i have a question...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Um, Since When is 2010 Over?

I have said many times that 2010 was probably the most personally and professionally significant year of my life, so far.

I student-taught.
I graduated from grad school.
I spent another great summer in Connecticut, where I figured out what the hell I wanted to do next.
My cousin had a baby.
I wrote a book.
I was unemployed for four and a half months.
I got a great job. (Yes, the PERFECT job I was up for in September is MINE, starting Monday.)

How do you top that?

But, the thing is, I think 2011 will be even better.

Because even though I experienced all those things, this is the year I feel like I will really settle into life in Boston.

I'm not just "going to school" here anymore. Now, I work here too.

There's a security and permanence (whoa) to my life here now.

I made a resolution last year to write more, and it's probably the only resolution I've ever kept in my whole life.

So, in the spirit of this year ending and a new, exciting year just around the corner, here are some things I resolve to do in 2011:

1. Do more yoga. (Damn, it's hard to stay consistent with exercise around the holidays. I never knew it until this year, when I took a few days off for Thanksgiving, then tried to get back in the habit, then got really sick for two weeks, then celebrated Christmas. With my workday hours of 11-7, I think I'll be able to fit in a morning routine including yoga.)

2. Revise my novel. (This terrifies me. It took me more than 3 weeks to even read the entire thing, but I was happy to discover I actually liked about 1/3 of it. I need to buckle down, print it out, and start cutting, like whoa. Maybe, it will end up being a short story.)

3. Travel more. (I like the idea of this, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford it. Still, at the beginning of the fall, I was so restless, I thought about teaching English in Japan for a year. I don't really think that's something I want to do, but it would be nice to explore New England, and even more of Boston.)

4. DATE. (Seriously, feel free to have eligible bachelors get in touch with me. And make sure they know how much I like bagels. And chocolate chip cookies.)

Interestingly enough, I started this blog as a New Year's resolution. And [clever title] turns FOUR on January 10th.

Which one of you is buying it its first erector set?

*snicker* Erector.

Thanks so much for another year of support and reading!

Tell your friends about me.

And how foxy I am.

And that I'm single.

OK, I'll stop now.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best of 2010

I know you've been eagerly anticipating this list ALL YEAR LONG.

I did something smart this year and actually kept track of all these things as I read or saw them.

(Keep in mind that not all of these were actually produced this year. This just happens to be the year I discovered them.)


The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Couldn’t Keep it to Myself by Wally Lamb and the Women of York Correctional Institute
How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins


Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Up in the Air
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Crazy Heart
Rachel Getting Married
Every Little Step
Peter and Vandy
The Cove
The Social Network
Beautiful Daughters


Lungs by Florence + the Machine, especially “Cosmic Love”
For Your Entertainment by Adam Lambert
Recovery by Eminem, especially "Love the Way You Lie"
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, especially “Ready to Start”
“Breakeven” by The Script
“Uncharted” by Sara Bareilles
The Lady Killer by Cee Lo Green, especially “Wildflower”


In the Heights National Tour
The Adding Machine at BCA
August: Osage County National Tour
Endgame at Steppenwolf
Circle Mirror Transformation at BCA
This is How and The Golden Lasso at Perishable Theatre

Happy holidays, everyone!!! Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Groceries, Nails, Boning, and Other Stuff

Meet Lara at cLARAfications. She is my Blog Swap Partner for Blog Swap #8, and I knew I would like her when the post she had up last week included the word "poop" in her title.

Plus, she recognized that I'm pretty much Liz Lemon(!)

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Read on to discover other reasons why I like her. And make sure you make it to the end to read my post on her blog!

I like to think of myself as a go-getter. I’m a big doer—I do things. Except for when I procrastinate and turn into a lazy sack o’ something. (Censorship is unbecoming, I know, but I don’t want to potty-mouth all over someone else’s blog.)

Coming off a super productive year that included such major accomplishments as “buying 2 pairs of black boots” and “kind of becoming a real person,” it was pretty hard to think of things that I’ve put off, so I got drunk and procrastinated for a few days, and here we are.

But luckily for you, I got my ish figured out and you will soon know what this little lady will be doing after taking midnight shots with her teddy bear on January 1, 2011. (Did anybody else just realize that New Year’s Day is going to be 1/1/11 this year? Whaaa!?)

So here’s THE LIST:
1. Go to the grocery store.

You’re probably thinking, “Really Lara? That’s the thing you’re going to do next year?”

Yep, because along with Jon Hamm, there are some things that a lady needs to survive, and food is one of those things. The problem is, while I will happily spend money on a Jon Hamm fix in the form of Mad Men or a movie ticket to go see The Town, I like to challenge myself to see how long I can go without grocery shopping in order to “save money.”

You’re probably also thinking that I probably don’t save money because I end up eating out so much, and I’m not quite sure that’s the case. I do, after all, work across the street from Costco and am a-ok with eating hot dogs every day.
But yeah, so I haven’t gone to the grocery store in 3 weeks. I think I’ll do that next year…

2. Buy a nail file.

I keep breaking my GD nails and I’m always like, “Balls, I need a file!” and I can never find one. It’s a major buzzkill.

3. Become famous.

I really need to get on this if I’m going to achieve my life goal of being roasted on Comedy Central. In the process I might also achieve other life goals of writing a feature-length script and being a stand-up comedian, so basically if I can pull all of this together next year, I’ll basically have done everything ever and will be totally chill if I accidentally die because hey, I’ll be one accomplished little lady.

4. Defriend people I don’t know on Facebook.

I’ve kind of already started doing this because I can’t handle any more event invitations from every privileged Asian who killed his parents’ dreams of him becoming a doctor and is instead using his $200,000 college education to be a DJ. (In my geometry class in middle school, there was this chart on the wall of the kinds of math needed to pursue different careers. The chart said that DJs needed to know algebra, which is absolute horse doodie, but it definitely didn’t say college degree.)

5. Bone Rodrigo Santoro.

I’m watching that movie Post Grad right now (which is as terrible as I expected) and was reminded that Rodrigo Santoro is a hot piece of man meat, and I would like to take that man meat home and keep it in my freezer along with the chicken that I’ll buy at the grocery store. Then I’ll ration it out over the course of the year—again, just like the chicken. That was a really weird analogy, but the point is, I really want to bone that Brazilian.

Now check out my post here!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blog Swap #8

20-Something Bloggers' 8th Blog Swap is happening on Monday.

Initially, I was stressed about writing a post in the five days they gave us, once we'd received information about our partners.

But now that I've been bed-ridden for a week (first by self-imposition and now by the fact that I had food poisoning(?) last night), I'm pretty sure I'll get something written today.

I'll be featured, here, on Monday, and I'll feature Lara's post right here.

Send me lots of ginger-aley vibes as I recover from not only my relapsed cold but my angry GI tract.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Irony and Whine

Late last weekend, I started feeling that unmistakable fog that always means I am about to get sick.

I Emergen-C'd and Zicamed the hell out of myself and felt much better right away, though, when I entered the bitter cold later in the week, my body was not happy.

And I stayed pretty congested all week.

I ignored it, blaming the change in weather and the dry heat of my house.

Since, Saturday, I have had absolutely no plans.

I've been rewatching episodes of The Hills and counting down the minutes until I'm due an offer from a great organization.

I didn't even leave the house until I finally took myself on a walk yesterday afternoon, in 27 degree weather, wearing two pairs of sweat pants, a tank top, long sleeved-shirt, jacket, and hat.

Then, I stayed up past 2:30 AM (my schedule is all off with nothing to do all day long), despite my worsening congestion and itchy nose, and I woke up feeling worse than I did at any point last week.

And I'm looking ahead to a busy end of week and weekend.

Because, of course I am.

My body couldn't decide to be sick when I was already literally in bed all day.

No, it had to revolt just as I look ahead to seeing friends I haven't seen in ages, working, and finally crossing seeing Black Swan off my list.

How rude.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Brrrr, It's Cold In Here...There Must Be a Cynical, Independent Woman in the Atmosphere

Today is cold.

I left my house this morning and it was 18 out.

And, because of that and the fact that I knew I was finishing putting RM's filing cabinet together today and then would go grocery shopping on the way home, I wore jeans, running shoes, a t-shirt under a hoodie, under a scarf, hat, and long winter coat.

My hair was, in fact, clean but it was hidden under the hat and hood.

After triumphing over the cabinet, heading to Trader Joe's, and carrying my two bags of groceries to the train, I was sitting, reading the Metro, and my purse slipped onto the train floor.

Aside from immediately ruing the E. Coli and urine that was now inevitably on my new bag, I was pretty unperturbed and leaned down to grab it, when I saw a man's hand come into my view, to pick it up for me.

I "Lemoned" the situation, royally, (as in Liz Lemon), and went to grab it myself, thwarting the nice young man's efforts, once, twice, and finally surrendered to him and let him pick it up for me, smiling at him and thanking him with a laugh.

I'm sure he was just being nice, but it reminded me of the time I got catcalled from a car while walking down the street in New York, totally bundled in, like, a six-foot long scarf, hood over hat, long coat, and I thought to myself,

"What are you even looking at? It's like 12 degrees out, and besides that, for all you know, I'm a neuter."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different...

I just stared at my computer for almost 20 minutes, realizing that it had been a week since I last posted and trying to think about what I could write.

Really, nothing much is going on.

So, I thought, I'll write about that--give you lots of lists of all the Netflix I've been watching, or how I've cried at several holiday episodes this week, or that the St. Jude's Children's Hospital commercials with Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman in them always make me cry. Or how I didn't really leave my bed for two days this week, partly because I've been fighting a cold and partly because I've been watching a steady stream of episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.


Instead, I'm going to tell you about the six hours of work a week I'm actually doing.

When I graduated, all I wanted was for RM to hire me as her personal assistant, and in October, that's precisely what she asked me to do.

Dude, now, I have keys to her apartment. And for those of you who know her, you realize that this is like...having the keys to Oprah's house. (And no, it's not because she's black.)

It's like I get to go to a celebrity's house every week.

Mostly, of course, what I'm doing, is organizing her life. She has piles of paper that haven't been looked at since she moved to Boston in 2001. (True story, she taught her first class on 9/11.) So I have spent the last six weeks, rifling through papers, filing them in corresponding folders and making piles of shit that she has to go through eventually.

Of course, the biggest pile is full of things I have no idea what to do with.

Sometimes, I sit in the office chair, she sits on the couch, and we just go through mail. Marking what is priority, what can be thrown out (four bags full, so far) and what she can't identify. I tease her by saying that if she can't tell what something is in 15 seconds, we're throwing it out.

We talk about men a lot, swap stories of getting catcalled on the street, or tell tales about our respective crazy families.

Last week, we purchased her a large wooden filing cabinet, so these piles of paper could live somewhere, so this week, I'm getting paid to put furniture together. HA! (I'm really good at putting furniture together. All that training with IKEA pieces has paid off.)

The first couple of days I worked with her, I said that we needed to make lists of things we "must do," "should do," and "wanted to do" in the time I'd be helping her out.

Doctors' appointments and important phone calls to be made went on the first list.

Organizing files and books and clothes went on the second.

The third, she had to think about, eventually deciding that things she "wanted to do" are join Facebook and create an online dating profile.

Yes, she is that awesome.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Rather Ordinary Post (but if you like stories about shopping, read on)

Shopping during the holidays takes a certain strength.

And I'm not even talking about surviving the crowds.

I'm referring specifically to listening to bad holiday music as you try to figure out which of the 900 bags you've been looking at for 45 minutes is the right one.

I decided early this week that I was due a shopping trip.

I don't exactly have the means right now, but I knew that getting a few new things would actually improve my mood, and honestly, I was down to exactly two pairs of jeans.

I also desperately needed a new "grown-ass woman" bag. My purse was near and dear to my heart, but it was a going-away gift from S from when I moved out of New York City, which made it almost three years old.

I had a very important interview yesterday, so I was determined to find the perfect bag.

Something that screamed "professional," but it had to be affordable, sit comfortably on my shoulder, have compartments, and be a certain size.

Since I insist on carrying food and water with me wherever I go and have been known to carry up to three books at any given time.

My purses get USED.

I hadn't been to Back Bay to shop in months, so I started at Filene's Basement.

The handbag section there was fairly uninspiring. Every single bag I picked up was either uncomfortable, too small, or too expensive.

Also, the music they play at Boston's Filene's Basement is so bad. It's distracting and deterring to making good purchases.

Like, imagine the WORST, most poorly sung elevator muzak you can think of.

Filene's was a fail, so I headed across the street to Marshall's, and spent about 45 minutes just walking up and down the aisles, trying on bags, putting them down, trying on bags, putting them down.

After staring at so many bags for so long, I couldn't tell which ones were ugly anymore and almost bought a Steve Madden bag that was brown shiny leather in the shape of a large leathery flower.

I spent so long at the store, I heard their cycle of Christmas music twice. "Mele Kalikimaka" played twice, and several versions of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" also assaulted me, while I was trying to concentrate on handbags.

No matter how charming or moving you think those songs are, after hearing them in heavy rotation, you start to feel a little Scrooge-like.

I refused to walk out empty-handed for all the work I'd done, bought two pairs of skinny jeans and a ruffled shirt, and headed back to Filene's Basement, with the Marshall's bag ideas in my mind.

By now, Filene's was also playing Christmas music, so it was a very slight improvement from the previous music that had been playing. Still, none of the bags were quite right.

Determined to succeed, I decided to head further downtown and figured I'd just buy a purse at Macy's. But first checked out DSW, where I actually got in line to buy a large gray bag that was in my budget and was large enough. When I realized it didn't have compartments, I decided not to buy it, at the last minute.

T.J. Maxx was where I found the bag I bought, feet sore, having ridden two subways, and visited four stores.

It's a tan tote with a colorful, patterned lining, and it served me very well on my interview.

Now that I've gotten all the way to the end, I realize this isn't really a good story.

The point is, now I'm a skinny jean convert.

Monday, November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Final Update

Now that I'm a NOVELIST (ha!), I want to share with you my tell-tale strategy for writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (or 29, in my case because I am so awesome, finishing last night before 10 PM):

1. Be sure you do not have a full-time job.
I believe my unemployment status helped me not only have the time to do this but that doing this WHILE unemployed kept me from going even crazier than I would have otherwise. (Honestly, I probably would have done this if I had a job too, but I would have had to SERIOUSLY sacrifice my TV time and that would have ultimately been the hardest part.) (Also, it feels good to have this finished as I look ahead tomorrow to a promising job interview. (Cross your fingers.))

2. Be harder on yourself than anyone else is.
I don't think I'm going to end up being a novelist, but I punished and scolded myself into doing this project and writing every day because I did not want to fall behind on my word count and have to struggle more than I already was.

3. When taking up writing each day, do not fret over what is already on the page.
Actually, I was impressed with my ability to do this. I am the kind of writer who writes and then reads and tweaks and continues to write and then reads and tweaks again. Not big revisions ever but rereading and small tweaks as I go. This project was too big to do that, so I was able to take up from just the previous sentence. It kept me moving.

4. Take judgment out of it.
I often wrote just stream-of-consciousness, which upped the word count and did little else. I don't think I could have done this a couple years ago because I would have been paralyzed by self-criticism. Writing crap is part of this. Who cares?

5. Ignoring its slightly obnoxious abbreviation, sign up on the NaNoWriMo site and read all the pep talks and watch all the videos.
Dave Eggers wrote to us yesterday, first of all, which made me gasp as I opened my email. But, also, I think this is a great, fun, positive and encouraging organization, and you might as well get as much support from other people who are doing it as you can. I promise it helps. Especially since I was the only one who survived the month in the Facebook group I created. My friends were no help. (Love you guys!)

6. Get out of your house to write as much as you can.
My bedroom is so distracting. I don't know what it is, but I sit on my bed, with my computer on my lap and play games and watch YouTube videos instead of what I'm supposed to be doing. This is probably why, by the end of the month, I was waiting until at least 10:30 at night to write and felt, then, that I was racing against the day to get my word quota in. Every time I met a friend at a cafe to write, I would write quicker and with more focus. On second thought, maybe that was because of the wine.

7. Tell everyone you know you're doing this.
I'm sure everyone found it obnoxious, but I kept track of my word count on Facebook. It was partly for bragging rights and partly to keep me honest. I couldn't let down my hundreds of Facebook friends by not completing the task! Plus, when I told them I was almost finished and then that I WAS finished, they gave me lots of love and support.

8. Do it your way.
Mess up. Write a bunch of words you hate. Skip ahead in the plot to the really juicy part or the part that you were inspired to write about by seeing that creepy guy on the train. Write a full day's work on just describing the hallway. Do whatever works for you. And keep going because 30 days isn't really very long, and this will forever change not only your perception of what you can do but also how much time you thought writing 1667 words would take.

The first draft of Bright and Gray is 156 pages, 50,050 words.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Week 4 Update

I had a realization this week that, while I appreciate having a time frame to write and this project has given me a structure, I'm not really sure how I feel about NaNoWriMo.

I'm writing and am pretty sure I'll reach 50,000 words tomorrow, but I don't like it. The writing is not good, and I'm not sure about my motivation level to make it better, once I've got a first draft.

On the other hand, I'm really terrible at looking at the task itself and going, HOLY ESS, I JUST WROTE A NOVEL.

At the same time, I did write twice the daily quota two days this week. Once, to get ahead so I had Thanksgiving off, and once to get ahead, so I'd be done TOMORROW instead of Tuesday, when I'm sure the NaNoWriMo site will be swamped. Plus, everyone is freaking out about the word validation program not working right, so I want to leave time for any last minute writing I may have to do.

This is a boring post. Maybe I'm just destined to write boring writing forever now.

At least I'm almost done.

150 pages, 48,421 words.

UPDATE: I have to admit, though, that it is particularly exciting to see my word count bar fill up on the NaNoWriMo site. Only 1579 words til 50,000. That's just a tiny bit of bar left.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Holidays! (Don't Cry!)

I have to admit to being a little...curmudgeonly about this video.

I watched it and thought, "That CAN'T be live!" Even though I'd cried for the last minute of it.

But then I actually read about it and became a believer.

Is that Amber Tamblyn at 2:55?

Hope you all travel safe this week and have a great Thanksgiving!

I will spending it with the cousins, their good friends (lots of chefs among them), and the baby! (All very exciting.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Week 3 Update

I am procrastinating writing tonight by writing a post about my writing this week.

How meta of me.

Actually, I've gotten into a bit of a weird schedule this week, starting my writing at or around 10:30 PM and furiously writing for an hour, just staring at the increasing word count.

When November 30 comes, I hope this daily procrastination subsides, so that it is not a mad rush to midnight. I've never been a procrastinator, so this all feels kind of strange.

I almost didn't write at all Thursday night, after drinking most of a bottle of red wine between the hours of 6:30 and 9 and watching Thursday night NBC shows, but then I made myself. Wrote through the commercials of The Office, the end of Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice.

I woke up with a hangover on Friday morning (the morning of a phone interview, oops), so I'm sure the 1667 words I wrote while inebriated aren't my finest. Haven't taken the time to revisit what they were yet.

I'm sure that will be good for a laugh.

Aside from that, this week wasn't as hard as last week, but I know for sure now that this novel isn't good.

I write and think about all the revisions I will have to do to make it more than an indulgent psychoanalytical fest. (I may as well call the book, Exorcising My Demons, but I won't.)

In fact, I have a couple titles in mind: one is A Girl, Unguarded and the other is Bright and Gray. We'll see if either sticks.

Current word count: 33,467 (should be past 35,000 by tonight...at some point).

Update: It took me three hours, but I ended up at 35,043.

There are just ENDLESS ways to distract myself on Facebook, dammit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Wedding of Our Generation (in which I try not to sound too bitter)


Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged.

And, for some reason, I've been affected by this news.

It might be because I'm a little bit too young to remember Diana's wedding to Prince Charles, but when she died and there were all those documentaries about her on VH1, I remember seeing footage of that huge dress. It's like emblazoned in my mind.

So, I figure her oldest son's wedding to a statuesque brunette will pretty much be the news of the year, if not the decade. (If you don't count that Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are also probably getting married next year...to OTHER people.)

Remember when everyone called him Wills in the late 90s, when he still had a full head of hair and looked like this?

(I swear I didn't, like, Google "Prince William hair loss." This was the first picture that he looked super hot in when I image searched.)

Anyway, he's exactly one year (to the day) older than S.

So, maybe part of what I'm feeling is old and lonely.

Anyway, I'm excited for them, I swear.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Week 2 Update

This has been a tough week for my novel.

NaNoWriMo calls it the Week 2 Doldrums, and I definitely felt it.

It didn't really help that I had a particularly discouraging week in terms of my unemployment, coming to terms with the fact that I don't think I'll get a job until the holidays are over, which means pinching my pennies REALLY REALLY hard for another few weeks.


It took me three hours to write my daily quota a few days in a row, which was a little upsetting considering that when I'm not at home and distracted by everything going on on the internet, I can bust it out in an hour and a half or less.

I become aware just of the little word counter in the corner, barely even thinking about what words are coming out or if they sound at all good together.

Quantity, not quality, indeed!

Friday night, I met up with my friend to attend a regional write-in at the Prudential Center Food Court. Armed with a Starbucks chai latte and orange chicken from Panda Express, I was ready to surround myself with and be inspired by other WriMos, but when we sat near the window in the mall and saw that the WriMos were all old and female and that they were putting up charts to keep track of word count and moving tables so that we could all be together, we hightailed it out of there.

Give me a roomy booth and a glass of wine, please.

And I busted out the quota in under two hours.

Yesterday, I did it in an HOUR, which is a record, so far.

It helps that I'm nearing the halfway point and thinking about the emotional climax.

Certainly, I'm barreling along: 74 pages and 23,349 words!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Week 1 Update


All evidence points to the fact that I'm writing a novel.

For someone who has never in her entire life had to write anything longer than about 15 pages, this is rather remarkable. (Although, I guess the 35-page play I wrote counts...)

I've been through a lot this first week, in my novel-writing endeavor.

The first few days, the words just kind of poured out of me.

I was way ahead of the daily word count of 1667 words a day, for days in a row. I'd write in the morning and then, I'd write at night too. Anticipating what I had to do the next day, so using my writing time very effectively.

A couple days in a row, I even wrote with my favorite writer ever, Suzan-Lori Parks. As part of her Watch Me Work project, she is holing up in the lobby of the Public Theater with her (orange)typewriter, a timer, and a camera. She invites people to join her there to write for an hour every weekday.

She's also live-streaming it on the web, so I spent my writing time on Wednesday and Thursday with her. I kept her visible on my minimized word document screen, typing away, compulsively sipping and eating mints and chewing gum.

At the end of the hour, she takes questions about process from the people there and on the internet.

So, I sent in a question. And she answered it.

Told me something like, if Taylor Swift can write about her personal experiences, then so can you. Then she made a heart with her hands.

It was pretty much perfect.

Friday, I spent the day writing with a friend at a cafe that served great food, great tea, AND alcohol. We spent about five hours there, chatting, catching up, and then struggling through our daily word quota. It took me about three hours to write what had previously taken me about an hour and a half.

It's been just as hard ever since, even having had a great breakthrough to include a long section of the book set in the past.

I am actually pretty amazed at how uncensored I've been. I'm not micromanaging myself, I don't reread what I've written each day and start revising. I just read from the previous sentence and continue. Watch the little word count in the bottom left corner of my screen.

37 pages and 11,676 words later, and I don't even hate it yet!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Post-Election News (Blues?)

You would think it's kind of funny and ironic of America to have recently elected Sean Duffy into the House Seat in Wisconsin.

He of Real World: Boston fame and married to Rachel Campos, she of Real World: San Francisco fame. (It sometimes still freaks me out that these people have last names, and that their lives continued after the notoriety of their reality TV appearances.)

You'd think, oh! America has a sense of humor! And, wow, those Gen-Xers must have really come out in spades to vote and make a statement about the political importance of mid-90s MTV.

Because Sean was on a season of The Real World famous for introducing the world to the term "lipstick lesbian" and for that one hostile red-head (as if I don't really know her name: MONTANA!) being fired and almost kicked out of the house for offering the students they were volunteering with some alcohol.

Except, Sean is like, SUPER conservative, and just keeps knocking Rachel up. (They have six kids.)

So, mostly, this just makes me nervous.

(Leave it to me to make even a political post about TV.)

(In other Real World-related news, Matt from the New Orleans cast apparently delivered his new baby daughter on the side of the highway.

Why do I know these things?)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I have an announcement.

It's kind of big. And kind of scary.

Thanks to my friend, who reminded me about this event, and to my mom, who did it last year, I am going to attempt to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, during the month of November.

I just know that as soon as I announce this, I'll get a full-time job, be working 50-hour weeks and be scrambling to meet the deadline at midnight on the 30th.


I really wanted to do it last year, just had zero time, while adapting and directing a play for my independent project.

So, we're going with NaNoWriMo 2010, instead!

This is going to be a GREAT challenge for me, who has, through the process of blogging, become fairly good at writing short, conclusive points with little buttons at the end of each post.

Fumbling through writing MUCH more than I'm used to is going to be a great exercise in patience and letting go creatively...(I think I'm going to have to get used to being OK with writing a lot of crap.)

Also, prepare for me to become totally obsessed with the number of words I produce a day and perhaps write about it here...

That's 1,667 words a day, by the way, if I want to make it to 50,000 by the 30th.

But, who's counting?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Unemployment and TV (Like Every Other Post...)

Wednesdays are hard.

I have all this TV from Tuesday night that I have to catch up on because I watch Glee and then I'm always so worn out from the emotion of it that I stop watching TV for the night.

And by then, I've missed the first half of The Biggest Loser anyway and for some reason I've started watching the ABC Family show Melissa and Joey.

What has my life become?

This Wednesday was particularly hard because I had a two and a half hour interview for a Program Manager job. Mind you, I met three people in that time frame, but by about 11:30, I was visibly fading and needed a snack.

(I think things went well though, and I just spent some time crafting good thank you notes, so we'll just stay cautiously optimistic for the moment. Also, RM wants to hire me part time as her personal assistant--HURRAH!--and I start tomorrow, so things are maybe, possibly starting to shift. Good thing too, since I can pay November rent and then I'm...how you say...fucked.)

And I came home to all this TV to watch.


The Biggest Loser alone took almost two hours.

And there were two episodes of Raising Hope I needed to watch.

Plus, that aforementioned insult to sitcoms, Melissa and Joey.

The thing is, though, it's kind of charming.

It's like the new Who's the Boss? with Melissa Joan Hart playing a city councilwoman who has taken in her estranged sister's teenaged kids and needs help. Joey Lawrence (yes, he's going by Joey again, not the more adult Joseph. Performing on Dancing with the Stars probably killed any credit he had for being a serious actor) plays a businessman who lost a lot of money in a bad deal and takes on the "manny" role.

And I just watch, waiting for the inevitable steps the characters will take to romance. And confused as to how Melissa Joan Hart became so famous, when all she seems to do is make a lot of faces (all the while, wearing clothes that make me think of S because they would all look SO GOOD on her).

Joey Lawrence is totally a good actor, though.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Reunion Recap (Mostly, It's a Post about Kiddoes)

I barely remember the actual reunion.

(No, not because I was drunk the whole time...although that might be PART of it. How else do we get through family reunions?)

I remember surviving the four TEENY TINY planes that took me from Boston to Ithaca and back.

I remember eating good food: chicken marsala, baked ziti, and chocolate bread pudding at the big dinner Friday night, squash fritters, frittata, and wraps at brunch on Sunday morning, freshly made waffles at the hotel breakfast room.

I remember crying in front of lots of people, as I read what I wrote for my grandmother, who seemed to recognize me only when my mom prompted her.

I remember bursting into tears at a sudden outpouring of unflinching support in my job search and unemployment.

I remember having strange dreams on the pullout couch in my cousins' suite.

Mostly, though, what I did was play with kids all weekend and through this week.

I taught my cousins' four-year-old son how to play I Spy, and we played it every chance we got.

We swam in the pool with his mommies, my aunt, and his uncle and cousin.

I pretended to be at a carnival with a 2 1/2 year old. We rode the rollercoaster.

I looked for pretend and real worms with my cousin's two-year-old daughter. And we traced our hands with pens.

We jumped in a huge pile of leaves at my uncle's house.

And then, this week, the four-year-old and his mommies visited Boston, and we played Hide and Seek and Sneaky Statues and Hopscotch, walked through the cemetery, led by our furry guide dog, Huck.

We practiced counting and rhyming and opposites and spelling.

He woke up, asking for me to take him to my house.

We slid down a big slide at the zoo together and rode the trains and drove the tractors.

I squeezed him and distracted him while he tried to watch TV and when he whined and squirmed, I said, "Just tell me not to." So, he said, "Not to."

We played walking tag in my apartment and I went behind the fridge to guard myself from him. He hid behind it, sure that I couldn't see him and said, "When I'm 10, I'll be tall, so you'll be able to see me! How many are you?" When I answered, he said, "YOU'RE OLD!"

(Too true.)

And when he was a pain in the ass, I would shrug my shoulders and think to myself, "You go cry it out and I'll be here with a funny face when you're ready to be with me again."

And, even though I know he won't want to play with me like this forever, I hope he knows that I'll always be here when he's ready to be with me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family Reunion Time!

On September 5, my grandmother turned 90 years old.

Doesn't she look AMAZING?

This weekend, I will travel to Ithaca, NY, for a family reunion disguised as a concert for her. (Incidentally, Boston is REALLY far away from Ithaca, and I have to take two TEENY TINY planes to get there.)

I plan on reading a version of this.

I'm also organizing a SURPRISE FINALE, performing one of my grandparents' standards, "When I'm Sixty-Four." (He'd play the bassoon; she'd play the clarinet. Too cute, right?)

All of my aunts and uncles will be there, looking really no different than they do here.

Click to enlarge.

I predict lots of music-playing, game-playing, and wine drinking.

That's how we do.

And, just for good measure, here's a pic of four of the five of my mom's generation. My youngest aunt hadn't been born yet.

(I will save my family some face and not reveal the year this was taken.)

Click to enlarge.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Guys! I'm SO Famous!

Guest post is up at one of my favorite blogs!

Una and I share a love of karaoke, red wine, and pop culture.

Also, we grew up together but then she went to college with a totally different old friend of mine and we re-met at his birthday party. Small world.

I think if we were ever properly reunited, we would have a long, ridiculous, rambly conversation about the virtues of the original 90210 and how famous our elementary school friend is, now that he's on Mad Men, playing Peggy's love interest.

Let's make this happen, LaMarche!!

Her blog is hilarious and amazing. Read it.

And enjoy my post!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bullied Girl Grows Up to Write a Blog

Remember that time in your life when you were just figuring out how to, like, be a human in the world? And you were stuck with the same friends you’d had since kindergarten?

So they had the freedom and power to treat you like shit?

And you didn’t know enough about how to make other friends, so you just didn’t?

I remember the girls I was friends with in elementary school were merciless to me.

(And I’m sure all of you are reading this and saying, oh my god, same exact thing happened to me!)

I would go to school one day and feel bolstered by their loyalty. We had a strong pact, made stronger by sleepovers where we’d choreograph dances to “Like a Prayer,” and make cheese eggs in the mornings. (Except, I didn’t like the cheese eggs, so I’d make them make me regular eggs.)

The next day, it’d be like everyone had discussed my status before I’d gotten to school and decided that I wasn’t in the group anymore.

I distinctly remember showing up on a school day and sitting down at a cafeteria table where my friends were already sitting. I said something I’m sure I thought was cheeky and cute and laughed at myself a little bit.


Cold, staring, haunting silence.

My face dropped.

What had I done? Why the sudden shut out?

That silence still haunts me.

It’s amazing how these little moments in our childhoods can brand us for life.

And how often we remember them.

Take this interaction, this first indication that the people around me just weren’t as smart as I was.

My erstwhile “best friend” and I are waiting in a line before we’re let back into the school after recess, and my long hair is blowing in the breeze.

She snaps at me, “Get your hair out of my face!” And I reply back, “It’s just blowing in the breeze!”

She didn’t believe me.

Really? You think my hair is magically standing on end and whipping into your face, unprompted?


Needless to say, our friendship didn’t last past the 5th grade.

And yet, I think about that moment, like, once a month.

The four of us in the group would make little charts that we’d pass around our table in class.

The chart was for rating how much we liked the other members in the group.

“How much do you like me? From 1-10.”

Often, we’d mark 1,000,000 or -1,000,000 just to be clever, squishing the zeroes into the tiny boxes on the note to make our point clear.

My existence on this planet seemed to rely on these rankings: who would mark me high today? Who was going to be typical and mark a negative ranking? And which two had paired up for the day, a seemingly indestructible force?

I look back on those days, aided by the earned perspective of age and years of therapy, and think, how does any of us survive being a girl?

I’ve learned, in contrast, that there’s no gray area with the typical boy: they’re either happy or they’re mad. Either friends or fighting.

And if there’s a conflict, there’s no emotional manipulation, no social customs to try to make sense of, no teenage language to interpret.

Just a couple shoves or swings, and then they’re done.

Now that I’m working with students, I just gravitate to the boys.

I’d honestly rather they try to punch me than risk they might rank me negative 1,000,000 on their Facebook page dedicated to my lameness or whatever this generation’s version of a “How much do you like me?” chart might be.

**UPDATE: I didn't write this post in response to the recent teen suicides or even with them in mind, necessarily. Still, having worked with young people for the last few years and having just recently survived student-teaching at a high school (not to mention my own lonely adolescence), I want to assert to you and to anyone you may share my blog with that finding people who really support and nurture EXACTLY who you are isn't easy but it is worth the work. Luckily, I've begun to figure it out...And, if I can, you can.**

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Once a Theatre Girl...

I've been trying to pinpoint exactly what it feels like to be waiting to hear about this job.

It's not exactly like waiting for Christmas Day. Because the anticipation isn't just positive.

It's not exactly like waiting to go on vacation, although I think that's pretty close, with the sense of anticipation and unknown and potential adventure.

It's not exactly like anticipating a blind date, but it does have that potential dread factor, the sense of not knowing at all what I'm getting myself into.

Mostly, I realize, it's like waiting to see if I've gotten a really good part.

In fact, the whole process of looking for a job is a lot like auditioning.

I dress up in something really flattering.

I try to seem relaxed and confident, like I know what I'm doing and they can trust me to do what they anticipate I'll need to do.

I hope to hear about them wanting to see me again, when I try to seem even more relaxed and confident. I'm bolstered by their interest in me and try to bring that to the meeting.

And, then, I wait, convincing myself I've done my absolute best.

And knock on wood every time I ever mention the situation.

And try not to jinx myself by anticipating actually getting it.

And try not to imagine getting rejected and spending three days in bed out of the disappointment.

And try not to worry about the imminent inability to pay my rent.

OK, it's way worse than auditioning.

And, also, this is why I haven't auditioned for anything in like years.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Fractured Exercise Tale

Around the time that I was hitting puberty, I was taking dancing class three times a week.

Little known fact: I spent my last year of dancing ballet en pointe. Oh, yeah, I did.

I figured I wasn’t going to be a ballerina when I developed boobs and thighs and, ultimately, the body I have now. I haven’t grown at all since I got my period when I was 12. And my weight has totally stagnated within a range of ten pounds since then.

Granted, I’m 5’4”, so ten pounds is noticeable on me.

And I tend to get fat when I’m unhappy.

Or at least, feel fat. Which I’m sure isn’t a unique experience.

So, basically, from the ages of 14-20 and 22-25, I felt, and sometimes was, fat.

In high school, my physical activity was limited to the pacing I did in my room, strategizing how to escape my unhappiness.

Just kidding, sometimes I took begrudging walks too.

Or would go on jags of weight-loss determination and dance feverishly around my room to ABBA.

The point is, even when I was inspired to join a gym after watching The Biggest Loser in 2008, I didn’t lose significant amounts of weight.

I think this is just what my body looks like.

At my most unhappy, while living in New York City, I started going to yoga class once a week.

My instructor was a big, drag-queen-looking female opera singer who made us do sun salutations to the Christina Aguilera song “Walk Away.”

Yoga classes in NYC are expensive, so I could only afford to go once a week, but I loved it.

I loved the rubbery feeling my body had after being all flex-bendy for an hour.

I hated the cardio part of yoga (I sweat…) but loved the strength-training part and remember being particularly good at the L-stand, where you use your feet on the wall to make your body into an upside-down, inverted, L-shape.

Eventually, winter weather hindered my trip to Union Square for class, and I fell out of the habit, although my epic walk twice a day from the F train to my job on the East River continued to be a consistent part of my exercise routine.

The last few months I lived in New York City were the hardest, as I started to realize I didn’t really have a life there.

The shopping trip I took while sick with a mild digestive issue didn’t help. The cashier looked at me and my distended belly, as I purchased new sweaters or some shit, and said, “Is it a girl or a boy?”

S still asserts that he was confused and talking about how she was helping me pick out clothes, but that just doesn’t make any sense.

During my brief break between my summer job and the beginning of the semester last year, I started doing some pretty regular power-walking, while I had the time and nothing else to do.

Once school started again, I promptly stopped because my schedule became full of more important things, like trying to graduate and drinking lots of wine.

So, I’m a little wary to announce that I’ve been doing regular yoga (in my room, far from the probing eyes of more experienced yogis, on a yoga mat I bought, following Instant Watch Netflix videos) for almost six weeks.

I don’t think I’m on the road to significantly changing what my body looks like, although my biceps are definitely more defined after all those low planks.

But it feels good.

And they say a habit is formed in six weeks, so let’s hope I’m addicted soon. And that this time, it sticks.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Didn't Want This to End

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Half-way through, I realized my hands were clenched in anticipation, and then, I almost cried.

How amazing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

As My Brother Would Say, Gimme Job!

What I'm finding, in drastic contrast to my job hunting experience after graduating from undergrad, which seriously gave me PTSD, is that...sometimes interviews are fun.

I keep surprising myself with all the experiences from which I draw evocative anecdotes and thoughtful answers.

I just get to sit in a room with someone in my field, who understands the importance of arts in education, and talk about why I'm so passionate about it and why I think it's so essential.

It's not really any less nerve-racking but it's certainly more satisfying.

And, if I sit back and think about how much experience I really have in this field, it adds up to almost ten years.


Also, sometimes what I'm asked to do is play games with eight-year-olds and run around dance studios, pretending to be popcorn and trash cans.

So, you know, that's pretty cool too, I guess.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Just Googled "How to Wear a Poncho"

I love fall fashion.

It makes me think of Back to School.

I've needed a few wardrobe essentials for months.

My fall jackets are all getting ratty, which makes sense since some of them are just hand-me-downs from S.

And the only pair of brown boots I own have, like, a 3-inch heel and threads up the back. (They're not as slutty as they sound, but they're definitely not appropriate to wear with students.)

So I spent some time doing some "back-to-school" shopping, and found these and a SUPER cute khaki jacket that I'm already obsessed with.

I told my friend Jennifer about my successful haul, and this is what happened:

Jennifer: ugh love fall clothes
you should get a nice russet colored something
just anything russet

me: oooooh
good one
i have a russet cape thing
that i've never worn
that's what it's called
i LOVE fall clothes too

Jennifer: and then say it a lot "this is russet colored"

me: favorite

Jennifer: Me: can i borrow your poncho?
you: you mean the russet colored one?
even tho you just have one

me: i like it
let's recreate this
the thing about the poncho is
i need a cute HAND bag to carry with it
not a back pack or shoulder bag
and i can't figure out what to wear under it

Jennifer: nothing
oh my god, i'm cracking up
some chick wears a poncho thinking it's a shirt

i could probably wear a tank top of some sort
i dunno
it confuses me

Jennifer: i can't stop laughing

me: HAHAH! love it
are you at work?
making a fool of yourself

Jennifer: yes

According to the aforementioned Google search, I can wear virtually anything under it.

Don't think I'll go the nothing route.

Or the bikini top route either, which is one of the suggestions.

"Good morning, students...Yes, I am wearing a black bikini under my poncho. But, please note, the poncho is russet-colored!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This is How I've Been Spending My Time Lately

1. Crying while soothing a 4-day old baby girl. Out of joy, not fear. Babies are intense.
2. Keeping my cousin company as she recovers from aforementioned birth.
3. Doing 20-minutes of yoga a day.
4. Cleaning my house.
5. Preparing for a second interview for the super perfect job!
6. Reading blogs that make me cry. Like this one.
7. Fantasizing about when I am married and have my own kid. Whoa.

Also, I will be guest-blogging HERE during the first week of October!

So stay tuned.

Monday, September 13, 2010

To My Cousin's Baby, on His/Her Impending Arrival

Dear Littlepants,

Your mommy and daddy have left for the hospital.

Your birthday might be today, and it might be tomorrow.

I am writing you to welcome you to the world. I am so excited to meet you.

I'm Annie, your mom's cousin. You'll be seeing a lot of me because I live just down the street, and I spend several evenings a week with your parents and your furry brother, Huck. Currently, he is lounging on his big chair in the living room, watching the window, as if he knows that something exciting is about to arrive.

It is. You!

We just took a long walk around our neighborhood. I'm excited to do that with you when I babysit and give your folks a chance to be together and US a chance to be together! There is a great dog park and playground up the street. I imagine you'll be spending a lot of time there. I know your mom is very excited to go there with you.

Your parents are pretty great. I stayed with them for almost two weeks when I first moved here, and they have taken amazing care of me for these two years. They feed me great food, distract me with amazing television, and your mom and I spend a lot of time watching movies, shopping, and talking about our family. She is an incredibly supportive, caring, and generous lady, and your dad is one of the hardest working and easiest people to be around I've ever met.

They have been planning and anticipating your arrival for...years. You are coming into an incredible home.

I was one of the first people who knew you were on your way, and I am very grateful for that. Your parents worked very hard to make sure you will come into this world as healthy and comfortable as possible.

I don't have very much experience with tiny babies, so I hope you'll be patient with me as I try to figure out which end of the diaper should go up and how to properly feed and burp you. I'll get the hang of it; I'm a quick learner.

And, watch out, when you're a toddler, we'll have lengthy conversations and play sessions. I'm good at those. Just ask your cousin, Chasden, and your aunties.

And when you start school, I can help you with your homework! And make the difficult parts of that SUPER fun. I studied to be a teacher, so if your folks can't help you, I hope you'll call me to get through what you don't understand.

And that goes beyond your studies and homework. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because I know how important my family has become to me and how important it is to have people in your family who are also your friends. Especially when it comes to getting through the parts of life that are difficult to understand.

We are part of a silly, loud, willful, incredibly intelligent family, and sometimes they are...overwhelming. But, what I've learned is that when the going gets tough, our family is fiercely loyal and supportive. We will scoop you up and help you get through the tough times.

I want you to know, before you even arrive, how much I already love you. How much I am so excited to see what kind of person you become. To see the world new through your eyes.

I think you have already changed me, so thank you for that.

See you soon.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Soundtrack of the Unemployed

I went on an interview for an AMAZINGLY perfect job for me yesterday and, since then, this is the song that has been stuck in my head:

Minus the synth-heavy orchestrations and all the spandey wear.

The lyrics start at about 5:00, but watch the whole thing because it's pretty amazing.

Sidenote: S and I decided once we were going to rewrite A Chorus Line so it occurred in Communist Russia. It would be called...wait for it!...Bread Line.

God, I hope I get it.
I hope I get it!
How many pieces do they haaaaaave?

And, of course,
Single piece of brea-ead...
Every little step we take...

That's as far as we got.

Genius, right?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom-Mom

Today is my grandmother Shirley's 90th birthday.

Here she is in Honolulu, 50 years ago.

And with her amazing husband, Charles, whom she was married to for almost 60 years. They had five children together.

I have recently made the decision to travel back to my mother's hometown for a weekend of celebration for Shirley in October. This was a decision that took a few months for me to make, but, ultimately, I know it's the right thing to do, for her and for my family.

I will be very excited to see her, even though what I've heard is that she might not remember who I am, which is scary because she has always been one of the most razor-sharp people I've ever known...

It's OK, though.

I can remember for the both of us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Day of Remembrance...and a Story of Impending Puberty

It is a grand holiday for those of us born in the time of the original Beverly Hills, 90210. That day that happens just once in our lifetime, 9/02/10.

I know I've already posted once today, but then I discovered the worldwide holiday, and realized I had to post another embarrassing story, like Sassy's.

I think my favorite episode of 90210, inexplicably, is the one in which Brenda has a breast cancer scare. And during the SATs, no less!

What shitty luck.

The thing is, this episode aired during the thrilling period of time in my life when my...buds were developing.

You remember that time, when a breeze blowing in the right direction caused such searing pain that you'd get tears in your eyes?

I remember, once, I bashed them against the desktop in my 5th grade classroom and almost passed out.

But, of course, initially, I didn't know what these little hard nubs were, and so, I figured, OF COURSE, they're CANCER!

Of course, my pediatrician assured me they weren't. And that I was well on my way to blossoming into a young woman.


And, thanks for fostering my catastrophic thinking, Aaron Spelling...(may you rest.)

Consider It Your Duty...

Hello, loyal and trusted readers.

Please take a moment to notice the new badge on the left.

I have been chosen to be a contributing blogger on The Printed Blog, a new publication which prints the best blogs of the week.

As far as I understand it, celebrity contributing editors will read through the contributing blogs each week and pick the best posts to be published and distributed to paying subscribers. This means that I (GASP!) can get PAID for my posts IF you give me enough votes to make them notice!

Check out a New York Times article on The Printed Blog here.

This is a new and exciting idea, and I hope you will continue to support me as things here may begin to expand!

Thank you for all your support, thus far. I think it's fitting that I'm making this announcement as my 500th post!

PLEASE VOTE!!!! And, while you're at it, become a fan and/or a follower!

(I already voted for myself. Is that cheating?)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Think This is Important

I think it's because HOME has always been a...sensitive subject.

But, as soon as it asked for my childhood home address, I knew it was going to make me cry.

In fact, I watched it once with my childhood home address and another time with the address I had the last two years I was in college.

Those are the only two homes I've had.

Aside from this one, which is finally beginning to feel real...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Wonder if Students Will Study This Show in History Classes

I've just completed watching the first season of Mad Men, on my trusty Chinese streaming channel.

This is a show of which I've seen most of the second season and have meant to go back and start from the beginning to get all caught up since around 2008.

That's when it started winning all kinds of awards.

I didn't quite know what to make of the show then, and, frankly, I still don't.

It's so weird.

It's like a strange, dark, history lesson, full of inexplicably long-sleeved flannel pajamas, liquor, cone bras, and hundreds of cigarettes.

Nobody is who he seems.

Everyone has sex on couches.

I find myself distracted by thoughts like:

Jon Hamm's hair steals every scene.

January Jones sure is gorgeous, but she's grating.

I can't figure out what I don't like about Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete. But he looks exactly like Wil Wheaton.

Hey, that's Annie from Community!

Too bad I knew Peggy got pregnant the first season. That would have been a real shock.

Wait, why don't they just use their cell phones?

What is it like for the actors to smoke all those fake cigarettes?

If they drank so much at work during that time, who did all the dishes?

And, I have always thought I was born in the wrong era.

If you put me in those cinched and tailored clothes and all that intense underwear, I would have looked exactly like this:

I swear.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Watched Another Award Show...So You Didn't Have To

Truth be told, part of me would rather be cleaning my apartment right now.

Especially since my shitty subletter left a huge mess in the house and the room that Naheil is taking over next week. Even though I offered to help her.


Bitch snuck out without so much as a word of farewell and left a room full of furniture and a mess. I’ve been cleaning my apartment all day, in the pursuit of a clean slate.

I counted it as my cardio for the day.

But! I’ll continue my efforts to scrub her out of the house tomorrow.

Tonight, I have more pressing things to do! Like share my impressions of the Primetime Emmys with all of you!

I know you’re excited.

I watched the last 10 minutes or so of the Red Carpet ceremony. Mostly, it was awkward, as per usual. And I was slightly ashamed to discover that I recognized both Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen’s voices from down the hall.

Obviously, I watch too much TV.

I won’t even share how many entire series of shows I’ve seen since I got back from Connecticut less than three weeks ago…BUT...I am now addicted to Dexter and will soon be addicted to Mad Men, both of which are big and deserving contenders tonight.

Here are some highlights and lowlights of the evening.

That ridiculously amazing opening number. A genius cast of Glee actors, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Kate Gosselin, Jon Hamm, Hurley!, Joel McHale, and more singing “Born to Run.” I might have gotten a chill and a tear in my eye. I am such a nerd.

I wanted NPH to win the award for Supporting Actor in a Comedy, but Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family winning also made me ridiculously happy because he totally deserves it, and he looked so genuinely dazed.

Jane Lynch winning Supporting Actress in a Comedy. Love her, love her, love her. She is so classy and smart and funny.

Ryan Murphy, shouting out for arts education during his acceptance speech for Directing in Comedy for his work on Glee.

George Clooney’s cameo in the Modern Family clip.

Edie Falco proclaiming herself not funny, as she accepted the award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Fallon as Elton John, Boys II Men, and Billie Joe Armstrong, honoring 24, Law & Order, and LOST.

Kyra Sedgwick making a super classy speech, accepting for Lead Actress in a Drama, and making Tina Fey hold her award.

Ricky Gervais, killing it, as always, while presenting and bringing the audience beers. Then, making the name Bucky Gunts sound as filthy as it should. Ridiculous.

George Clooney’s generous and witty speech, accepting the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.

Julia Ormond, accepting for Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, for her work in Temple Grandin, announcing that she told her mother she had been “emminated for a Nommy.”

Claire Danes’s dress.

David Strathairn, honoring teachers, during his acceptance speech for Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his work in Temple Grandin.

Claire Danes being so collected and eloquent, accepting an award for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Temple Grandin.

Jimmy Fallon embracing Tom Selleck, “his dad.”

Matthew Weiner jumping right back into the speech that was interrupted, while accepting Best Drama Series, for Mad Men.

Modern Family winning Best Comedy Series. So great! I loved that Ed O’Neill was sneaking around to congratulate everyone.

Lauren Graham’s dress

Padma Lakshmi on the mic while the producer of Top Chef accepted the award.

The botched slap between Julianna Margulies and Jimmy Fallon, introducing the Drama category. I’m on the fence about the category intros, in general.

The producers cutting off Matthew Weiner’s acceptance speech for Writing in a Drama. Glad he got a chance to continue it…

I love her, but Tina Fey’s dress

January Jones mumbling Julia Ormond’s name. It’s pronounced OR-muhnd, lady.

Anna Paquin’s dress, panting, and pouting, during her stint as presenter

General thoughts:
I’m glad Dexter got one award, and Mad Men got two. Sad Friday Night Lights didn’t get anything!

Apparently, I need to get on the Breaking Bad wagon! What is WRONG with me?

And, finally, the question that I know you’re all dying to know the answer to: how many times did I cry?
The opening number, Stonestreet’s speech, Lynch’s speech, the Reality montage (don’t judge), BOTH commercials for this season of the Oprah show (feel free to judge this), the Drama montage, Julianna Margulies’s tribute to George Clooney, the Miniseries and Movies montage, Temple Grandin’s appearance, Claire Danes’s win (this one actually got tears to fall), Temple Grandin winning best Television Movie and the producer’s speech.

That’s a grand total of twelve.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love Letters to Inappropriately Aged Actors

I have a confession.

This will come as no shock to those who know me, but...I like younger dudes.

I think it started in college, when I was dating a 19-year-old freshman my senior year, as I was turning 22.

Since then I've had countless crushes on guys younger than me. I even liked an 18-year-old when I was turning 25--that was the biggest gap. It doesn't help that I've spent two summers on a camp staff where the average age is probably 24.

Since then, though, I've made a rule that if he can't get into a bar without a fake ID, I refuse to look at him twice. That is just too embarrassing.

Anyway...ahem...below are some of the dashing young lads that make my ever-aging heart beat a little faster, in counterpart to this post, and in order of degree of obsession.

Dear Taylor,
I dedicated a whole post to my newfound appreciation for you. I hope you read it. Even though I'm pretty sure you don't play on my team (I won't tell), and even though I think you're a terrible actor, I can't deny that your chemistry with Kristen Stewart on the second Twilight movie was pretty exciting.
And I know you know karate because your body is KICKIN'.

I have to admit it, but I'm particularly embarrassed about my crush on you. You won me over with your adorable and solid performance in Hairspray. You're hot, you can sing, and you've got great abs. Also, I like that you sometimes roll around in the mud with naked girls. I hope Vanessa isn't jealous.

Oh, Shia. Don't worry. I don't love you just because of Even Stevens. I've actually never seen that show. In fact, I didn't discover you until your amazing performance in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and then, I confess, I youtube-stalked you for weeks. You're totally the best actor under 25 out there right now. And, I totally approve of your new girlfriend, Carey Mulligan. She's about the only starlet I could imagine actually being both smart AND beautiful enough for you...

Shout-out in the comments some of the dudes you're slightly inappropriately crushing on, so I know I am not alone.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School's Out For...Ever?

I remember the first day of school always being a big deal, all the way through grad school.

Stocking up on school supplies, putting book covers on my text books, making my lunches, and deciding what the perfect this-looks-like-I-just-pulled-it-out-of-the-closet-but-I've-been-planning-this-outfit-for-weeks ensemble would be.

I distinctly remember a green bodysuit and plaid skirt in my middle school past.

Yes, there were crotch snaps. But, MAN, I felt trendy.

I remember feeling a particular kind of panic when I graduated from college.

I specifically remember writing something along the lines of, "school is what I've been doing for 16 years, and I'm REALLY good at it. What am I going to do now?"

I didn't feel the same kind of panic when I graduated from grad school. Mostly, I was overwhelmed and relieved and exhausted and ready for a vacation.

I have to admit, though, that I'm feeling the familiar yearning to head back to the classroom, more than two weeks since returning to Boston from my summer job.

Mostly, it's just hard to fill the days. I'm happy if I get a little exercise in, maybe see a friend, or make a good meal. Otherwise, I spend a LOT of time combing the internet for job listings and sending resumes...and watching a lot of Netflix, as you all know.

I'm finding myself drawn to more than just teaching jobs. I'm applying to ALL KINDS of jobs connected to schools and colleges. Even administrative stuff that I can do with my eyes closed. I find myself thinking, yeah, I guess I could do that full-time.

Someone, just give me copies to make and emails to send and messages to take. I CAN DO THAT! Just keep me connected to SCHOOL!

Maybe I'll take myself back-to-school shopping, just for fun.

This time, no crotch snaps.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I am So Happy to Post This

It made me downright giggly.

Warning: NSFW...but definitely listen.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am a Pop Culture Genius, vol. XIII: the Dexter edition

After jumping on the Weeds bandwagon, Netflix was recommending Dexter as something I might like.

I'd seen one episode a couple years ago and didn't really know what to make of it, but somehow, I've just watched the whole first season, and there were definitely some...disgusting and shocking moments.

Plus, Michael C. Hall wears the hell out of those thermals.

Also, I recognized ALL these people:

This guy was almost unrecognizable and certainly not as hot as he is on True Blood, but he played a serial drunk driver that Dexter gets rid of.

Drue Valentine himself had a brief cameo as a victim's husband in one episode.

He played a cruel therapist in an episode, but I will always think of him as the villain from Ghost.

I bet there's a whole slew of people that know Jacob from LOST as Rita's abusive ex-husband.

And THEO! played Rita's lawyer in two episodes.

I wish I could put this down as a special skill on my resume...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Word of the Day, vol. XXI

Word of the Day: DRUGS

It’s funny how my final word of the day is drugs.

Especially because I didn’t have any idea what to write about aside from the really horrible story of this one time I got really paranoid and was sure the water I tried to drink was actually cranberry juice and then was super sick with food poisoning from Indian food I’d eaten earlier that day and spent the night with my head literally in the toilet and humming to calm my stomach and, then, thought I’d gone crazy and was never going to be sane again.

Yeah, it’s a good story but that was a bad night.

Then, I started getting into Weeds.

I’ve caught up just in time for the sixth season to start tonight.

Too bad I don’t have Showtime.

I am obsessed with this show.

Nancy Botwin is so tough and vulnerable and a mess.

And her sons are total messes.

And Mary-Louise Parker needs to win more awards. And so does Elizabeth Perkins. And Hunter Parrish is super hot. And I don’t understand how Justin Kirk has ridiculous chemistry with every single woman on that show. Cuz he seems kind of gay too.

And I don’t understand how the creator, Jenji Kohan, can write all those men so well, everyone from a 14-year-old who loses his virginity to an Asian prostitute endorsed by his uncle to the Mexican drug lord and all the guys in his posse.

And what kind of name is Jenji?

It’s a pretty amazing show.

And I think it’s warping my reality.

I went to McDonald’s tonight and was making wisecracks that sounded like they should be on the show. And it struck me that I was imagining that all the black guys in the place were savvy dealers, at the whim of a suburban housewife who is smarter and tougher than all of them.

It’s also about drugs.


Nancy goes from being a widow dealing marijuana to make some cash to falling into drug/gun/sex trafficking in Mexico. And is trying to raise her sons and deal with a complicated love life at the same time.

But, mostly, it’s making me want to start wearing gold jewelry like Nancy’s.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Cracks Me Up

me: guess what i bought today

C: shoes

me: no

C: Barrettes

me: LOL--warmer

C: a yamulka

me: COLD

C: a kufi

me: what the hell is that?

C: an african yamulka


C: a Latrell Sprewell Jersey

me: what?!

C: a silicone bread pan

me: cold

C: a dartboard

me: cold
the hats were warmer

C: a 6 month subscription to "Outdoor" Magazine


C: this is tough
I got it

me: COLD
this is hilarious

C: 3 ace bandages

me: cold

C: a handball

me: cold

C: A Sondheim songbook

me: cold

C: edible finger paint

me: yum
isn't that just pudding?

C: a pocket size periodic table of elements
it's fingerpaint


C: that's not dangerous to eat

me: i'll give you a hint

C: ok
but I don't think I need it
I feel close

me: ok

C: a bonnet

me: warmer but cold

C: a cowl

me: cold
but about as warm as a bonnet

C: earth, wind, and fire's greatest hits

me: COLD

C: brass knuckles

me: i wish

C: frozen cod

me: hahahhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

C: the url anniekee.edu


C: pliers

me: no

C: A bible

me: no

C: a painting of Chewbacca on a giant squirrel killing Nazis

me: YES!

C: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/web02/2010/7/27/17/chewbacca-on-a-giant-squirrel-fighting-nazis-1866-1280266282-39.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.buzzfeed.com/rebeccae/chewbacca-on-a-giant-squirrel-fighting-nazis&usg=__9-frFSrR5FbKVLtdyE38aNRrp7c=&h=776&w=600&sz=335&hl=en&start=0&sig2=8GiiPk7j9Pm1FNk9unljXw&tbnid=dR0_VNtC4zlzMM:&tbnh=160&tbnw=143&ei=VP1iTPnKOoGBlAeymZyeCQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchewbaca%2Bon%2Ba%2Bgiant%2Bsquirrel%2Bkilling%2Bnazis%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D937%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=149&vpy=117&dur=373&hovh=185&hovw=143&tx=134&ty=101&oei=VP1iTPnKOoGBlAeymZyeCQ&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=34&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

me: you guessed it!!!!!
what the fuck

C: I knew I'd get there


C: dude
you didn't even give me a chance
I was so close

that was a good game

C: I was gonna' go
ice cream
knee pads
electric toothbrush

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Job, 2nd edition, vol. XV (Finally)

Last year, I wrote this about my summer experience. Summer Job 2009 was an incredibly intense and, in retrospect, difficult summer.

At the end of orientation week, there is always a staff talent show. During that day, this year, several people came up to me to ask what I’d be presenting. They seemed to fondly remember that I had done a reading last year, and when I told them I’d be reading something again, I got excited and pleased responses across the board.

I couldn’t believe it.

This genuine outpouring of interest and admiration seemed to set the foundation for the summer, and I don’t quite know where to start expressing how personally significant it was for me.

My new roommate, Naheil, who I also worked with this summer, told me about how she and her co-RA shared a bottle of champagne on the final night and toasted to every realization they had made in seven short weeks.

So, in honor of her and all of my incredible colleagues without whom I could not have survived the summer, here are some of mine.

I realized that being a mentor to young adults satisfies me and seems to align with ALL of my skills.

I realized that I didn’t miss teaching.

I realized that there ARE kind and beautiful young men in the world. (Sometimes they're just TOO young.)

I realized that receiving the love and admiration of my peers is just as important as giving it.

I realized that I will miss hammock time most of all.

I realized that being more comfortable with the schedule of the program meant I spent a lot more money at Starbucks instead of eating in the dining hall.

I realized that leading fifty students to Washington, DC and back is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I realized that exhaustion at the program is unlike any other kind of exhaustion I’ve ever felt because you have no choice but to work through it, and everyone around you is just as exhausted.

I realized that having a director that is younger than me doesn’t matter, especially when she’s probably the hardest working person I’ve ever met. And that building a friendship with her was one of the most gratifying parts of the summer.

I realized that working in an office with such a strong and variously skilled team is probably unlike any experience I’ll ever have again, unless I go back next year, and even then, there are no guarantees.

I realized that the Kelly Clarkson channel on Pandora is the best work music ever.

I realized that there is no way to explain how amazing it was to have a flexible schedule that allowed me to sleep in at least once a week.

I realized that one should never bring scissors in your backpack to the Capitol.

I realized that there are few things more satisfying and silly than watching The Bachelorette with girlfriends. On a projector. Or deciding to skip dinner to have spicy Thai food and drinks with a partner in crime. Or singing really loudly and obnoxiously with your office mate with your directors screaming at you from across the hall.

I realized that I’m terrible at water balloon volleyball, but I’m a kick-ass cheerleader.

I realized that snacking on Starbursts CAN get you through a long night on-duty.

I realized, again, that young people need to be spoken to like human beings for them to hear you.

I realized that sleeping on a Twin XL bed is just as uncomfortable as it was last year.

I realized that that rain jacket was the best investment I’ve made in a long time.

I realized that everyone thought I was 24, at the MOST. And that I went through the summer feeling like a grown-ass woman.

I realized that I didn’t expect to LEARN so much. But I did. And, yet, there is still so much more for me to learn.

I realized that doing good work can be its own reward, but getting praised and being told the program wants me back is invaluable.

I realized that going to a job interview straight from this experience proves how confident and experienced I have become.

I realized that Boston is home.


Honestly, I could write all night, but I won’t.

Mostly, I hope I can hold onto all this goodness, all this confidence and contentment I feel.

I’m so grateful for it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Job, 2nd edition, vol. XIV (Movin' Out)

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go.
I'm standing here...

Just kidding.

But, really. My bags are packed. (Someone should write a scientific equation that involves < and > signs about the difference in time it takes to pack FOR a trip than FROM a trip.)

This week was definitely the most intense of the summer in terms of work.

Not only were we organizing final projects and final evaluations and closing out all our books and making sure everything was copied and in order, but we had to move out of our offices.

Friday alone involved morning observations, afternoon meetings, running Drama Cafe until dinner, working at the Main Event and roaming until 11 and then roaming part of the overnight shift until 1 AM.

Saturday was spent doing data entry until noon and then packing and organizing about 100 boxes of course supplies until 3:30.

Then, last night, I spent three hours eating and NOT drinking at the staff dinner and four hours DRINKING (straight from a Prosecco bottle because I'm classy like that) and dancing at the after party.

Then I ran to a 24-hour store for popcorn and candy and Vitamin Water and passed out around 2:30 AM. Woke up every hour from 6:30 til 9:30, then got up because I figured I was probably missing something important.

I'm heading out to brunch soon with two of my colleagues. Checking out first, which freaks me out. Then, waiting around to watch everyone leave until around 2 PM when I'll catch my own ride.

Home by 5 PM, if all goes well.

And totally in denial about it all.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Job, 2nd edition, vol. XIII (Workin')

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. The weeks pass so quickly here and, mostly, I've just been working.

Second week of second session is probably the quietest week of the summer here. We've already been through the second week once and everyone is on top of their stuff.

I had a couple mini-dramas, but they aren't worth mentioning because now they've passed. Yesterday, I went on my final day trip, to see In the Heights with about 75 very tame students. The trip passed without any fanfare whatsoever, beyond two students being discovered out of bounds by a staff member who had the day off and just happened to be in Times Square. (Sucks for them.)

What's weirding me out is that in a week, I'll be home. Scrubbing the eye crusties out of my eyes and probably nursing a hangover, the morning after the final party, which is sure to be insane.

I'll be sitting on my huge suitcases so they can be zipped up and struggling with them all the way back to Boston.

This week will bring me my final feedback meetings, lots of close-out activities and evaluations, packing up the offices, and producing the final projects.

I know it's going to go VERY fast and then, somehow, I'll be back in my own bed, killing time on the internet, trying to find a job and a roommate, and, hopefully, not totally freaking out at the fact that I am officially unemployed...