03 September 2008

Dorkiest Ladies Night. EVER.

My best friend from college, Kristin (also know as KFo, dates and lives with Goggles) recently moved to Brooklyn for her second year of medical school, which began yesterday. Goggles had left town for Labor Day weekend, went upstate with some of his college buddies. So on Friday night, Sarah, Kristin and I decided to have a ladies night of sorts.

(Of course we kicked the night off with “Lady” by Styxx,. And the only reason I have “Lady” on my computer is because Rachel was visiting 2 weekends ago. She forced me to download it. And then forced me to play it. Multiple times. So there it was, sitting on my recently played items list. And it seemed like a funny idea to blast it in my living room. Until I had it stuck in my head all night. I guess the joke was on me. Anyway, I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t just sit around listening to “Lady” on the regular—it was all Rachel’s doing).

Our first stop Friday night was dinner at Counter in the East Village. It’s an organic vegetarian place that Sarah found—they even serve organic beer/wine/cocktails.

Then, we went to check out KGB Bar, a few blocks away. Where I got retroactively carded. Seriously, the bartender served me my drink, I started drinking it, then walked away to try and find a table, walked back to Kristin, who was at the bar ordering, to tell her I had no luck on the table hunt. The bartender saw that I was with her (Kristin, by the way, barely hits the 5-foot mark) and got carded. Who gets carded simply for ASSOCIATING with short people.? Card the short people all you want. But don’t bring me into the fray.

Anyway, it was at KGB Bar where we overheard the cell phone conversation that would send the entire evening into a downward spiral.

Sarah happened to overhear a drunk girl asking someone on the other end of her cell phone: “What are the 4 railroads in Monopoly?”

We all agreed that this was quite possibly the GREATEST BAR TRIVIA QUESTION EVER.

Why? Because everyone will think that they know it. But I suspect that most of you would only be able to nail three out of four. And then you’d just wallow in agony for the rest of the night trying to figure out the fourth Just like we did.

We came up with Reading, Pennsylvania, and B&O….

None of us could name the fourth. And we were adamant that no reference sources could be used, be it Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, or a folded up McDonald’s Monopoly board in your wallet… But after a while, we did agree that each of us could call a “lifeline”, as long as that person used only brainpower as well (no reference sources allowed; i.e. the honor system).

Naturally, I called Evan.

I don’t know if you know this, but 91% of the time spent at our Grandma’s house growing up was spent playing Monopoly. The other 9% was divvied up amongst trips to Vacation Bible School, shopping at the Martinsburg Mall and eating breakfasts of Martin’s donuts and dinners of chicken casserole and orange jello salad.

I was ALWAYS the iron.

My lifeline did not disappoint. He knew the answer, so now I knew he answer. I was a veritable fountain of Monopoly Railroad knowledge ready to rain down on KGB Bar. But Sarah refused to let me speak the truth. I was silenced until she found out the information through her own channels. Censorship at KGB Bar? How apt.

We walked the streets in search of a new bar, and I suggested going into whatever the first bar we encountered on our left was. It was called Cherry Tavern and I could not re-direct you back to it if my life depended on it. While Sarah sat at our Cherry Tavern table, busy making up railroad names and hoping she’d serendipitously word-vomit it, I was hell bent on distracting myself from spoiling the answer.

So, as a distraction, I proceeded on a quest to name all 50 states. It took me about 5 minutes to write down 40 states. The next 5 states took some pondering, and I used up about another 6 or 7 minutes. That’s around the time I started drawing a picture of the United States.

If only I could show you my interpretation of a U.S. map 5 drinks into the night. It's an abstract masterpiece.

When the map failed to trigger the last 5 states in my brain, I drew the alphabet, because I started getting confused reciting it in my head.

Among the states I had trouble getting:
Wisconsin (which is really just a travesty. Since I know, what I assume can only be half the population of Wisconsin)
Kentucky (this state alone ate up the last 5 minutes. It does not exist in Leslie’s America.).

I had wasted a good 20 minutes before Kristin whispered "K" across the table, and another 3 before I realized it stood for Kentucky. By then. Sarah was getting close to naming the fourth railroad. She got as far as “Straight Line” and I thought I was going to lose it.

So in another effort to distract myself, I started naming state capitals. As many as I could name correctly in 3 minutes.

There is only one word to describe my State-Capitol-Naming-Ability: Over-hyped.

I won a National Geographic board game for my placement in the 5th Grade Geometry Bee at Tulip Grove Elementary School. I’ve incarcerated Carmen Sandiego AND her henchman multiple times. And now I don’t even know that the capitol of South Dakota ? (For the record, it’s Pierre).

In my defense, and to give you a sense of the state of my mind at this point, I wrote that Sacramento was both the capital of California AND Colorado. So, I didn’t EXACTLY bring my A-game.

Maybe it was the last drink I had, maybe it was my frustration in the degeneration of my U.S. geography skills. But when Sarah started laughing at me because I wrote “Columbus,” as the capital of South Carolina instead of "Columbia," I just smirked and said:


That’s when our referee/babysitter/state-capitol-accuracy-checker Kristin had to cut us off, herd us onto the L Train and make sure we didn’t kill each other on the way home. Obviously I am still alive as I type this. But have you heard from Sarah lately? Did she succumb to my 2am subway lobster claw attack? Did she go insane from my multiple queries (40+) into whether or not I could look at her pictures from the night? Find out in the next installment of little-red-dress.blogspot.com. If I have more ridiculous weekend shenanigans to report on, you’ll know she made it through.

28 August 2008

I brought the money. Did you bring the arugula?

For one week only, I’ve decided to give vegetarianism a whirl.

I’d say a solid 70% of my good friends are vegetarians. Many, recent converts. And yes, I AM doing it because everyone else is doing it. The fact that everyone else is doing it—voluntarily—means there must be some sort of draw. I want to see what all the hype is about.

And to answer your question, if they all jumped off a bridge, yada yada… Well, there must be something cool under the bridge, right?

I'd maybe strap on a parachute, so just in case it’s a let down, I don’t die.

That’s kind of the idea with the one-week timeline. It’s my parachute. In case the vegetables turn against me.

So far (four days), the experience has been pretty surprising. The first day was easy, it was pretty much a normal meat-free day. I've dabbled in one-off meat-free days for years. The second day was when things really started to reveal themselves...

All of the things I thought would be hard really haven’t and vice versa.

The hardest thing so far hasn’t been craving steak, bacon, or turkey sandwiches (which are usually my lunch staple), like I expected. It hasn’t been finding good vegetarian alternatives, either.

The hardest thing has actually been being conscious of what I'm eating. Like tuesday, for example, I didn’t bring my lunch. So I went around the corner to Au Bon Pain and was next in line to order my usual, a thai chicken wrap. Then I realized there is actually chicken in the thai chicken wrap. So I left, cause everything else at Au Bon Pain is garbage.

Then I walked over to the new Whole Foods that just opened in Tribeca (which is gorgeous, by the way) and went for the sushi counter. I picked up a tuna-avocado roll, and then set it back down. Remembering then that I can’t eat fish either. TRICKED AGAIN!

So I went to the salad bar. And you know, there are a lot more meat dishes than you’d expect at the salad bar. I had to stop myself from going for what I normally would have. Then I wondered if I actually do eat a lot more meat than I thought, without ever really thinking about it?

What else do I eat without thinking about it?

Weather or not this stint goes beyond a week, it’s an interesting exercise in thinking about what fuels your body. I’ll definitely stick to the week, but the longest this could possibly last is Thanksgiving. No tofurkey for this girl. I want the real thing.

Tonight I am entertaining my favorite vegetarian couple for dinner and Obama speech-watching. I’ve decided to cook stuffed peppers I have all of the ingredients except the actual peppers. So at lunch today, I walked to the grocery store to load up.

On the way, I came across a street vendor selling peppers.

This is one of the great things about New York. You can pretty much buy anything on the street at any given time. Jerk chicken and/or goat? There’s a Jamaican lunch truck two blocks from me. Delicious roasted nuts? Get off at the nearest subway stop anywhere in Manhattan and follow your nose. Hot Cartier watch? I can’t guarantee it's authenticity or if the battery will last longer than the end of the week--but yeah, you can get those too. Then, wedged in between the $5 cashmere scarf vendor and the designer imposter fragrances vendor is a guy with a wagon full of bananas, raspberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe…and today…orange bell peppers.

Some people are wary of buying fruit on the street. I think maybe you should be more wary of buying hot dogs and/or goat meat on the street. Doubly wary of goat-meat-hot-dogs.

I said to myself "If they've got a ridiculously good deal on peppers, like 3 for $1, I will buy street peppers."

SIX for $1.

I don't know how they grow those peppers, but it probably involves some sort of black magic.

Is black magic considered a certified organic growing process? I don't think you would categorize it as "conventional," at least.

But whatever you do, don’t you dare classify my peppers as elitist.

They are street peppers. Even filled with couscous and baby spinach, I’ll know where they came from.

25 August 2008

There Will Be Blood.

Ed. Note: A new Mike has joined our group of friends in New York. So for the sake of clarity, we'll call him "Goggles." Original Mike will be called "Mike." Sorry Goggles, first come, first serve.

Goggles is relatively new to hanging out with Sarah and me. Which is why you can't really blame the guy for asking his friend, upon arrival at a party in Harlem Saturday night, "So where's Weaver? Upstairs?"

Obviously, knowing no one at this party, Sarah proceeded to take the awkwardness level to 11:

"Wait. Weaver's **here**?? Weaves!! WEAVERRRRR!!!!"

Weaver hadn't shown up yet. But rest assured, as soon as he did, Sarah had her marker on the mysterious (and tardy) "Weaves."

The group of us that did not know anyone at this party—Mike, Sarah and me—along with Mike's brother Joe (who coincidentally did knew people at this party, albeit through different channels) occupied the two futons set at a 90 degree angle in the far corner of the living room, basically keeping to ourselves while the rest of the party bustled around us. Occasionally, we'd get up to get some pita and hummus, or a can of beer.

After a couple of hours and a couple of beers, Mike and Joe made the decision to go outside and fight. There was no argument at hand to fight over, they just mutually agreed to engage in fisticuffs. For fun. Like Pitt and Norton (although now I’m sure they’ll get into a REAL argument over which one is Pitt and which one is Norton). So Mike and Joe went outside and Sarah and I went into another room to chat with Kristin.

When in stumbled the elusive Weaver.

We were so excited that Weaves finally showed up at this party. And Sarah wasn't shy about letting him know it.

By the way, I think a fun game to play would be "e-vite Bingo." In this game, participants would examine the e-vite RSVPs for a party they were invited to by a peripheral friend—so that chances are more likely that you wouldn’t know anyone on the RSVP list, save a few acquaintances you recognize from hearsay. Each square on your bingo card would display a name that has RSVP'd "yes" or "maybe." That way, when you get an affirmative answer from the guy in the corner as to whether or not he is ilovecats2000@hotmail.com and you've already covered your other squares and/or free space, you can yell "BINGO" and that party will really be started).

Anyway, Weaver was pretty excited that we were pretty excited to meet him. So he sat down to address our questions. And this is how the conversation went:

Sarah: So what do you do?
Weaver: I work at a hospital.
Sarah: What do you do there?
Weaver: Not much, actually. I pretty much sit at a computer and read blogs all day.
Leslie: What's your favorite blog?
Weaver: [Weaver names some blog I have never heard of]
Leslie: Come again?
Weaver: [repeats name of mystery blog] or townhall.com. Pretty much any sort of neo-con right-wing blog or conservative website. (please note that he is dead fucking serious)
Sarah and Leslie: [blank stare]

Kristin just started laughing because she knew what sort of shit he had just stepped into.

Sarah was speechless. She just stood up slowly and walked out of the room.

Here's the thing: I tend to have liberal views, but if someone asked me what my favorite blog is, I'd say wwtdd.com or Gawker. Then, maybeRachel's blog. Noteatingoutinnewyork.com, Stereogum, ANY of the blogs at nymag.com I promise you that I would name at least 15 non-political blogs as my favorite before I ever even thought about mentioning Huffington Post.

And I'd also never write someone off because they have conservative views. But if you feel the NEED to paint yourself as a neo-con less than 60 seconds into a conversation with a stranger at a party, that's obviously a trait you choose to wear on your sleeve, choose to be outspoken about no matter the situation. I don't think I could be friends with anyone who talks politics 24/7. Christ, I bet even Keith Olbermann takes breaks to check out Perez Hilton.

So I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, and stuck around. Out of curiosity, I asked Weaver what he thought of the Biden veep choice. Two minutes later, I excused myself to go to the bathroom. (Weaver-induced nausea).

When I met Sarah back in the living room, we realized that both of us had left our purses in the room with Weaver. After a bit, she went in to retrieve her bag, which apparently resulted in further communication with Weaver, because she found out that he was at this party with a date—A LADY—their second date, in fact.

The next portion of the party consisted of:

1. Mike returning with a wrist injury/Joe returning with an arm injury. No blood, though. Thankfully.
2. Sarah and I sitting in a corner, snickering at our own jokes about Weaver. For example: What do you weave on your loom? A web of conservative lies? I bet his date is Ann Coulter. Etc., etc.

Hours later, Weaver emerged from his lair (not wearing a flag pin, I will note) and I figured enough smoke had cleared that we could all look back and laugh at our comically unfortunate first meeting. So I suggested that Sarah take the copy of that's morning's New York Post that I had folded up in my purse—with a pic of Joe-Bama on the front page—over to Weaver as a peace offering. Little did I know, this was the house-party equivalent of ordering her to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand.

The events that followed included, but were not limited to:
  • The phrase "Being an American means upholding Judeo-Christian values" coming out of Weaver's mouth/Sarah's head exploding.
  • multiple attempts at reciting the first amendment word-for-word
  • Joe Googling the exact verbage of the first amendment to verify a winner (Sarah)
  • The need to incorporate a “talking stick” so that people could speak freely without being yelled over. In the absence of any stick-yielding shrubbery on 117th street, we had to designate one of those little toothpick-drink-umbrellas as the “talking stick.” Weaver refused to yield the talking stick when his time was up, so Sarah just went in the kitchen and got a different colored one. Kind of made the talking stick a moot point.
  • Weaver’s citation of some guy named “Thomas Locke.” And Joe interrupting him (sans talking stick) with: “Are you fucking kidding me? Do you mean John Locke?” Then, while poorly attempting to stifle his own laughter, recited John Locke’s entire entry on Wikipedia. FROM MEMORY.
  • A total clearing out of everyone at the party who wasn't involved in the argument

Once the talking sticks emerged, I got up and walked to the other side of the room, because I was sure a punch (or a toothpick) was going to be thrown and I didn't want to get any blood on my new Stella McCartney jeans (Barney's Warehouse Sale—hollaaaaaaaa.) But just when it seemed Team Weaver and Team Dell (Joe and Sarah) had escalated to the point of murderous rage, a new guy walked in with a bike helmet on and said "You know, I agree with you guys. The conservatives have got to go. Not to mention the Jews and the Puerto Ricans."


But, turns out the new guy was a jewish Puerto Rican—a self-proclaimed “Jew-rican” (his word, not mine), so I guess he is allowed to joke about that? Either way, he ended up bringing harmony to the party, and shortly thereafter, Weaver and his blond date (also a staunch conservative—I think she might actually be Ann Coulter's little sister, so I wasn't too far off) left the party. Hopefully not to reproduce.

Our bike-helmeted "Jew-rican" friend pedaled into the night. His peacekeeping mission was over.

And then the group of us that did not know anyone at this party—Mike, Sarah, me— and Joe, realized we were alone in the apartment.
"WHO LIVES HERE?" Mike yelled out.

It was 3:30 am in New York and all we heard were crickets...and the faint sound of sirens that constitutes as white noise in the city.

We looted what was left of the snack table and left Harlem.

23 June 2008

Also, I believe in "magic" **

Dear United States Treasury,

Stop jerking my chain. I think you know what I mean.



cc: you guys

“You guys” might NOT know what I mean, so I’ll explain that I have been wondering where my $600 stimulus check is for about a month (since it was about a month ago that I pre-emptively spent $400 of it on a ticket to San Francisco).

Last week, my roommate got hers. And I was happy for her. I hope she stimulates the shit out of the economy.

I also know there are many of you out there who, if you haven't already begun so, will be ready ON DAY ONE, to begin stimulating.

But, here’s the thing. I have been ready for negative 27 days.

Then, FINALLY. On Saturday. A manilla envelope from the U.S. Treasury. Addressed to me…

…A letter? Alerting me to expect $600 in the mail. At some point.


That’s how you want to roll?

Thanks for the check tease.

Listen, there are a lot of stupid people in America. The overall average score for the American civic literacy exam was 54.2%, an “F.” According to the Pew Research Center for People & the Press 31% of Americans cannot NAME OUR VICE PRESIDENT. And the fact that A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila was able to find people “qualified” enough to cast a second season continues to thrash at my hopes for humanity.

But THIS I can guarantee you: there is not one person in god’s great country that does NOT know they have free money coming.

So while I wait with bated breath for a piece of mail from the U.S. Government commanding me to spend with reckless abandon, I have three words for you, George W: “Ready. To. Serve.”

With one democratic caveat: I hope you printed that shit on recycled paper.


**Speaking of letters to let you know what's coming:

Dear Democrats,
Watching this video may cause your head to explode.

04 April 2008

A Cold, Hard Dose of Reality.

LG: I was on top of NKOTB today. LITERALLY.

Rachel: whaaaaaaaat?

LG: I was on the 65th floor of 30 Rock while they were at the Today Show.

Rachel: you know what would be the best double date ever? Me and you....and Joey and Jordan. Although we'd have to trade off half way through the date. Cus i like both joey and jordan in thier newest pic.

LG: Thats fine by me.


LG: No. There is a better double date: you, me, Leo, George

Rachel: YES....But i think NKOTB are more attainable. So i like to set realistic goals.

LG: Yes, I think that's incredibly realistic of you. But know that there would be no switching in the Leo-George scenario.

Rachel: Not at all. I'd have to cut you. Hands off Leo.

Rachel: I just added the New Kids on the Block to my 5 just incase this double date becomes an option.

Who did you bump?

Rachel: Well i kinda define my 5 different than others...

Rachel: It's not strictly 5 in the numerical base 10 sense.

LG: Luckily, I don't have to make that distinction.

31 March 2008

Mini Cupcakes and Trading Cards

I went to this fundraiser thing on Friday night. I use the term “fundraiser” loosely, since I almost certainly drank the worth of what I paid for my ticket at the open bar.

I met a guy there. He walked in on me smoking out of the bathroom window. That’s how we met. Which, way to go Leslie. CLASSY first impression. Anyway, he didn’t seem to mind. I also don’t think he must’ve raised many funds either, from the way he was slurring his words and kept asking me the same question over and over again.

“What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I’m going to a sample sale in Williamsburg and then to the movies.”
“So, What are you doing tomorrow?”
“I’m going to a sample sale. In Brooklyn.”
“Why Brooklyn?”
“Cause that’s where it is.”

[20 minutes later]

“So, what are you doing tomorrow?”
“I’m going to Brooklyn and then to a movies at Union Square.”
“Really, What movie?”

My answer was news to him. Every time.

A few of us (not single question guy—which—I don’t know which is worse: 20 questions guy or single question guy??) went to a bar once the fundraiser wore down. And we stayed out drinking until about 5.

I really hadn’t taken a 5 am bedtime into account in my weekend plans, but I wasn’t about to let that deter me.

So, I ventured out to Williamsburg on Saturday for the Built By Wendy sample sale, but it was really too crowded to move, and I didn’t see anything on first glance that I really loved. I moved down the street to this local artist market setup. Had original stuff, vintage stuff, flea market finds, used books, etc.

There was also a lady there peddling mini cupcakes. One of the featured varieties was lemon cake with vanilla frosting. I’ll eat pretty much anything lemon flavored, so I was sold. You might know that my friend Sarah is a cupcake enthusiast, so I emailed her about the cupcakes when I got home. All I said was I had a mini cupcake in Williamsburg and she knew exactly who made them and where!

This place: http://kumquatcupcakery.blogspot.com/

That’s right! I couldn’t remember the name, but—indeed—it was boxes of kumquat cupcakes that were being sold.

Anyway, the lemon-vanilla mini cupcake was delicious. They also had red velvet mini cupcakes for sale, which I hope to try on a return trip.

After I finished my cupcake, I stumbled upon what is probably the most awesome item being offered for sale in the whole flea market (women of the 80’s, get ready to have your mind blown):

Packs of New Kids on the Block and Beverly Hills 90210 trading cards.

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a former collector. But I definitely hadn’t seen a pack in 15 years. Thing was, I couldn’t bring myself to spend $3 on a pack, even for nostalgias sake. I knew they’d end up just sitting around and cluttering my tiny apartment.

When I told Rachel my rationale, she was appalled.

Rachel: um you could frame the cards and hang them above your bed and say good night to them every night

Rachel: good night joey sleep tight

Leslie: um, try jordan.

After my adventures in Williamsburg, I went to the movies to see the new Audrey Tautau flim: “Hors de Prix” (Priceless). Supposedly a French remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s it was not. But a cute, lighthearted film nonetheless. Next on my list: Run, Fat Boy, Run. I JUST FOUND OUT Michael Ian Black wrote it. So it can’t be bad. It just CAN’T.

18 March 2008

I've become a parody of myself

My weekend turned out to be pretty well-rounded, especially if you considered I managed to fit in a handful things I like, as indicated by this website, which someone CLEARLY wrote about me.

So, here—I give you my entire weekend, chronologically, itemized by topic according to stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com:

#35-The Daily Show/Colbert Report—I reached the pinnacle of my PR career as I booked one of my clients for Colbert in April. While Oprah or the Today Show might be the benchmark of success for some in my industry, Colbert is my benchmark of success.

#48-Whole Foods and Grocery Co-Ops—On my way home after work, I stopped at Whole foods to pick up dinner, which included…

#6-Organic food—A loaf of organic fresh-baked italian bread, triple cream brie and apricot jam. (Although, I didn;t have much of a choice--you can't NOT buy organic bread at Whole Foods). When I got home, I opened a bottle of…

#24-Wine—Merlot. It's all I had left red-wise, and not my first choice, but it's been sitting there since mid-December. I sliced off some bread and poured a glass and joined my roommate in watching…

#85-The Wire—Actually, this is a total lie. We watched 2 episodes of In Treatment. But if you read the description from “The Wire” post, it applies to all shows that are "critically acclaimed, low-rated, shown on premium cable, and available as a DVD box set. The latter is important so that white people can order it from Netflix and tell their friends "they are really into and I watched ten episodes in a row in the weekend. I'm almost caught up."

On that same note, "If you attempt to talk about an episode they have not seen yet, they will scream and cover their ears. In white culture, giving away information about a film or TV series is considered as rude as spitting on your mothers grave. It is an unforgivable offense." This is true in that I won't sit in the same room with my roommate if she is farther along and watching episodes ahead of me.

Also, The Wire season 2 is currently the #3 item in my Netflix queue.

After In Treatment, my roommate headed out to Brooklyn and I decided to stay home and watch…

#10-Wes Anderson Movies—Some of you may know that I saw Bottle Rocket in 1994. But I had just purchased the latest from my fave director: The Darjeeling Limited. Picked up the DVD at the Borders above Whole Foods on my way home from work. I ended up getting really frustrated, though, when my DVD player decided to go nuts on me, forcing me to play it on one of my…

#40-Apple products—I popped it in my MacBook and set it on the coffee table. Thought the movie was even better the second time around (I, of course, saw it in theaters as soon as it came out). Went to bed at a decent hour because I was meeting Mike and Sarah the next day for the South Street Seaport…

#89-St. Patricks Day—Bar Stroll. THIS was actually not my scene at all. But the weather was gorgeous, the people-watching was second-to-none, and the beer was cheap. For the week leading up to this event, Sarah and I knew that the big special that day was going to be $3 Miller Chills. Neither of us had ever tasted a "Miller Chill," but that didn't stop us from making fun of (a) how it tastes and (2) the people who drink it. So the first drink we both ordered was, of course, a Miller Chill, if only for the...

#50—Irony—of it. This is what Miller Chill tastes like: Imagine a cup half full of Miller Lite. Then imagine someone time-traveling back to 1991 and buying a pack of "Squeeze It" artificially flavor lime beverages, coming back to the future and adding it into the Miller Cup, shaking it around and forcing you to drink it. I'm guessing you're imagining a non-forced gag reflex.

The rest of the day I drank regular Miller Lite and, when went to dinner at one of the restaurants nearby, I ordered a passion fruit margarita (they were out of mango margaritas) with my fish tacos.

I got home in time to take a power nap before turning on Saturday Night Live, which was CARRIED this week by Kristin Wiig. it seemed she was in every sketch. Not that I mind. In fact, when I saw them setting up for Target Lady, a little bit of pee came out. The women of SNL have become the force behind the show, a thesis which is supported by this month's issue of Vanity Fair featuring cover models Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and…

#52—Sarah Silverman—The headline says: "Who Says Women Aren't Funny?" I immediately bought a copy. It's like smart girl porn.

Where was I? Ah, yes: Sunday morning. This brings me to:

#9—Making you feel bad about not going outside—I pull this one on myself regularly. My favorite way to make myself get functional on the weekends is to make myself feel bad about not going outside. This Sunday, it was raining. I really didn't have anything I had to get done. But Leslie: "What the fuck are you doing with your life?" So I picked up a copy of the...

#46—Sunday New York Timesand walked in the rain to the…

#5- Farmers Market—not the big Sunday Greenmarket up on Columbus (it WAS raining) but the ramble shamble indoor farmers market on 52nd Street that my roommate has been raving about for the past month. Apparently, she claims, “it's sooooo cheap.” I only had like, $9 cash on me, so I was conservative with what I put in my basket. Come to find out, when the lady rang me up, that I bought my whole weeks worth of produce for just under $6. It IS soooooooo cheap! Loaded my goods into my reusable cloth bag because I reduce, reuse and

#64--Recycle--and went back to my…

#26--Manhattan—apartment. I cooked toasts (organic) topped with a mix of garlic, roasted red peppers, broccoli and Portobello mushrooms, broiled with a thin layer of gouda cheese on top. I thought about making a smoothie, but I have yet to figure out which blender model will give me the most bang for my buck. I've been soliciting suggestions recently, as I've had problems in the past with getting a non-lumpy end product. Also on my…

#54—Kitchen Gadgets—list: A large saute pan and a panini press. I mean, I'm a fan of

#63—Expensive sandwiches—but seriously, I could save a lot of money by just making my own pseudo-expensive sandwiches with a panini press. Money that I could use towards things like

#87—Outdoor Performance Clothes…
#76—Bottles of Water…

…and, one day, keeping a…


…on retainer for when I inevitably get…


But, I know. I know. I'm getting ahead of myself.

In order for that to happen, I first need to find someone who will marry me. After the wedding, we’ll probably buy a hybrid car, get a dog, and in a few years, adopt a child from a foreign country. Of course we'll send him to a French preschool, deprive him of television, and encourage his NPR-listening habits from a young age. He’ll eventually grow to hate his parents and squander his 20’s away on various masters degree programs in useless liberal arts programs before finally deciding to just go to law school.

Anyway, that’s a few years down the road, so I’m not even going to worry about it now. What I’m worried about now is this $10 burning a hole in my pocket for a smoked turkey and Gruyere with rosemary aioli on sun-dried tomato foccacia from that deli on the corner. Lunchtime!

I seriously don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.

10 March 2008

Casino Royale: Better than Norbit!

I was so grossly offended by Rachel’s review of Casino Royale that I felt the need to post a rebuttal (in addition to my extensively long comment on her blog).

Her opinion is so disgustingly incorrect, that I at first seriously questioned if we were even talking about the same movie.

Listen. I own the DVD. I’ve seen it somewhere in the double-digits amount of times. It’s actually one of my go-to DVDs that I pop in if I can’t decide what I’m in the mood for—cause I am ALWAYS in the mood for Daniel Craig, high-stakes poker games, eastern European scenery and EXPLOSIONS!!

One day, I was watching it and my roommate (who had never seen the movie) came home in the middle of it-- during the airport chase scene. By the time that terrorist guy blew up, she was fully invested and deep into "yelling-at-the-TV" mode.

Meanwhile “Rachel” (if that’s even REALLY her name. I don’t know WHAT to believe anymore) claims she fell asleep during that scene.

Other preposterous claims she makes about the movie:

She implies there is no Aston Martin in the movie. WRONG. In fact, it’s the silliest Aston Martin to date. Details: http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/top-2006-Aston-Martin-DBS-James-Bond-Casino-Royale.htm

She implies that James drove a Ford something or other. First of all, for about 2 seconds when he arrives in the Bahamas. It’s a rental. Obviously she missed the deleted scene where Avis fucked up his reservation. I mean, let’s be real. Last time I rented a car, I was told it was going to be a Ford Focus. And then I end up getting a Kia Specta. What the FUCK?!?!

Furthermore, he uses the Ford to run into another car. Why waste an Aston Martin on a strategic fender bender?

Other reasons she is wrong:
--Dame Judi Dench is in it. Her bas ass-ness is not even up for argument.

--The car chase scene broke the world record for most stunt flips EVER. How can you claim this movie doesn’t deliver in the action department when it’s actually a PROVABLE point that you’ve never seen anything like that before in your life?


I WISH I could pull off bootie shorts like that.

--The running chase scene at the beginning is not special FX. They really jumped off cranes! The villain is the guy who invented extreme running! He invented a sport!

--It’s 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Other movies that AREN’T 94% fresh:

  • Michael Clayton (91%)
  • Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (92%) I know that stings, you Hobbit-enthusiast!
  • Atonement (82%)
  • Norbit (9%)
  • The Departed (92%)—You know what? That’s actually just plain wrong. I love Casino Royale, but it is in NO way sillier than The Departed. See? I know when to admit inferiority, even if it does make for a hole in my argument. But being slightly less good than The Departed is not shabby by any means. I am, however, going to blacklist any reviewer that gave The Departed a rotten review.

Listen, I know a good movie when I see one. And I actually I find it really frustrating that someone would argue against this near-perfect addition to one of the most celebrated franchises in movie history. Maybe it’s one of those things that you’re only finding fault in because everyone hyped it up so much. But if you’d have seen other Bond movies (especially anything during the Pierce Brosnan period of the franchise), this is inarguably one of the best.

OR--maybe if everyone had panned it, you’d have thought “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” But, of course, that scenario is impossible because no one would ever universally pan a movie as BAZILLY as Casino Royale!

Anyway, Rachel (and any other reader that also hates on Casino Royale), I can agree to disagree on this as long as we just bury the discussion now. What I cannot agree to disagree on is anyone who disputes the awesomeness of this:

Best video movie ever? Best video movie ever.

03 March 2008

Midnight train to that bar that serves nachos across the street

I traveled to Atlanta for a wedding over the weekend, with high hopes that once Sunday came around, I’d be able to check another item off the ol’ bucket list: Dining at a Chicken and Waffles restaurant.

To be perfectly honest, I was unaware of the “chicken and waffles phenomena” until just a couple of years ago. But I immediately connected with the idea. Chicken? Goooooood. Waffles? Goooooooood. The combination, in my mind, would be nothing short of spectacular.

So you can imagine my delight after 2 long years of knowing about, but never actually dining on a combination of chicken and waffles, when my friend Katie alerted me that Gladys Knight has a C&W establishment in Atlanta, not 5 miles from where we were staying.

Would this be the weekend? Would I finally get authentic chicken and waffles? Would the restaurant be playing Gladys Knight music EXCLUSIVELY? I had visions of rotisseries and griddles operating in perfect time to “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

We had big plans to journey to Gladys’s bistro after the wedding that the 6 of us were in town for (it’s open until 3am).

At the reception, I was still full from the cheeseburger and PBR-in-a-brown-bag I had for lunch at this cute little restaurant across the street from where we were staying. In addition, I was also determined not to ruin my chicken and waffles appetite. So for dinner, I limited myself to just a scoop of mashed potatoes, a swiss cake roll and 7 glasses of wine.

I know what you’re thinking: Mashed potatoes would taste delicious with chicken and waffles! I know, me too. We’re on the same wavelength.

I’ll tell you what kind of people I am NOT on the same wavelength with: people who question the presence of Swiss Cake Rolls at a wedding. It took me a lot of restraint not to dig into this before social conventions deemed it appropriate:

So, congratulations to the new husband and wife, Cheryl and Corey. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that I stuck an oatmeal cream pie from the groom's cake table in my vintage clutch purse for the ride back.

By the time we made it back to the apartment to change out of our wedding attire (well, some of us), the wine had defeated my morale (the part of my morale based in the chicken and waffles part of my brain) and the struggle ended with a deal to go somewhere that provided more immediacy, alcohol-wise,…and somewhere that served…NACHOS!

So, chicken and waffles will have to wait. But, from my diet of alcohol, Little Debbies and nachos over the weekend, I am in deep into detox mode this week, which I'm pretty sure does not allow for any sort of soul food whatsoever.

29 February 2008

When does season four start?

Although I am personally shamed by my love for the MTV program "The Hills," to the point of self loathing during the 15 minutes after every episode I sit through, at least I'm big enough to admit my problem.

The show is a shallow, offensive portrayal of the lives and values of my generation and the vile, semi-retarded cast members represent everything that is wrong with 20-something women.

It should only be expected then, that I jumped at the opportunity to take the "Which 'The Hills' Character Are You?" quiz via Facebook application.

The quiz didn't allow for write-in responses, so I was forced to choose the least worst option.

Below, please find my submitted responses in
blue and my if-I-had-the-option-to-write-this-in-response in red.

1. What kind of guys are you attracted to?
Bad boys, with the rugged sexy look.
Bad boys, that look anything but sexy.
Average joes.
Good guys with engaging personalities.
Wannabe player types, who are really in-the-closet relationship types.
---->Intellectual/arty guys who make me laugh

2. If you want something in life, what's your way of getting it?
Go after it irrelevant of the consequences.
Play fair and square.
Hard work and determination.
Smile and look pretty.
I'm already rich but I give it my best anyways.
--->Decide and fuckin' do it. If it doesn't work out, oh well [shrugs shoulders].

3. What's your dream job?
Owner of a fashion magazine.
Fashion designer.
Chief Editor of a fashion magazine.
Head of a major party planning firm.
---->Indie film exec. HBO Publicist. Saturday Night Live booker, writer, floor-sweeper.

4. In an ideal world, what would be your ideal boyfriend?
Blond hair, blue-eyed, and rich minus the idiotic gaming addictions.
Brad Pitt's body + Ben Stiller's humor - Spencer's Idiocy.
Brody with some acting skills.
Collin Farrell's looks and behavior - Justin Bobby's lack of faithfulness
Collin Farrell's looks and behavior + Brody's smile - anything remotely resembling Spencer.
---->Jason Schwartzman's personality + George Clooney's looks + He's doing 20 to life for killing Spencer.

5. What is the best aspect of your personality that your friends find appealing?
I don't sugar coat anything.
Love like you've never been hurt.
My superior social skills.
Less talk about own drama and more listening to other people's drama.
I know what I want, screw the world.
---->I could round out their World Series of Pop Culture team should the opportunity present itself.

6. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Of course, especially when he's blond with blue eyes driving a Six series. Totally in love.
It's a possibility with some people.
Depends on his bank account balance.
Sometimes, but they usually have to come back around a couple of times.
Do I look like a cross-eyed idiot?
---->No, but I think that homeless guy on the subway who asked me out to go see a "love movie" last week does.

7. What's your ideal wedding?
Cute ceremony at a Church, but with high publicity.
Vegas baby, in-n-out. Vegas Baby. No write-in required.
Weddings are so 90s. Domestic partnerships are so HOT right now.
Small ceremony on a beach, family and friends only.
The largest ceremony in America, at the White House, with Bush as the ring bearer.

8. When there's drama going on who do you turn to?
Fake friends or co-workers I can dispose of at my whim.
My best friends from back home who are drama free.
My mommy.
I try to work it out with the parties involved.
My roommate or close friends at work whom I can trust.
---->My iPod.

I know you're all waiting to find out if I'm a Heidi or a Lauren. Although, I'm personally keeping my fingers crossed that I'm a Justin Bobby!

Ok....hitting "SUBMIT"....

"Sorry we were unable to calculate your result!"


Is Whitney powering algorithm that spits out these results?
Does this mean I'll NEVER be a Hills girl?

Assuming the answer is "No, Leslie, you'll never be a Hills girl," why am I experiencing a simultaneous feeling of both relief and disappointment?

Brody, I need a hug.

PS--Here's what I'm listening to now:

What Made Milwaukee Famous--"Resistance Street"

28 February 2008

Not the same post that has been up for 3 months.

Over the past several months, have the three of you that actually read this been feeling a little more empty inside than usual? I bet you can attribute it to the non-updates you’ve been getting on my life via the weblog medium.

Today, consider your void filled. I’ve decided to come back from my 4-month-long hiatus. For 2 reasons in particular:

1. I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing, apart from my day job, and I miss it. Not that I consider this blog any sort of literary contribution. It just helps keep me on track and in the habit.

2. If I don’t witness, experience, or do something really interesting or bizarre enough to make for a good story, let’s say about once a week, then what sort of existence am I living in the first place?

So without further explanation, we rejoin my life, already in progress.

Tuesday I opened my daily New York Times “UrbanEye” newsletter—a convenient highlight of the goings-on in the city, delivered gmailly (yeah, I make up adverbs) to me each morning.

On a typical day I just skim through this daily briefing while I wait for my Dunkin Donuts coffee to kick in enough for me to deal with hard news—like Gawker and WhatWouldTylerDurdenDo.com?

But Tuesday morning. Tuesday morning’s Times UrbanEye included a standout entry: An event listing which included the perfect storm of elements to convince me to leave my planned MSNBC Democratic debate-watching plans for the evening behind. An event listing that convinced me that my On Demand obsession with HBO’s In Treatment could be suppressed until Wednesday.

An event listing that dropped words and phrases like:
  • “East Village”
  • “$5”
  • “Eugene Mirman” (of Flight of the Conchords and my crazy Halloween night in Brooklyn fame)
  • “Special guests from the likes of SNL, Adult Swim, Conan, etc.”
  • “A surprise not-to-be missed indie band”

Of course I immediately notified my Farmhouse friends, Mike and Sarah, and we made plans to head down that night.

Long story short: Best $5 I have ever spent.

The event was the second-to-last night of “Invite them Up,” an improv/sketch/stand up show that apparently been running under my radar until now and weekly for over 6 years.

Performers hadn’t been announced ahead of time, but when we got to the show (which ended up selling out—I’m guessing capacity was somewhere AROUND 50 people) the program for the night included
  • Eugene Mirman (who, every time I’ve seen him perform leaves me pained with laughter)
  • Zach Galifinakis (genius)
  • (You’ll only know what I’m talking about if you live in New York): the “Little Bit of Luck” guy from those New York Lottery ads that have infected our subway system. He performed in a ridiculous sketch where he plays a shirtless, coked-out version of his commercial character.
  • Todd Barry (“Doggie Bounce Todd” from Flight of the Conchords,” whom I have ‘accidentally’ run into 3 times since Halloween, now. Stop following me, Todd! But really, he just keeps showing up as a special surprise performer whenever I go to a show. Not that I mind—he’s my brand of funny.)
  • A bunch of other comedians
  • and, as the program listed them: “Yo La Mystery Band.” Hmmm…I wonder who that could be.

Yeah—that’s right—SILLY!!—we got to see a short impromptu set of covers and rare songs from Yo La Tengo, with fill-in drum player Todd Barry.

By the end of the night, Sarah had gotten an elbow to the chin by Little Bit of Luck guy, Eugene had blocked me into the bathroom, Todd gave me an awkward “Hey, how’s it going?” (maybe he thinks I am his new stalker), and we had all seen Zach in a women’s bathing suit and beehive hairdo.

Success. Full success.

On a totally unrelated note, I’ve exclusively been listening to Leona Naess (thanks to Charlotte) and Regina Spektor for the past 2 days. Share in my aural joy:

Regina Spektor--"Us"
Leona Naess--"Charm Attack"