table for weeks and which I finally read this weekend, featured little pieces from all sorts of writers (and even one very funny, well-written essay by Meg Ryan) about clothes that coincided with important life moments, as a tie-in to the show. (Incidentally, that was the only thing I actually read in the issue; no one cares about Victoria Beckham. How she has been able to ride her Spice Girls celebrity for eleven years I will never know. But at least her cover looked better than this.)
Anyway, since I am a highly suggestible person (one time in college, my friend Charlie and I chopped up caffeine pills in a coffee grinder and snorted them after seeing something similar in The Faculty. I do not recommend this. It was like snorting yellow gravel, and did absolutely nothing except probably irreparably damage our nasal passages), this made me want to revisit some of my own fashion memories. (Each of these could be its own essay but I am lazy, so each gets its own paragraph instead.)
The Junk Food Tee-Shirt
I had this amazing long-sleeved tee-shirt when I was four or five that had illustrations of junk foods all over it. Needless to say, it was awesome. Somewhere there is a photo of me lying across the book on the Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park wearing it, but that is the only evidence of its existence. It was too magical to last. It was like the unicorn of awesome childhood shirts.
The First Kiss Outfit
The most salient of all of my ensembles is the one I wore to get my first kiss. I picked it out specially for the occasion (which I pretty much manipulated into happening): a blue and white checked gingham waitress-style dress from dELiA*s, dark blue Airwalks and LipSlicks lip gloss. In retrospect I cringe at pairing those giant clodhoppers with a dainty dress, but I remember feeling so incredibly fine in that get-up... and feeling incredibly fine was rare for me between 1992 and 2000.
The Prom Dress
I went to Betsey Johnson to get my prom dress, and at $150-something it was the most wildly expensive piece of clothing I had ever owned (Future Una laughs bitterly from atop her pile of credit card bills). It was short and tight and lacy and pink, with a floppy fabric flower pinned to the front. My mom let me get a matching pair of bejeweled pink rosebud barrettes. Sadly the look was ruined by my acne-prone skin: I wore so much foundation that in photos my face looks stark white (especially since my prom date’s face was beet red). Also en route to our afterparty we stopped the limo to get Zima from a bodega (this must have been right during Zima’s five minutes of zeitgeist prominence), and I promptly got drunk for about the second time in my life and awkwardly propositioned my date. None of which takes away from the amazing dress, but seems worth mentioning.
The Unfortunate First Kind-Of-Date With Future Husband Get-Up
Have I ever told you the extremely long-winded story of how Jeff and I got together? The short version goes: We went to college together and were in the same circles senior year. After graduation we both lived in New York and a mutual friend of ours decided to teach a tango class to earn extra money. We both took the class, and one day we were the only two people to show up. Afterwards we went out for a beer, and a week later this happened:
It was a Saturday night. April 12, 2003, which was the day before my birthday. I was invited to a fundraiser-slash-dance party with the theme “High School Dance.” I went with my roommates at the time, Kabir and Bajir. My character was the girl who tries to be one of the guys but is secretly in love with her best friends (think Watts from Some Kind of Wonderful), so I wore a wifebeater with rolled-up jeans and sneakers. We danced our asses off (including a very Romy and Michelle-esque three-way in which the boys catapulted me into the air), so I had an attractive sweat-sheen by the end of the night, and my hair was in a messy ponytail. I ran over to a bar on the Lower East Side to have a drink for another friend’s birthday, and Jeff showed up. He insisted on walking me home via the Manhattan Bridge at 2 am, so I spent the wee hours of my 23rd birthday with him. We didn’t kiss or anything, but I remember thinking that something important was happening. And of course it would happen to me while wearing a sweaty wifebeater.
I wish I had photos of all of these outfits, but coincidentally none exist, with the exception of the elusive Junk Food Tee-Shirt photo and some prom pics I am too vain to share (my skin was REALLY bad). Maybe that adds to the magic of these clothes: they made appearances for brief but crucial moments and then vanished into the ether (or, probably, the dryer... or the Salvation Army), leaving only the sense memory of fabric on skin. And maybe not even that, as I was too young, or too lusty, or too drunk, or too distracted by the handsome man tangoing with me against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, to notice.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
You all know how I am with dry cleaning (for a reminder, see the original The Price of Laziness blog). At any given time I literally have at least $200 worth of dry cleaning to do, and I assuage my guilt over not being able to afford doing it by re-sorting and transferring the piles from bag to bag (and then shove the bags in any given number of closets). So I suppose it's in character that the morning after our wedding, I folded the dress in half, put it in a large suitcase, and stowed in on a shelf in my closet, where it has remained, untouched and unpreserved, to this day. (On this day it is hanging in a plastic bag in my closet, so it's slowly but surely gaining the strength to walk itself out of my building and the two blocks to the nearest dry cleaner.)
Jeff tells me I should donate it back to the place I bought it, which is a lovely organization that sells designer dresses at up to 75% off and donates all proceeds to charity. But I've been stalling for a long time because I kind of want to keep it. I mean, yes, I keep it in a closet with not even a scrap of tissue paper to cushion it, which is kind of Flowers In the Attic-y, and of course I'll never wear it again (except when I, um, tried it on today), but it's my wedding dress. It seems like I should keep it around, if only for my future daughter or gay son to play around in. Then again, especially in this economy I'm sure it would help a lot of people if I gave it back. Ugh, conundrum. Maybe while my dress is figuring out a way to get itself dry cleaned it can make this decision, too.
Friday, October 9, 2009
So Rush Limbaugh, the living person I most loathe, is judging the 2010 Miss America Pageant. Instead of even trying to put together an argument that is not simply the word "DOUCHE" typed over and over again like when Jack Nicholson loses it in The Shining, let's review some of the quotes that show how qualified Rush is to judge women:
"Chicks...have chickified the news."
"Everybody knows it was the vacuum cleaner that liberated women more than the pill."
"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”
"You have to understand the mindset of a lot of these feminists and women...These women have paid their dues. They've been married two or three times; they've had two or three abortions; they've done everything that feminism asked them to do. They have cut men out of their lives; they have devoted themselves to causes and careers. And this—the candidacy of Hillary Clinton—is the culmination of all of these women's efforts."
Okay, all together now:
Thursday, October 8, 2009
So this morning I was walking to the subway and mulling over the contestants’ chances of winning this season of Project Runway. As you know, I recap the show for The Huffington Post, and I’m debating whether or not I should make a bold move and try to call the winner now (although, on second thought eight weeks in is not so bold....). It’s not like there’s much at stake—if I’m right, I get to brag, and if I’m not, no one cares. Except me, of course. I care. I’ve been watching reality shows for so long that by now I should be the Nate Silver of elimination odds.
Before I drop my ridiculous knowledge on you, it must be said that there are many different kinds of reality shows, all of which have their own unspoken rules in determining the winner. Let’s dispense quickly with the following:
SHOWS WON BASED ON MEASURABLE FACTORS, i.e. The Biggest Loser (pounds lost), The Amazing Race (er... a literal race), Beauty and the Geek (correct answers to inane questions), Wipe Out or I Survived a Japanese Game Show (ability to leap over obstacles without hilariously face-planting...or willingness to wear giant diaper while pedaling a child’s bicycle through a sand pit), American Idol (based on votes, although you could argue that the voting process is corrupt), So You Think You Can Dance (ditto) and their ilk. These shows choose winners based on cold, hard math (or purport to, anyway). If you are an asshat on Idol or SYTYCD, people might not vote for you, so personality does count, but I’m MUCH more interested in shows where the producers have a heavy hand.
Also not counted are DATING SHOWS i.e. The Bachelor/ette, Rock of Love, Tila Tequila and all of the other, even shittier, iterations. These shows pick winners based on the taste and opinion of the person looking for love coupled with (I’m certain) input from producers. But for the purposes of my study, a formula for elimination odds is difficult when a large part of the decision-making is based on one person’s opinion.
No, the shows I’m most interested in are the meaty, week-by-week elimination-based shows that judge an unmeasurable talent and do not count on public voting. Project Runway, Top Chef, America’s Next Top Model... looking at the history of these shows can tell us a lot about who will win in the future. (Actually, I don’t watch Top Chef and so can’t really discuss it with any authority. But feel free to school me in the comments!)
1. Assholes Never Win...Unless They Tattoo Their Babies Names on Their Necks
If a contestant is openly combative, mean or obnoxious on a consistent basis, they will not win. (Keep in mind that bitchy does not equal asshole, especially when gay men are concerned. A healthy dose of good-natured bitchiness could catapult someone into the lead). They will probably be kept around for awhile for entertainment purposes, but mark my words: assholes never win. The only exception to this rule is the asshole with a powerful mitigating factor. Take, for example, Jeffrey Sebelia from Project Runway’s third season. Jeff could be an asshole, but he was also a recovering drug addict AND had an adorable son who got trotted out every so often to remind viewers that Jeffrey was reformed.
2. Editors Know All
Keep in mind that editors of these shows have a TON of footage to work with. If you are seeing something, you are seeing it for a reason. Particularly in talking head interviews, if you see a lot of footage of someone being a bitch, the editors probably want you to think he or she is a bitch. Same goes for the nice guys. Bottom line: the producers want you to be happy with the outcome of the show so that you will continue to watch. They are helping to form your opinions of the characters, and 9.9 times out of 10, they are trying to get you to feel good about the eventual winner.
3. Look Out for Patterns
Every third season of ANTM, an African-American girl wins. This is a fact. Who knows if it’s on purpose? But it will help you win your Fantasy ANTM league! (Again, Mom, Dad, have you ever felt this much pride?) On Project Runway, there is no real pattern that I can find. In the first 4 seasons, the final three alternated between two women and one man (Seasons 1, 3) and two men and one woman (Seasons 2, 4). But Season 5 fucked it all up with three female finalists. IF we pick up the pattern again, look for two men and a woman in the final three. Also, PR has never chosen an African-American winner. So I would wager that the longer they don’t, the more the odds go up that they will. (Go Epperson!)
4. Winners Rarely Have a Smooth Road
The person who performs well every week and never stumbles is not as satisfying as a person who overcomes odds to emerge victorious. Everyone loves an underdog, and the producers know this. So look for someone who struggles in the first half of the season to take the crown. Interesting factoid: With the exception of Season 1 winner Jay McCarroll, every single Project Runway winner has at some point been in the bottom 2. And on ANTM, in 9 out of 12 cycles, the winner has at some point been in the bottom 2, giving us pretty decent odds that the eventual winner will narrowly miss elimination at some point.
5. The Letters of the Winner’s Name will Always add Up to 8 in Numerology
Okay, that I made up. But I got excited about my Bottom 2 Theory, so I’m probably going to spend much too much time over the next few weeks looking for intricate patterns.
Given all of the above, I’m inclined to peg Christopher as the favorite to win PR6 (unless he keeps up the poor taste of last week). He’s nice, easy to root for, obviously talented and had a major setback last week that put him in the Bottom 2. If Epperson gets bolder, he might have a shot, too. What do you guys think? And please let me know if Top Chef fits my theories; I’m totally going to geek out on this project all season.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anyway, hi. I just watched America's Next Top Model which was, as always, amazing. Tyra Banks jumps higher and higher over the shark every week. I'm feeling sick, and at a loss for blogs. The only reason I'm even writing this is because I feel like it's an exercise for my... um, fingers? The fine instrument that is my artistic talent? Navel-gazing? One of those. Anyway, it helps to write. It also helps to know you read, so thanks.
Send me inspirational thoughts! (I mean like 'Hope you get inspired!', not like the sentiments on those vomitous Precious Moments cards).
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
1. MAKE A LIST
I love lists. Here, for instance, is a list of Unfortunate Name/Affliction Combinations I wrote last night to cheer myself up:
Bernie/Scars from a fire
(Una/Unibrow is not on there but was my inspiration. Also, I may have drunkenly submitted that to McSweeney's. At least, so says my sent mail.)
2. MAKE FUN OF SOMEONE ELSE'S CLOTHES
Oh. Oh my goodness. This is an actual non-joke ad for Lindsay's new leggings line, 6126. Um, this looks like if Pizzazz from The Misfits had to make ends meet by working as an extra in a Def Leppard video. Either that or by working the pole at this place:
3. POST AN INSPIRATIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEO