27 April 2007

Welcome, Playoff Season! Don't EFFF me this year.

First of all, I want to illustrate to you the sad state of affairs my life is in, sports-wise. I don’t know if you all are familiar with Yahoo! Sports, but I like it because they have a “My Teams” section. So when I go to my Yahoo! Sports page, I have already pre selected the teams I care about and the score from each teams’ latest game appears.

You probably won’t be able to read this, but for effect, here’s a screenshot of my “My Teams” page as of Wednesday afternoon:
“L’s” STRAIGHT DOWN THE BOARD. Baseball? Fine. I can deal with the O’s and Nats losing- I’m not really all that invested anyway. I’ve always loved ice hockey, but have never much depended on the success of the Capitals. Who knows what's even going on with the United, they normally don't suck. But I am a devout follower of the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks -- and these losses are unacceptable.

ESPECIALLY for the Mavericks. I’m only letting my Wizzies off the hook because their two best players are injured and we’ve actually played decent games without them (until the 4th quarter and its all downhill). I feel like once they get home court this weekend we might be able to pull something together. But it’s going to be tough and I’m trying not to get my hopes up. Gilbie will be back and better than ever next season.

Now, onto the Mavs. A lot of people ask me why I am a Mavericks fan. The answer: My best friend’s mood is directly proporational to the success of Mavericks. Case in point, we have developed the prototype for the first ever "K-Fo MySpace Mood Indicator". Her default MySpace picture is updated after each Mavs playoff game. Can you decode it?


Kristin (K-Fo) recruited me to cheer for the Mavs last year during the playoffs when she realized that every game I watched, the Mavs won. And every game I didn’t watch, they lost. We call that phenomenon “The universal power of our wills combined” (plus it doesn’t hurt to also have David Hasselhoff in the stands cheering on the Mavs). Then she sent me a package filled with Mavs clappers, pom poms, tshirts and other gear— and by the time they made it to the Western Conference finals, I was heavily invested. Some of you might recall that on my birthday last year, I refused to talk to anyone at the bar until the Mavs game was over. Here is a picture of me at my birthday party while someone is trying to interrupt my Mavs-game-watching (you can't see, but I am angrily pointing at a television in the top left corner):


Later that night, the Mavs wont the Western Conference championship and I let the party resume.

In January, I went to visit Kristin and she took me to my first Mavs game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. That solidified my allegiance to the Mavs. Really the only time I would ever not root for them is if the Wizzies somehow ended up playing them in the NBA finals. And even then, it wouldn’t be rooting AGAINST the Mavs…just FOR the Wizzies. No bad could come out of that match up for me (Except that if the Wizards won, K-Fo may never speak to me again).

Wednesday night was Game 2 for both the Wizards (vs. Cleveland) and the Mavs (vs. Golden State). Also on Wednesday I received a package in the mail from Kristin with a new Mavs T-shirt and the latest issue of Sport Illustrated with Dirk Nowitski and Steve Nash on the cover. When I opened to the full article, this picture appeared:



I was unaware that Nash and Nowitski played for Cuban in 1991.

Oh wait, the caption says: “In 2003 the duo led Cuban to the Western finals.” It really makes me ask myself some tough questions, like: How has dirk aged, like, 12 years since June 2003? How and where was Mark Cuban able to find stonewashed jeans like that in 2003? How could this picture get any gayer?

When I turned to the Mavs game Wednesday night (after the Wizzies lost), the Mavs were down by 2. Within a couple minutes, they were up by 5. Coincidence? Or “the universal power of our wills combined”? I’ll let you decide. Kristin was at the game and I fell asleep during the 4th quarter wearing my new Mavs t-shirt (West Coast games are killer)…Obviously, the Mavs won Game 2.

And if you don’t take our love for the Mavs seriously, this is ACTUALLY what KFo and I talk about all day:

me: hopefully the mavs will still be in the playoffs then (End of May when we’re in NY)
me: so we can watch some games
Kristin: ya they better be in the finals then! and we can root against Detroit. and watch dirk get the mvp of the playoffs and the season
me: yes
Kristin: that is if we can pull out head out and beat the f-ing gay ass warriors
me: i hope the wizzies are still in it then too. but realistically, I DON;T THINK SO
me: even the wizzies beat golden state
Kristin: they need gilbie
me: tell dirk to get it together
Kristin: i did
me: good. i am telling him telepathically right now.
Kristin: good. he needs to hear it. i have a little dirk on my desk. and i keep telling him.
me: maybe we need to learn "GET IT TOGETHER" in german. Ask the weenies how to say it.
Kristin: good idea. i will do that. maybe hasselhof needs to get it together too
me: yeah. fucking call hasslehoff and tell him to start recording an inspirational song.
Kristin: he needs to get the F off his ass
me: Yeah. America's Got Talent is SO OVER. Haul Ass to the American Airlines Center, HOFF.
Kristin: you are the only one that understands my mavs fury
me: I understand. Because I feel the fury too.

25 April 2007

On a serious note...

This week's New Yorker has one of the best commentaries I've read regarding the VaTech massacre. I'll be political for a moment (I'm not usually on this blog), but its time Congress adopts some sensible gun control laws. According to this article, "On a recent list of the fourteen worst mass shootings in Western democracies since the nineteen-sixties the United States claimed seven, and, just as important, no other country on the list has had a repeat performance as severe as the first..."

Red flag, anyone?

Full article here.

Some excerpts:

"Reducing the number of guns available to crazy people will neither relieve them of their insanity nor stop them from killing. Making it more difficult to buy guns that kill people is, however, a rational way to reduce the number of people killed by guns. Nations with tight gun laws have, on the whole, less gun violence; countries with somewhat restrictive gun laws have some gun violence; countries with essentially no gun laws have a lot of gun violence. (If you work hard, you can find a statistical exception hiding in a corner, but exceptions are just that. Some people who smoke their whole lives don’t get lung cancer, while some people who never smoke do; still, the best way not to get lung cancer is not to smoke.)"

"It’s true that in renewing the expired ban on assault weapons we can’t guarantee that someone won’t shoot people with a semi-automatic pistol, and that by controlling semi-automatic pistols we can’t reduce the chances of someone killing people with a rifle. But the point of lawmaking is not to act as precisely as possible, in order to punish the latest crime; it is to act as comprehensively as possible, in order to prevent the next one. Semi-automatic Glocks and Walthers, Cho’s weapons, are for killing people. They are not made for hunting, and it’s not easy to protect yourself with them. (If having a loaded semi-automatic on hand kept you safe, cops would not be shot as often as they are.)"

"Rural America is hunting country, and hunters need rifles and shotguns—with proper licensing, we’ll live with the risk. There is no reason that any private citizen in a democracy should own a handgun. At some point, that simple truth will register. Until it does, phones will ring for dead children, and parents will be told not to ask why.There is no reason that any private citizen in a democracy should own a handgun. At some point, that simple truth will register. Until it does, phones will ring for dead children, and parents will be told not to ask why.
"

24 April 2007

A Late Adopter.

I think I am ahead of the curve on a lot of things (mostly thanks to the internets)- news, fashion, celebrity gossip, etc. In general, I think that is a fair statement compared to say, ummmmmm, my mom. OR WAIT. Your mom. I know there is a “mom” joke in there somewhere.

Anyway. Defying my SUPER TRENDSETTER TREND (god I wish there were a sarcasm font), are a few late adoptions. What I mean is, I knew about all of these things (that I am about to talk about) for a while but I was late in experiencing (or “adopting”) them…and I really think I was missing out all this time while I was just sitting around (probably just reading the internets).

1. BEST CEREAL EVER. My favorite cereal is either Special K (when fresh berries are available to add to my little bowl of heaven) or Crispix (when berries not available). A couple of months ago, though, I saw an ad for “Chocolaty Delight Special K.” In case you are wondering what that is, its Special K with pieces of chocolate in it! My first thought was “hmmmmm, sounds like an great idea. But, I don’t know if I want chocolate in my cereal.” (I never liked Coco Puffs or Cookie Crunch or Reese’s Puffs or any of that jazz.). A few months later, at the grocery store this weekend, I went to the cereal aisle to grab a box of my usual regular Special K (does anyone know why it’s called Special K?), and I saw that all Special K products were 2 for $5. So I decided to grab a box of the Chocolaty Delight too. I just had it for breakfast this morning. WOWZA. It’s good. Chocolate? GOOOOD. Special K? GOOOOD. Although I think it’s more of a nighttime cereal (cereal also happens to be my favorite snack), or even a DESSERT CEREAL. Either way. If you think Special K with Chocolate SOUNDS like a good idea, you will probably love it.

2. BEST BOND EVER. I love James Bond movies. One of my favorite memories involves me, my dad and my brother sitting in a hotel room in California after a long day of driving (from Vegas) and watching “For Your Eyes Only.” (That was in Roger Moore’s heyday). I won’t embarrass Evan with the full details of the story, but it’s thanks to some of his commentary on the movie, that that one has long been my favorite Bond movie from the franchise. I had been meaning to see Casino Royale last fall in theatres, but going with the theme of this blog post, obviously, I didn’t. I finally rented it this weekend and…ummm…DEFINITELY watched it twice in one day. I’ll admit, I was one of the Blond Bond skeptics, but Daniel Craig is the franchise’s best Bond to date. Seriously fantastic…and probably the most CUT Bond to date. I even liked the Bond girl a lot (Eva Green). And I am not a car wonk, but I know enough to know that the Aston Martin in that movie is SICK. I’m totally buying it (the movie. I can’t afford an Aston Martin and this juncture in my life. Nor can I drive stick). Probably the only thing I didn’t like about it was the theme song by Chris Cornell. But that’s mainly because I think he’s a douche in general. Soundgarden was cool. Audioslave kind of makes me want to stab myself in the ear.

3. BEST VENUE EVER. I came close to seeing Citizen Cope at Rams Head Live in Baltimore last year, but it was sold out when I got there (and I didn’t buy advanced tix). But I finally got around to seeing a show there over the weekend, thanks to my friend Tara. She works for Rams Head and got us in to the sold out show and even into the VIP section for Brand New. It has to be one of the best venues I’ve seen a show at. I didn’t partake of the open bar, so my judgment of the facility is not clouded by alcohol or anything. Really great sound, cool layout, multiple levels for viewing, and flat panel LCD TV monitors all over the place so you can see the act even if you’re a midget. I was even a late adopter to the show in general. Rachel had been talking about wanting to go for months and I was just kind of “eeeeeeehhhh, maybe.” Until it sold out and it was too late. Luckily I still have some connections and asked Tara just last week if she could hook it. And man was it worth it- the opening band had dueling drummers for almost the entire set. Until the end, when FIVE drummers came out. I was so impressed that I told Rachel “Any band from here on out that doesn’t have at least 5 drummers is going to be a let down.” Even after Brand New’s main set I said, “Well, it was good, but it was no 5 drummers.” Apparently, I spoke too soon because during the encore, Brand New brought out 14 drummers. FOURTEEN. They started out slow- with 5 drummers-enough to get me jazzed. Then more just kept coming out from the woodworks (i.e.-backstage) with their own drums…or some just opted to steal a drum off the kit and play in mid air. It was basically pandemonium. And when they were done, the stage was just a massive pile of instruments (mostly drums).

Ahhhhhh sweet cacophony.

19 April 2007

IMDB (best site ever) really helped me out on this one...

Alright, so I guess I’m officially out of the MTV generation (I will watch The Hills until they cancel it though). I came to this sad realization after I watched a movie two weeks ago: “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” and was going on to Rachel about how good the kid who played the main character was…some kid named “Shia LeBeouf.” To which she exclaimed: “THE KID FROM HOLES?” And I said “What? What’s that?!”

She schooled me on this guy’s career and apparently he was some sort of Disney Channel Superstar/new MTV heartthrob. I found this odd since the movie I watched, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” was definitely NOT Disney. The movie is based on the life of the director and is played, as an adult, by Robert Downey Jr. I fell in love with Robert Downey Jr. at the ripe age of 7 when I saw the movie “Chances Are.” Then again around 12 in one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies “Only You” (co-starring Marissa Tomei and Billy Zane as a complete jackass- in all seriousness, how could that movie NOT be good?). I know he was in Weird Science and Less Than Zero (co-starring the other dude I’m mildly obsessed with, James Spader), but I didn’t see those until I was older. My fave role he’s played, though, is probably that of Michael Douglass’s gay publisher in the movie “Wonder Boys” (great film if you haven’t seen it).

OK, I'm getting off track. Anyway, Robert Downey Jr. is a bad-ass, and this kid plays the teenage version of RDJr’s character in “A Guide…”

Ever since I saw Shia two weeks ago in that role, I’ve seen him everywhere: in trailers, in the news, on TV. He’s in “The #1 Movie in America that I Don’t Care to See”-- “Disturbia,” (also happens to be the ACTUAL #1 movie in America…and apparently was heavily promoted through tie-ins on MTV), stars in this summer’s sure-to-be-blockbuster “Transformers” (which I will see), just signed on to the Indiana Jones 4 movie (I loved those flicks when I was a kid, minus the snake scene and the ripping-out-the-heart/lava pit scenes), and hosted Saturday Night Live this week.

On a related note, did you guys know that Robert Downey Jr. used to be an SNL cast member? Yeah, from 1985-86 (I've said it before and I'll say it again: IMDB is a wonderful tool). Shia actually did a decent job hosting. It wasn’t the funniest episode I’ve seen, but he held his own in the sketches…and the digital short cracked me up even though it was probably the stupidest concept ever. It was basically a commentary on musically overdramatacized scenes featuring the song “Hide & Seek” by Imogen Heap. It was so preposterous that I couldn’t stop laughing.

Anyway, my points, in closing:
1.Shia LeBeouf is one to watch. I think he’s gonna be a big deal.
2.There are probably tens of millions of teeny boppers out there who said the same thing like 2 years ago, which makes me feel totally old and uncool (in my defense it probably would have been a lot more uncool of me to know ANYTHING about ANYTHING going on on the Disney Channel, RACHEL.)

18 April 2007

BREAKING Fashion News! (well, to me...)

Gap has introduced a line called “Design Editions” where the CFDA/Vogue fashion award winners (Doo.Ri, Thakoon, Rodarte) take on the classic white shirt. I got excited when I saw Thakoon was a participating designer, because I thought they might do a white-shirt take on that pink petal dress I’ve seen everywhere:



But alas, no. Even though I generally like all of the designers, I find the collection to be a disappointment. You can see it here. All pieces are $68-$88. I don’t think I am going to jump at this one, though. By the way, if anyone is interested in a pretty cool documentary on the CFDA/Vogue Young Designer awards process, Seamless is available for rent on Netflix. (spoiler alert) They filmed it the year Proenza Schouler won. (Also, at first, I was thinking of the 1995 flick "Unzipped," but wanted to double check...so I typed "Unzipped" in the Google toolbar and it automatically went to the first site. UMMMMMM, Yeah...don't do that. It's gay porn.)

Also, just found out the next Go! International designer for Target is going to be Patrick Robinson, former designer for Perry Ellis (Know who else got his start as the designer for Perry Ellis? Marc Jacobs!). Robinson calls the collection Mediterranean-inspired vacation wear. The pieces can be viewed here.

Overheard in my Life

Rather than weekly installments, I'm just going to post whenever there's been a good string of post-able conversations. By the way, I'm pretty sure everyone is going to want to overhear the Colbert Report tomorrow night because Sean Penn has accepted Stephen's challenge to duel in a Metaphor-off. That's right. Jeff Spicoli is going to battle to the death using one of the most powerful tools in the English language. It's going to be neat!

Anyway, OVERHEARD:

4/12

C: I’m about to forward you something. You tell me if she’s having a manic episode or started taking crystal meth.

LG: Are those my only two choices?

C: So it seems.

LG: Awesome. Can’t wait.

------------------------------------------------------

4/12

Kfo: Obviously, I excel at duels. Being from Texas and all.

------------------------------------------------------

4/13

C: Most surprising sentence I've ever read: “A lawyer for the Republican National Committee told congressional staff members yesterday that the RNC is missing at least four years' worth of e-mail from White House senior adviser Karl Rove that is being sought as part of investigations into the Bush administration, according to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.”

LG: Yeah I read about that. Did you see Pat Leahy up there saying, "You can’t lose email! That's like saying the dog ate my homework!"?

C: hahahaha. I mean, what is the defense? "Whoops! I accidentally deleted FOUR YEARS worth of email"

C: Maybe Karl Rove just doesn't have gmail. So he had to delete to make room.

LG: Should we send him an invitation?

C: We should. It’s the Christian thing to do

LG: His email is kr@georgewbush.com. They showed it on the news last night. That’s the account he uses for "political" matters, not "white house" matters.

C: When he says "white house" stuff, he probably means, "e-vites and forwards from Laura."

LG: Naturally. That’s what I assumed too.
--------------------------------------------------

4/13

Rachel: If I wear that shirt, then I can sing “domo arrigato mr roboto” allllll the time.

LG: yes.

LG: and it wont be weird.

LG: [rolling eyes]

Rachel: thats the second time within two days someone has given me a digital eyeroll.
---------------------------------------------------

4/13

Ted: Does anyone know where the closest rope store is? Cause, God I hope it’s still open.

---------------------------------------------------
Late entry from an e-mail chain this morning:

Sarah:
Casting Call: The search for the new Menudo will come to New York on April 28 from 11a-4p at Queens Center Mall, 9015 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst. Celebrity judges participating that day will be music manager, Johnny Wright and recording artist Don Omar.

Mike: Has Tobias Funke been sending you clips from Variety again?

Sarah: Yes, but not Variety. He said he found it in a trACTOR magazine under "parts parts parts."

Sham: He thought he was on his way to the audition but he accidentally boarded a bus full of homosexual pirates.

Leslie: I'm not really interested in recreating Menudo, but if they're auditioning for Dr. Funke's 100 Percent Natural Good Time Family Band Solution, sign me up.

Sarah: Sorry, I have already put together that super group. But I can make you an alternate.Current members include: Vanilla, "The Landlord" from the Will Ferrell clip "The Landlord", and Bob Anderson

16 April 2007

I stand corrected.

I mentioned in my last post that TV is basically worthless except for an hour-long window on Thursday nights. After this weekend, though, I feel the need to add a caveat to that statement: “EXCEPT for the Discovery Channel.”

Before you judge me for sitting on the couch watching TV all day, I will say that I rarely do it and the weather was piss poor this weekend. Also, I’m housesitting/dogsitting for Rick and he has an awesome flat-panel HD TV. It’s really quite mesmerizing.

Anyway, Evan came over Saturday and we watched an hour of Meerkat Manor (Evan's favorite reality show that follows around a family of Meerkats in South Africa. His favorite Meerkats are Shakespeare and Mozart). ...Followed by a half hour of an infomercial (I NEED the SonicBlade. Seriously, If I weren’t afraid of accidentally dismembering myself with it, I probably would have called the toll-free number then and there)…until finally I got sucked into “Deadliest Catch” for THREE HOURS. This is a show on the Discovery Channel that chronicles the journeys of Alaskan crab fisherman.

You might say, “Leslie, that sounds like a lame premise for a show.” To which I would reply, “I defy you to watch 10 minutes of that show and then turn the channel.” The only reason I stopped watching was because we were supposed to meet Mike and Tristan at Ben’s Chili Bowl for dinner at 7 and I got a text from Tristan at 6:55 asking if I was there yet. My reply said “on my way.” In reality, I was just scrambling to turn off “Deadliest Catch” before a swift walk to meet up with some chili cheese fries.

We’ll get back to the Discovery Channel soon…don’t worry, there’s more…but I will comment on Saturday night (not spent watching TV). After dinner at Ben’s with Lame Evan, M-Bone, Big Tristan, and Ribs (Evan, Mike, Tristan, Rachel), Evan and I went to see “Avenue Montaigne” at the E Street Cinema (That French movie I’ve been talking about for a couple of weeks). It was great. And I wasn’t the only patron to comment on its similarities to Amelie (in my personal Top 5). I hold that Amelie is still the superior film, but Evan preferred this one. However, no one could dispute the warm fuzzy happy feeling you get with both films at the end. When we walked out I just turned to Evan and said, “Wow. I am just so happy right now.” And he said “Well, I didn’t want to say anything because it sounds totally lame, but I can’t wipe this stupid grin off my face.”

So anyway, if you don’t mind subtitles, I definitely recommend this funny, feel-good flick.

…And back to the Discovery Channel. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about the “Planet Earth” miniseries since its debut last week, so I decided to give it a watch. And during “Deadliest Catch,” they kept running the promo featuring the NYTimes reviews that said “Planet Earth makes all previous conservation films look pedestrian.” Well the New York Times was right. The film is visually stunning. I wasn’t all that enthralled with whomever was narrating it (turns out its Sigourney Weaver). My favorite part, though, was the clip during the credits where they interviewed one of the cameramen on how he got the shot of piranhas devouring a fish. I’d be even more interested in a show that profiled how they actually shot the series. Cause my mind was blown several times.

But anyway- here are my thoughts on last nights installments “Jungles” and “Fresh Water”:

1. I could have done without the tree frog gangbang in HD. Really unnecessary and kind of disturbing.
2. I am now terrified of something I never knew existed: GIANT salamanders.
3. Also could have done without the time-lapsed mushroom growth and beetle larvae migration. Both totally freaked me out.
4. Another reason I love otters: Their primary defense mechanism is heckling. Seriously, a pack of river otters scared a 13-foot crocodile away from eating them by taunting it. Otters are cool as a mug.

Next week’s episodes are “Forests” and “Caves.” I find caves fascinating but I would never go spelunking. I’ll just live vicariously through those crazy Discovery Channel cameramen while I sit in my big comfy chair sipping cherry Crystal Light mixed with sparkling water (yeah, I made that last night too. Sill-ly ba-zilly.)

13 April 2007

I've un-shunned television.

I go through episodes where I really just think television is the worst. I’m generally affected by this feeling every week from about Saturday afternoon (during the college football off-season) until Thursday evenings when I often get sucked into sitting though the most un-funny program on the air, My Name is Earl.

Then, The Office and 30 Rock comes on and I’m a television believer again. I don’t think I’ve sat through a more entertaining hour of TV in a year than I did last night.

First, The Office. The best part about last night’s episode was…umm…EVERYTHING. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite for loving it so much now since I was such a hater/latecomer to the program. I trashed talked it for it for about a year because I was a BBC/Ricky Gervais devotee and really didn’t want to switch to the American version. And I think some people would agree that the first few episodes were purely trying to make and American version of the British show, which is impossible. No one can replicate David Brent.

But once I was forced into watching an episode last season, I realized the show had really come into its own and is really a completely different program than the BBC show. About the only thing that remained the same was the dynamic between characters, but their personalities are all their own and the NBC show has a much more Americanized sense of humor than the dry British comedy.

The first 5 minutes of last night’s episode, centered around the return of Andy (Drew) to Dunder Mifflin after a stint in anger management rehab, was comedic genius. In fact, I was so focused on talking with my fellow Office-watching friends about the Dwight shunning of Andy and the “bear attack” comment in that scene this morning that I forgot to mention the awesome recurrence of Ryan asking about the appropriateness long-sleeve tees.

The gambling subplot was brilliant. I wasn’t sure, at first, why they scripted Kelly in to talk about the Netflix process for a good 30 seconds, but the payoff was worth it.

I decided against including a list of my favorite lines from last night, not only because I knew I’d botch something or overlook a favorite, but I also anticipate you guys will leave the best ones the comment section.

30 Rock continues to be my personal “can’t-miss” favorite, and they added Emily Mortimer (of Match Point) to the cast this week as Jack’s new love interest. Jenna was interestingly missing from this episode, but it did feature a Tracey Jordan-produced trailer for his upcoming Thomas Jefferson biopic--a drama, in the style of "Norbit," where Tracey plays all of the main characters:


My two favorite lines from last night:

Tracey: “Thank you Don Geiss for coming to this meeting. Can I interest you in some grenadine or fried rice?”

Floyd: “Jack, in my opinion, the Foo Fighters wrote their hit song “Best of You” in large part as a tribute to your managerial skills.”

11 April 2007

HOLY SHIT.

Stella McCartney designed a line for Australian Target? Its in Australian Target stores RIGHT...NOW. I mean, I really can't complain--we got Proenza Schouler (and to give Stella credit she did a line in the states for H&M two years ago), but this line trumps everything else I've seen. (Don't give me "the grass is always greener" speech. I've heard it and all it makes me want to do is steal the grass from the other side and sod it on top of mine.)**

I came about it as I was killing time sifting through a few chloe/marc jacobs/stella selections on Ebay (3 particular items I check regularly to see if they're available: [1.] Chloe snakeskin sandals, [2.] MJ Jeweled turquise flats--the HOLY GRAIL of shoes...I came thisclose in Paris. What am I going to do with a size five shoe? Glue a hook on it and wear it as earrings?, and [3.] Stella for H&M black Tulip dress, size 12).

Anyway, while I was searching Stella McCartney, I kept running accross the same few "sold out bird print" garments for well under what you'd pay at a Stella store for a sock (by the way I have been to the store in the meatpacking district. About all I could afford to do there was restock my perfume. It's my fave.).

So I started getting curious and ran across a slideshow of the entire line at this site.

First of all- who knew Australia even has Target stores? From what my Australian clients tell me, toilet paper is a luxury item over there, so I figure if they had a Target it'd be some sort of safari gear, dingo food or surfboard emporium. Come to find out they're pretty with-it fashion wise.

Now I'm researching Fed-Ex rates from the Sydney Target to NW DC...


**Update (written15 minutes after original post)-OK, after my initial excitement over the line, its not much different from the H&M line from 2 years ago. Similar concept, different cuts and color palette. There are pieces I like better from this line and pieces I like from the other. So I don't think I'll need that Tylenol PM tonight after all.

***Update on the update (written 5 minutes after the first update.): What am I talking about? This is America. We're supposed to get all the cool stuff!

Did you know there are discussion boards on the Vogue website dedicated to Stella McCartney clothing swaps? It just came up in Google. I'm not THAT crazy. OK, maybe a little.

09 April 2007

Four chapters on the pros and cons of being friendly (plus the chinese dragon guy).

After detailing the following events to Rachel Saturday evening, it really begged the question:

LG: Seriously? Do I look really friendly today?

R-bone: No. And usually you walk around with a permanent scowl on your face. So I don’t know why anyone would come talk to you.

LG: I know. I do it on purpose so that people WON’T talk to me.

As you might be able to tell, I had some interesting encounters on Saturday:

I. National Gallery of Art Security Guard
II. Chinese dragon statue guy
III. High-five guy
IV. Metro guys
V. Stetson’s pool hustlers

In general My “me” day on Saturday was a huge success, as I got to every exhibit I wanted to see and then some. I started out at the Hirshhorn and saw the light exhibit and the John Balderassi exhibit that I was talking about wanting to see last week, then I headed over to the NGA East Building to check out the Jasper Johns exhibit (cleverly sponsored by Target). Afterwards, I went down to the concourse to walk over to the West building for another exhibit, but not before stopping off in my favorite area- the permanent contemporary art collection in the East Building basement. It was there that I had my first weird encounter.

I. National Gallery of Art Security Guard

I was standing in front of Sigmar Polke’s “Hope is: Wanting to Pull Clouds” when I noticed I was being watched. Like a hawk. By the security guard. I thought it was weird since I didn’t think I looked very suspicious, but then I thought maybe he was eyeing my camera. So I asked:

LG: Is it OK if I take a picture without a flash?

Security Guard: Sure. You can take it with or without a flash. Just go for it.

LG: OK. I will. Thanks. (Took a picture and started writing on my pamphlet the name of the painting. Security guard is still watching me and I am starting to get creeped out. So I just walked away and said: “Thanks again.”)

Security Guard: So are you from around here?

LG: Yep. Here. DC.

Security Guard: Are you and art student or an art teacher?

LG: Neither.

Security Guard: Then why are you here?

LG: Um. I guess I just like art?

Security Guard: Why this painting?

LG: Well, I was just at the Hirshhorn and saw another painting I really liked and took a picture of and I noticed this one is by the same artist. So I want to remember to look him up when I go home. Plus, I was here for a special exhibit upstairs and this is my favorite area of the museum. So whenever I am here, I make sure to stop by and visit my favorite paintings. That’s all.

Security guard: Are you sure you aren’t an art student. I’m just, I’m just really getting that vibe.

LG: Nope. I, um, just work in DC. Nothing arty.

Security guard: Oh, well we’re always getting new stuff in here. Like that black felt one behind you. Just came in yesterday. I think it’s a piece of crap. I don’t think that’s art. I don’t know anyone who’d think that’s art.

LG: (thinking, “um, obviously the museum curator did.”) Oh. Well I guess it depends what other people consider art to be. Maybe not aesthetically pleasing, but maybe it has some sort of meaning. It depends on who you ask.

Security guard: Yeah. I just think its crap.

LG: OK. Well, um, thanks again.

Security guard: Sure! Well stop by again. Come back anytime. Especially, maybe if you’d like to go out sometime.

LG: OK. Thanks. (thinking: “Whaaaaaaaaaat?”)


II. Chinese Dragon Statue Guy

At that, I headed over to the west building to find a photography exhibit called “Paris in Transition.” Wandering through the ground level, I passed through the Chinese antiquities area and noticed a gentleman who was either extremely drunk or on some sort of illicit substance because he was having a conversation with one of the Chinese dragon statues. All I could really make out was “Ohhhh! You’re so fierce! You’re sooooooo fierce!” and was really just hoping there was someone else in the room to witness this.


III. High Five Guy
After my museum adventures, I headed home to change before heading to dinner and out for Laura’s birthday. After changing I walked back towards the metro and got a really enthusiastic high five from some dude outside the Mobil station by my house. This was apparently really amusing to the homeless guy stationed on the sidewalk there because he started laughing uncontrollably and I said “Hey! How’s it going?” and he said “Great, now!”


IV. Metro guys
I’m sure most of you know, it’s not really kosher to talk to other people on the metro. So I did find it a bit weird when the guy I sat behind turned around to talk to me. But I think he was genuinely being friendly and not trying to hit on me and we ended up having an enjoyable conversation. He was visiting from L.A. and was talking to me about the area and suggestions on what to do and what not and thanked me for the talk when he got off at his stop. But when he got up to leave, another kid sat in his spot- could not have been more than 17 years old, long hair, braces, looks like he is the dungeon master for his Magic: The Gathering Club. This kid turns around and says to me, “Hey! How’s it going? What’d you do today?” At this point in the day, I was just so baffled and could not figure out how things were so different today that strangers are approaching me. Everyone from middle-aged security guards to awkward pubescent teenagers. This “strangers approaching me thing” was getting completely absurd. At that I was just like “Um, fine, I have to get off at the next stop. Bye!”


V. Stetson’s pool hustlers

After dessert fondue for Laura’s birthday at Melting Pot and a Pop Rocks martini at Tallulah (because nothing says “I’m 25 and mature” like ordering a drink because it comes with Pop Rocks), Jen drove us back to our neighborhood where we decided to have one last drink at Stetson’s (about a block from our respective apartments). So we’re sitting at the bar chatting and these two dudes ask if they can buy us drinks. Who are we to turn down fee booze? Then they asked if we wanted to play a game of pool, but we both declined saying we were beyond terrible. They assured us that they were no good as well, but it’d just be for kicks. So since they bought us drinks, we went along. Jen and I are picking out and chalking our pool cues when I turn around to see one of the guy pulling out his cue-carrier and assembling his own pool cue.

LG: “Are you fucking kidding me? You brought your own cue? Can we take a picture of this? Because no one will believe it.”

Mark (Pool Cue Guy): “Yeah, just hang on a second.” (puts on pool GLOVE.)

LG: “Oh no you didn’t! Can I wear the glove in the picture.”

Mark: “Yeah, sure. You can wear it the whole game. I have another one.” (puts on SPARE POOL GLOVE.).

By the way, Jen and pool cue guy won the first game, me and the guy who kept leaving to get high somehow won the second (I attribute that to me pulling out my I-pod at the end to “get in the zone.” It eff-ing worked, too. I sunk the last "solid" and the 8-ball. And I REALLY suck at pool. I think it was the spare glove). Then, Jen and I got the last 2 pieces of jumbo slice at Duccini’s. Best slice in DC. And the owner gave us free cokes. I guess sometimes being friendly DOES have its perks.

06 April 2007

Don’t judge an album by its jewel case...

…Or however the old adage goes. So, last Saturday, R-bone and I were at a Best Buy, and I finally picked up the two albums I’ve been meaning to buy: Modest Mouse’s “We were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank” and Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible.”

While standing in line:

LG: "The real question now is which one do we listen to first in the car?"

R-bone: "Modest Mouse."

LG: "Wow. Well, I was going to go with Arcade Fire."

Well, since I bought the CDs and because R-bone was in no position to fight me while driving, I started unwrapping Neon Bible. Cellophane wrapping came off fine, but the jewel case itself was wrapped in a thin layer of decorative cardboard that—no joke--took me a solid 10 minutes and multiple finger muscles to remove. I gave up and re-tried several times. I even handed it over to Rachel when my hand got tired and she had no luck getting it to budge either. It got to the point where I thought I was going to have to rip the artwork, but R-bone had a serious objection to that. And just then, about 9 minutes into my fight with the CD packaging, the cardboard started to budge. Slowly, but surely, I shimmied it off.

After removing the customarily irritating plastic sticker, I opened the jewel case and the entire front came off like a lid. My jewel case was now in two pieces and the plastic prongs that normally keep the disc in place were scattered in pieces and the disc just fell into my lap while I stared at it in disbelief.

LG: “This is the most shoddily packaged disc I’ve ever encountered.”

R-bone: “Just put it in.”

R-Bone’s Jetta’s CD player: “Scanning…Scanning…Error.” [Spits disc out].

LG: WTF?

R-bone: “Try it again.”

R-Bone’s Jetta’s CD player: “Scanning…Scanning…Error.” [Spits disc out].

LG: "OK. This is going back. I’m putting in Modest Mouse."

For the record, I really enjoy the Modest Mouse CD. But it’s really being overshadowed by the superiority of Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible. When I got home, I tried the AF disc in my computer and it worked fine (which is really all that matters to me since my I-pod is my music player). Also, when I got home and it works, I had a fucking rock session in my room. A few of my initial thoughts on the album:

Is it weird that two of the tracks remind me of Bruce Springsteen? “Keep the Car Running” and “(Antichrist Television Blues).”

Another thing you might know about me is that I LOVE piano rock. Something Corporate. Phantom Planet. Jack’s Mannequin. HAS ANYONE HEARD JASON SCHWARTZMAN’S NEWEST BAND PROJECT “Coconut Records?” I’m cising that just about as much as this Arcade Fire album—but they’re totally different and for different musical moods, so maybe I’ll blog about J-Schwartz’s new side project another time…Anyway- my point: Piano Rock is my jawn. But Arcade Fire has really opened my eyes to the awesomeness of PIPE ORGAN ROCK. "Intervention" is the best (and my favorite) example of this. See also “My Body is a Cage.”

My fave tracks overall, though (subject to change): “The Well and the Lighthouse,” "Intervention," and “No Cars Go.”

By the way, credit to Todd and Charlotte for their musical suggestion that I add Neon Bible to the collection. I’d say my favorite suggestions to receive are musical suggestions, so keep them coming.

04 April 2007

The Beach House part deux.

I just had a “eureka” moment.

Backstory: I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this May and am collaborating with the groom’s brother for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party in Manhattan the Thursday before the wedding. Apparently all the other groomsmen were slacking, so we formed our own party committee. Two of the groomsmen are Mike’s best friends from college: Bob and Jeff. During my and Shamra’s last semester at Penn State, we pretty much solely hung out with them and (the Bride) Sarah at Mike and Bob’s apartment, which we referred to as “The Beach House.”

Beach house weekends (every weekend) basically entailed the cheapest liquor we could find (particularly off-brand goldschlagger and tequila) and Natural Light beer. Around midnight we would turn off the lights and put on Jock Jams and/or Outkast and participated in what we referred to as “Dance Party 2003.” Yeah that’s right, The Beach House turned into a ridiculous Dance Club. Members only.

So anyyyyyway, I’m emailing with Mike’s brother and he was commenting on how Jeff and Bob are slacking on the bachelor party front, won’t plan anything and will probably never RSVP, but might just end up showing up at the 11th hour. This was no shock to me as this was pretty much how things always worked out. But as I read it I said to myself “hmphf. Sounds like Will and Ted.”

And that’s when it hit me.

I am having a friends repeat.

Mike and Tristan/Mike and Sarah: Token happy couple who’s glue that brought us all together. Just to point out the EVEN CREEPIER PART: Mike and Mike have the same name. See? I told you. CREEPY.

Rachel/Shamra: Trusty sidekick/wing-girl. Rachel’s a vegetarian from Boston. Shamra’s a vegan from Chicago. AND THEY BOTH HAVE BROWN HAIR! In socially awkward situations, Shamra does things like put on the nearest football helmet and start banging her head into the wall. Rachel’s just always socially awkward and has probably just gotten used to it.

Mike/Mike’s friends--
Ted/Bob: Weird/funny hipster guys. Ted throws cheeseburgers at people’s faces and only goes to see indie films. Bob buys ridiculous vintage clothes on eBay and subscribes to Wine Spectator magazine. Bob’s really good at Trivial Pursuit and I have a sneaking suspicion that Ted is too.
Will/Jeff: Cute athletic loudmouth baseball fanatics. Both are all talk and no game. Both completely socially inappropriate after drinking a six pack.

“Will and Ted’s Excellent Apartment”/ “The Beach House”: We just show up unannounced and drink cheap beer and something awesome and unpredictable happens.

Me/Me: Hi, I’m Leslie and I’m living a repetitive life.


The thing is- all of those comparisons I’ve made at some point in the past few weeks as a passing “Oh, so-and-so reminds me of so-and-so.” It really wasn’t until just now that the whole group dynamic flashed before my brain and totally flummoxed me.

03 April 2007

Cherry Blossoms and Ketchup.

I’ve lived in the DC-area my whole life, but the annual Cherry Blossom festival never seems to get old for me. I go just about every year. Even when I was at Penn State, I used to bring my non-DC friends down to see the trees. They’re just beautiful. My favorite part is when the wind starts blowing and the blossoms scatter like a pale pink snowstorm.

So when Charlotte e-mailed me this morning to ask if I wanted to meet her and the fam at the Tidal Basin during lunch on this perfect 80-degree-sunny-day, I didn’t have any hesitations. Especially since the office is slow today.

I took a cab from my office and had him drop me off right on the bridge…Char and Levi were downtown but there was a lot of traffic and they still had to find parking. So I walked around, enjoyed the weather, took some pictures and then sat under a tree and read through a few of my paperclip-marked articles.

Charlotte called to say they had been driving back and forth looking for a place to park, but had no luck. I told her that was fine, that I was just enjoying being outside on my lunch break and getting away from my desk, but that I’d probably have to get back to work soon.

At that, she said “well, let’s just drive you back to work because we already told the kids they were going to see you and they’re already excited. Plus, it’s a showtime down here, we’re just going to go to the zoo anyway.”

I don’t know how I could ever doubt that riding through DC with that cast of characters would be less fun that relaxing under a tree in the sun.

Levi was driving his work pickup truck, so they stopped by the curb and I hopped in the front cab so that Charlotte was in the middle and Levi was driving and I was in the passenger seat. Apparently, this makes Levi some sort of pimp because he started getting all sorts of comments by passers-by. The best of which was a National Park Service employee that rolled down his pickup truck window and yelled at Levi, “WHHHHEW!! You’ve got two! Allllright!” and proceeded to give him the “thumbs up.”

Also, I know Washington isn’t what you might consider a “big city,” but it certainly provides for good toddler entertainment. Tunnels, in particular, seemed to turn their world upside down.

Then I told Charlotte that I could not join them for their outdoor grilling tonight because I was attending my first ever Passover Seder, and this would be my first Jewish celebration barring me and Rachel’s latke-making-fest around Hanukkah. I described latkes as “flattened tots” and then went into my qualms with all my jewish friends banning me from dipping them in ketchup. For it to really be a traditional latke, I had to eat it with sour cream and applesauce (which, by the way, surprisingly delicious…or as Char said “That sounds like a symphony in your mouth.”).

Levi admitted that sounded pretty good, but remains steady on Camp Ketchup with me.

I hope I have something interesting to report from dinner tonight. As long as it doesn’t involve me eating gefilte fish (although, I don’t know…can I dip that in ketchup?)

I am going to update this a bit later with some pics from the Tidal Basin I took today...

02 April 2007

Le week-end ├ętrange

Last week was a total anomaly. Since my last post, it’s only gotten weirder. Like, “I-don’t-even-want-to-talk-about-it” weird, or “Let-me-drink-2-bottles-of-champagne-and-wear-bunny-ears because-maybe-that-will-make-everything-better” weird. And that was before I even found out Caron Butler is going to be out for the rest of the season. So I’m hoping this week resumes some trend of normalcy and involves any or all of the following:

1. Ohio State losing the NCAA Championship
2. A new episode of 30 Rock


I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

If all that fails, I’m thinking I’m just going to have to take Saturday to bring it back down to neutral and take a personal day. This is where I leave my house for the majority of the day, leave my cell phone at home, and doing something alone. If it’s nice out, I think I’ll walk to the Smithsonian and check out a few of the current exhibits at the Hirshhorn (my favorite Smithsonian museum. I go about once or twice a year). Two of interest right now: “Ways of Seeing: John Baldessari Explores the Collection” and “Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Works from the Collection.” My absolute favorite art installation ever was a light project I saw at Le Centre Pompidou this summer. I’ve always liked modern art, but even more so since that trip. So I’m excited to see how this stacks up. Although, If it’s gross out, I’m thinking about going to E Street to see this French movie I read about: “Avenue Montaigne.” I saw “Blades of Glory” this weekend, so I feel like maybe I should balance that out with something remotely cultural. And also I have a weird obsession with everything French. And then there’s also the problem of me PROBABLY being the only person I know that wants to see that movie.

Or I could just host an all-day DRINKO tournament catered with tots and Cheetos. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.

By the way, do any of you read New York Magazine?? (NOT The New Yorker, although I do read that too). NYMag does a chart every week—I guess you statisticians out there might call it a scatter plot of sorts—of events/people/inventions/ideas/things-in-general plotted against a x-axis that measures from “despicable” to “genius” and a y-axis that measures from “high-brow” to “low-brow.” It's one of my favorite NYMag features (along with The Look Book). I really think I could apply that chart to my life. Maybe that’s how I’ll start evaluating my weekends.