90s Slow Jams Wednesday, Apr 30 2008 

I’ve finally put together my 90s Slow Jams list.  I’ve moved away from generalizations and have pared it down to the most nostalgic songs of my childhood.

When I was 10 years old and in the fifth grade, it finally occurred to me that I could listen to the radio on my own — and on MY stations, not my parents’ — and I ended up discovering the wonders of Jam’n 94.5.  I fell into hip-hop and listened to no other station.

The first CD I bought on my own was TLC’s CrazySexyCool; the second was Boyz II Men’s II.  To this day, R&B is still my favorite genre of music.

Here is my perfect playlist, plucked from my 1995 boombox that I listened to with my door closed and the bathroom radio that I sang along with for way-too-long shower sessions:

  1. Blackstreet — Before I Let You Go
  2. TLC — Red Light Special
  3. Brandy — I Wanna Be Down
  4. Usher — Nice & Slow
  5. Shai — If I Ever Fall in Love
  6. R. Kelly — You Remind Me of Something
  7. Boyz II Men — On Bended Knee
  8. Mary J. Blige — Everything
  9. Keith Sweat — Nobody
  10. Monica — Before You Walk Out of My Life
  11. New Edition — Still in Love
  12. R. Kelly — Bump ‘n Grind
  13. Babyface — Every Time I Close My Eyes
  14. Keith Sweat — Twisted
  15. TLC — Take Our Time

Hotttttt.

What the hell kind of GD animal is this? Wednesday, Apr 30 2008 

This was on I Can Has Cheezburger today.  Check it out:

Is it a rat?  A chinchilla?  A mongoose?

Who knows?!

Filming in Boston Wednesday, Apr 30 2008 

I love how Deval Patrick authorized tax cuts for film production companies in the state of Massachusetts.  Because of that, tons (TONS!) of movies have been filming in Boston!

It’s fantastic — not only for the economy, but also because of the celebrity sightings!  Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson went to the Upper Crust in Beacon Hill; my friend ran into Cameron Diaz at the Starbucks by Park Street…

The Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis, is one of the latest.  According to IMDB, Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates.

I work in the Fort Point Channel area of South Boston.  This is a view of the filming area, as taken from right next to my office:

Heh.  Not that exciting yet.  But it could be…The Departed also filmed in the Fort Point area, and the scene when the body falls off the building was filmed just a few streets away from my office!

Let’s hope there’s another celebrity sighting in 2008.  I haven’t met anyone famous since Vanilla Ice.  Hmm, Matthew McConaughey is currently filming in town…so is Steve Martin…

Two-tone toes and disco hair Sunday, Apr 27 2008 

I experimented a bit with my hair and nails this weekend.  First, I did what I had always wanted to do since I was little (and why I never did, I have no idea!) and painted my toenails two different colors, half and half, a diagonal stripe dividing the colors.

Here is the result:

There is a smudge on my left big toenail, but I’m not really in the mood to fix it.

I’m a lifelong pianist, so I rarely paint my nails.

Last night, my hair was still damp after being in its usual French twist all day, so I decided to see if I could get it extra EXTRA curly.

I don’t own a hair dryer, so I used my space heater, cranked up to 80 degrees.

I scrunched and sprayed with spray gel, then with hairspray, and held my head upside-down in front of the space heater.  It only took about five minutes.

The result:

Huge, giant, crazy disco hair!  I LOVED IT!!!!

It’s not an everyday thing, but for an occasional night out, it’s awesome!

Seeing results like this makes me want to postpone the haircut that I scheduled for next Saturday and keep growing my hair until it reaches my waist!

I’m moving to the Back Bay! Saturday, Apr 26 2008 

In Paris, it’s the 8ème arrondissement.  In New York, it’s the Upper East Side.  In London, it’s Knightsbridge; in Miami, it’s South Beach; in Washington, D.C., it’s Georgetown.

In Boston, it’s the Back Bay — the most upscale and luxurious neighborhood in the city.

And I am moving there on September 1!

My sister and I have planned to live together for the ’08/’09 school year.  This is for two main reasons: first of all, we miss each other so much, even as often as we see each other!  Secondly, this is Sarah’s last year in Boston before moving to Los Angeles.  This is our last chance.

Also, as much as I LOVE my apartment and living in Davis Square, it’s time for me to live downtown.  It takes me about 15 minutes to get to Park Street from Davis, plus a 10-minute walk to the T in the first place, and while that isn’t very long in retrospect, it’s starting to bother me.  I want to be closer.

Sars is a film student at Emerson College, which is in the Theatre District.  Because of this, and because of all of her late nights working on films and projects, she needs to be downtown.  She is currently moving out of her Chinatown apartment just a few blocks away from school.

We were open to living in several different places.  Although the South End was my first choice (I will live there someday!), we were open to living in Beacon Hill, Bay Village, the North End, Fenway, the Longwood Medical Area and even as far as Central Square in Cambridge and Coolidge Corner in Brookline.  (ANYWHERE but Allston/Brighton.)

This place popped up on our radar.  We saw it the first day it went on the market, and when we saw what an amazing deal it was, we immediately pounced on it.

That being said, it’s small.

It’s a two-bed split: that means that there are two bedrooms and no living room.  When you walk in, there’s a hallway running from left to right.  There is a bedroom on the left side (with a bay window!) and a bedroom on the right side.  In the middle are a kitchen (tiny!  Not eat-in!) and a bathroom.

The apartment is in a brownstone near Berklee College of Music, technically in the Back Bay but right by Symphony and Fenway.  When you walk into the building, ours is the apartment immediately on the left, right next to the mailboxes!

And there are TONS of Berklee students there.  The guy living above us plays the drums.  Yikes.  He says he mainly plays at school, though.  It’s almost like dorm life.  Hopefully we’ll have some of the benefits of dorm life, like getting to meet new people all the time.

Yes, living in a place this small will be a challenge, but at least the bedrooms are large.  Besides, since we’re so close, we don’t mind hanging out in each other’s bedrooms, and we aren’t shy to having friends hang out there, either, like some people are.

Also, I will be getting rid of my car.  I’m very nervous about this, but I know it’s ultimately the right decision, considering gas prices, the environment and the deteriorating state of my car.  I won’t visit my parents and friends in Reading and Wakefield as often, but I can always take the orange line to Oak Grove, a 15-minute drive from my mom, or even take the commuter rail.

Plus, my dad loves coming into town whenever he can and has been doing it a LOT since Sarah and I moved here.  (I kind of have the feeling that he might relocate to a condo in Charlestown or Cambridge five years from now.)

And Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are right in the neighborhood, along with a Shaw’s!  We’ll need to get one of those old lady carts.

I have to say that I have had a FANTASTIC living situation for the past 16 months.  My apartment is terrific, and I have wonderful roommates and landlords.  My roommates have become three of my closest friends, and considering some of the roommate experiences I’ve had in the past, that’s an incredible gift!  I will miss them dearly.

So…if you’re looking for a place to live, I have a great Davis Square apartment that I can offer you, starting September 1 (which is Labor Day).

I OWNED the Blackjack table!!!! Tuesday, Apr 22 2008 

On a bit of a whim, Lisa and I decided to go to Foxwoods yesterday.  We decided that we needed to do a bit of gambling practice before we go to Vegas in June.

I’ve been practicing Blackjack since seeing 21 (and reading Bringing Down the House, the book that inspired the movie), and I was eager to try it out.

But when we got there, it was so intimidating — we were leered at everywhere we went.  To be frank, we were the best looking people there by FAR, and I say that truthfully.  If you’ve ever been there (and it was my second time — I’ve also been to Mohegan Sun once), you know the crowd — EVERYONE is old, and there are wheelchairs and oxygen tanks everywhere.

It’s quite depressing, actually.

First, we met up with Janelle, who drove up from Sacred Heart, and we grabbed some Panera.  Janelle had to head back after a bit, and Lisa and I headed over to play hih stakes bingo.

It was fun, though not as fun as the first time I went a few years ago, and we ended up leaving after a few hours of highly competitive play and realizing that we couldn’t keep up with the grannies.

We then hit the Blackjack tables.

I was scared, but I had promised myself that I would play Blackjack publicly for the first time ever.  Then a guy beckoned me over to a table.  I joined.

The minimum was $15.00.  I got $45.00 in chips and decided that if I lost that, that would be it.

Hand #1:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Lost the hand
  • Total winnings: $-15.00

Hand #2:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $0.00

Hand #3:

  • Bet $15.00
  • GOT BLACKJACK!!!
  • Total winnings: $22.50

Hand #4:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $37.50

Hand #5:

  • Bet $15.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $52.50

Hand #6:

  • Decided to up things and bet $20.00
  • Got a 2 and a 9, while the dealer had an 8
  • Doubled down — bet $40.00
  • Won the hand!!
  • Total winnings: $92.50

At that point, I knew it was time to quit.  I was ahead, and I might not have as much money if I kept playing.

So that was that!

Lisa, as we walked away: “Those few minutes were more exciting than the entire time playing bingo.”

And now I cannot WAIT for Vegas!!

The Presidential Suite Saturday, Apr 19 2008 

I love spontaneous, unexpected adventures.  The one I had on Monday was certainly memorable.

I was doing errands in Davis, finally getting my shoes repaired (they all wear down on the right heel!), when I got a phone call from my friend Esther.

Esther: “What are you up to?”

Me: “Doing errands in Davis.  What about you?”

Esther: “I got VTO [Voluntary Time Off, when you get to leave early without pay or using your accrued time off hours].  I’m at Park Street.  Want to go get some food?”

Me: “Um…OKAY!”

We met in Harvard Square and went to the Border Cafe, one of my all-time favorite places.  I used to go there on my birthday each year, though I rarely go anymore.  We split a quesadilla and each got a strawberry margarita (and let me say that Esther is also a vegetarian, so I love that she doesn’t temp me into eating meat!) and spent the next hour or so girlytalking at a thousand miles an hour.

It was fun.  We then decided that it would be a great idea to congratulate/roast everyone we knew who had recently gotten a promotion of any kind.  Yeah.

Esther used to work at the Charles Hotel, which is one of the nicest hotels in Boston.  We dropped by to say hi to her friends, and then, after taking a break and getting some food with one of her old work friends, we headed back in and he beckoned for us to join him in the elevator.

We rode to the top of the building.

To the Presidential Suite.

Bill Clinton has stayed there.  So has Al Gore.  And Will Smith.  And countless other politicians and celebrities.

I have never been in the best suite in a luxury hotel before, so I found it very cool.  I have to admit that I giggled like crazy at the seemingly precious painting that zips up into the wall to reveal a flat-screen TV.  It’s the best of both worlds!  I think I’d like that in my dream home someday.

The view was great, too — you could see the skyline across the Charles (river, not hotel).

After crashing the suite, Esther and I hung out in the square for a while, then went back to the Charles.  To use the bathrooms.  (They were really nice.)

Special thanks to our lovely guide for sneaking us up there!

Eighteen months without a haircut! Friday, Apr 18 2008 

Today, I was sitting at Flour Bakery (incredible) with my friend Esther and enjoying a quiche and salad when I suddenly realized that I had hit a milestone.

“Your hair is getting so long,” Esther remarked.

“Yeah, it’s getting kind of crazy,” I replied.  “I need to — WAIT!  Is today the 18th?”

“Yeah, it is.”

I realized that I had reached the eighteen-month anniversary of my ill-fated haircut that, at the time, I deemed “the biggest mistake of my life.”  I cut it off impulsively, thinking I could rock a short, dark (dyed black?), curly look.

I should have known better.  I always hate short hair, and I’ve dyed my hair twice with semi-permanent haircolor and I’ve gotten highlights twice.  Those four instances were all during high school.  I’ve had long, dark, wavy hair since the beginning of college.

When I was young, I viewed long hair as a status symbol.  When I was in the fourth grade, I was neck-in-neck with another girl for the honor of having the longest hair in the class.  When she cut hers off, I felt like I had achieved something fantastic.

As a result, I’ve only had about three short haircuts, ever.  The rest of the time, it’s been shoulder length or longer.

I was so upset when I cut it off in October 2006 that I actually calculated how many millimeters it grew each day.  I wore it up every single day for a few months.  Traumatized, I resolved not to cut my hair again for a long, long time.

It grew, and it grew quickly.  I never blow dry my hair, so my hair is in pretty good condition.  I never get split ends — but after eighteen months, I’ve got some splits to repair!

Here is my hair right after I got the haircut:

And here is how my hair looks today:

I usually let it get curly from sleeping on it wet, but it went kind of straight today.  I never know how it’s going to look on any given day — it’s quite tempermental.

(And YES, that is the amazing SILF shirt from BustedTees.  I LOVE THIS SHIRT!!)

I think I’ve gone long enough.

It’s time for a haircut.

Not even REMOTELY above the shoulders, though!

I need to find a new stylist, but that will be a new entry altogether.

Making Music with Sars Wednesday, Apr 16 2008 

My sister, Sars, is a sophomore film major at Emerson College.  She is hilarious and deep, and her films are great — but whenever she needs music in a pinch, she gives me a call to play piano for her.

I write scores for her the way Clint Eastwood does for films like Million Dollar Baby — I just sit at the piano and play whatever comes to mind.  At least I did that in high school.

We just ended up playing whatever pop songs immediately came to mind and recorded them.  Here is the very odd playlist:

  • The Beatles, “Something”
  • Damien Rice, “The Blower’s Daughter”
  • Marvin Gaye (and MANY others), “If This World Were Mine”
  • Britney Spears, “Gimme More”
  • Smashing Pumpkins, “For Martha”
  • The Beatles, “Across the Universe”
  • Ray J, “Sexy Can I”
  • Jon Brion, “Row” and “Peer Pressure” (from Eternal Sunshine)
  • Ryuchi Sakamoto, “Bibo No Aozora / 04” (from Babel)
  • “What Sweeter Music” (FU Glee Club!)
  • David Bowie, “Life on Mars?”
  • David Bowie, “Space Oddity”
  • Ferras, “Hollywood’s Not America”

It will make an interesting soundtrack, indeed.

Darth Vader for Pope! Wednesday, Apr 16 2008 

Which one’s scarier?  You decide.

One of my friends at work and I were talking about the Pope’s visit to the U.S. today, and he commented that the Pope kind of looked like the stereotypical image of an evil entity.

I told him he hadn’t seen anything yet.

I then went on a mad search for one of the funniest avatars I’ve seen on the internet — it was an animated GIF of the Pope turning into Darth Vader, at the point in the film when Hayden Christiansen first becomes deformed and he’s hiding under the cloak.

(Believe it or not, I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies because the first one scared me so much when I was little.  I was so afraid that Darth Vader was lurking in my bedroom that my dad had to comfort me for months.)

I searched and searched and couldn’t find it.

However, I found something even more amazing: the official petition nominating Darth Vader for Pope!

To:  The Roman Catholic Church

Dear the Roman Catholic Church
We understand that the creation of a new Pope is not usually a democratic process, however we feel that all options must be considered before you make such an important decision. That being the case we ask you to consider Darth Vader, dark lord of the Sith for the position. We feel he would make an excellent leader, would return Catholicism back to it’s roots, and would be instrumental in reconverting young people back to the faith. He would also be unlikely to molest small boys, which has got to be a plus in this modern world of ours. Remember those days when the Church commanded a fanatical cult following, and atrocities against other religions were committed with but a wave of the hand? Well, with Lord Vader at the helm those days can be here again.

So please, give in to anger, fear and aggression. Choose Darth Vader as the new Pope.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Beyond fantastic.

Well, I couldn’t find that image of the Pope turning into Darth Vader, so here’s the next best thing:

Park Bench Necklace: Would you wear it? Sunday, Apr 13 2008 

I was on dlisted.com the other day when I noticed an ad for Leviticus Jewelry depicting a really cool silver necklace with dangling handcuffs.  I clicked on the site and discovered unique, unusual jewelry, each piece more daring than the last.

Check out this necklace:

It’s really interesting!  It’s really different, and that’s why I like it.  Personally, though, the only thing I don’t like about it is the chain.  I would like to see a more delicate chain.

I asked my friends from work if they would wear it, and here are their responses (and I hope I put the correct name with each response):

Nadine: “It looks like something that got spit out of a recycling machine.”

Jess: “I kind of like it too.”

Cheryl: “No, it would take out my teeth if it hit me in the face or the street light post would poke my eye out.”

Lauren: “It is kind of cute.  Of course, I do love miniature furniture.  You should get a lot of remarks about it.”

Jackie: “No.”

What do you think?  It costs $89.00.  Even if you got it for free, would you wear it?

Quote of the Day….Sars? Sunday, Apr 13 2008 

From Overheard in New York:

Everybody’s Saved. Now Could Somebody Buy Me Breakfast?

 

Uptight middle-aged evangelist woman: You are all sinners. Jesus Christ is coming and you are all going to be condemned to hell.
Toothless eighty-year-old hobo: I’m Jesus.
Uptight middle-aged evangelist woman: Jesus is coming and you all will be dining with Satan.
Toothless eighty-year-old hobo: I’m already here. I’m Jesus.
Uptight middle-aged evangelist woman: No you aren’t.
Toothless eighty-year-old hobo: I’m telling you, I’m Jesus. How do you know I’m not Jesus?
NYU hipster: My lord! You have returned!

–6 Train

Just replace NYU hipster with Emerson hipster and replace Emerson hipster with Sars.  That’s totally something my sister would say.

My Blonde Moment Friday, Apr 11 2008 

Before I write this entry, let me state that I know so many witty and intelligent blondes, my sister included (even though she hasn’t been truly blonde since she was in middle school).  “My Blonde Moment” just makes a better title than anything else I could think of.

I turned on my computer yesterday and realized that it would turn off whenever the cord became dislodged.  After turning it on for the umpteenth time, I realized that the battery wasn’t working.  A symbol in the corner of the screen said there was no battery.

I started Googling like crazy for an answer, wishing that I had bought myself a Mac last summer.  Yahoo! Answers is a pretty good source, and I followed the advice to check the Control Panel.

Everything was normal.

I checked and checked and Googled for about an hour and eventually figured that I’d have to get on the phone with tech support in India.  Oh, if only I had bought a Mac!

When I got home from work tonight, I turned on the computer and noted that there was no difference.

I then turned it over to see if something had come loose.

Turns out the battery had FALLEN OUT.

Can you believe it?!  I’d had it on my lap the whole time, and over the course of several hours, I hadn’t even noticed that there was a large gap underneath!

I’m a weirdo.

Earl Grey Latte Wednesday, Apr 9 2008 

I dropped by Starbucks for the first time in a while and decided to get one of my favorite drinks, a London Fogger.  (It’s Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and four pumps of vanilla.  Try it — it’s great!)

Strangely enough, the Starbucks in Davis was nearly deserted (and it was only around 6:30!).  The barista and I chatted for a few minutes while the other barista made my drink.

Nearly every time I order a London Fogger, I have to explain exactly what it is.  The Starbucks in Downtown Crossing had it as a featured drink last year, so those baristas were pushing it like crazy, but nobody else knows what it is!

“That’s weird,” the barista told me, “but not the weirdest drink I ever got.”

“Really?  What was that?” I asked.

“Well, it was a grande, and it had an L on the side, so it was a latte, and then he asked for me to put an Earl Grey teabag in it.  Espresso, steamed milk and Earl Grey tea.  I tried it out of curiosity.  It wasn’t bad.”

Well, it’s no orange mocha frappuccino, but it’s still pretty scary.

Also, when you Google Image “Evil Starbucks,” this is what you get:

Obradma and Hillangelina Monday, Apr 7 2008 

As you’ve probably heard already, genetic research has proven that Barack Obama is distantly related to Brad Pitt, while Hillary Clinton is distantly related to Angelina Jolie.

Most people read this and were mildly amused.

Photoshop genius Gilmore, of Pretty on the Outside, took it to the next level.

I present: Obradma!

Obradma knows how to excite a population — with his political views, he incites cheers; when he takes off his shirt, he incites fainting spells.  He knows that the poorest and neediest in the U.S. are the ones who need our help the most right now.

And Hillangelina!

Hillangelina is smarter and better-informed than the rest of you, and she knows it.  She holds a new kind of power rarely seen, and she never appears caught off guard in public.

Who gets your vote?

PS — Obradma, get some chapstick!  Please!  It hurts me to look at those lips!

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