I met Alec Baldwin today. Thursday, Sep 25 2008 

When I heard that Alec Baldwin would be making an book-signing appearance at the Borders right by my office, I knew I had to go.  I am such a big fan of his.

I know what you’re thinking.  He called his daughter a “rude little pig” in a voicemail that made the rounds across the internet a year ago.  Why would I like this guy?

I’ll paraphrase my friend RyanHe is so damn good on 30 Rock, he makes me forget what a bad father he is. Watch the show — the best comedy on TV by FAR — and you’ll understand why he deserves the Emmy that he won on Sunday.

Besides 30 Rock, I love him as an actor.  I’ll watch him in anything.

Alec recently wrote the book A Promise To Ourselves, a memoir of his divorce and an attack on what he calls the “family law industry.”  I don’t really want to read the book, but I did want to get to meet him!

Alec arrived at Borders and, instead of reading, talked about his experiences.  I couldn’t see him from where I was in line, waiting for my book to be signed, but I could hear him.  And he actually made all the divorce stuff sound entertaining — he made a lot of great points.

And then I rounded the corner.

Dear God, he is SO much better-looking in real life than he is on TV. I’m totally serious.  The camera must add something like 30 pounds.

They were ushering people through pretty quickly, so I knew I’d have to be fast.  That didn’t stop the woman in front of me from having an entire conversation with him.

But the best part was that towards the end of the conversation, he was talking to her but looking at me the whole time.  And his eyes are SO blue.

And then it was my turn.

I handed him the book.

Alec: “Hi.  Who should I make it out to?”

Me: “I’m Kate. I LOVE 30 ROCK. And I really wanted to say to you, ‘It’s after six.  What am I, a farmer?'”

Alec laughed.  That’s one of his lines from the show.

Me: “And I love your pieces on the Huffington Post.  Thank you for all that you’re doing.”

Alec: “Thank you very much for coming.  Good luck to you.”

And that was that.

My book says “To Kate — [squiggle].”

Today was a good day.  🙂

Apartment Update: Colleeeeeeeeege Monday, Sep 22 2008 

I almost referred to my apartment building as “my dorm” today.  That’s what it feels like sometimes.

First of all, I saw the mouse again early on Saturday morning.

IN MY BEDROOM.

It ran under my bed and I yelped in horror.  All this time, we hadn’t seen the mouse in either of our bedrooms.  I just need to have faith that I’ll never wake up with a mouse in my hair, like Carrie Bradshaw.

Secondly, the guys right upstairs blast music and play their own instruments a LOT.  Given that this building is practically all Berklee students, that’s not a surprise.  But I WAS surprised when I woke up to them blasting music at 1:30 AM.

“Sars!” I yelled from my bed.  She had just come home.  “Saaaaaaaaaaars!”

“Eh?”

“Go upstairs.”

“No.”

“Please?”

“No. And clean up your pizza while you’re at it.”

Grumbling, I got out of bed, in my Camp Anawanna shirt and pajama pants, barefoot and with wet hair, and climbed upstairs.

“Whoa.”

I got out of the stairwell and was hit with a wave of marijuana.  Seriously, whoever was smoking wasn’t even trying to hide it.  You could practically get high from sitting in the hallway!  It was a cloud.

I knocked on their door loudly.  Two voices were behind the door.  “Who’s that?”  “She probably lives downstairs.”  “Oh, shit…”

They opened the door and even more marijuana clouds came out.  Both long-haired.  Both with big beards.  Both a bit heavy.  One blonde guy, one dark-haired guy.  Something for everyone!

“Hi,” I said.  “I live downstairs, and you guys really need to turn it down.”

“Oh,” the dark-haired guy said.  “I didn’t realize it was this late.  I’ll turn it off.”

“Thanks.”

“Whoa,” exclaimed the other guy.  “Where did you get your shirt?”

“The internet.  Have a good night, whatever you’re doing,” I said, making the hand motion I imagine one would make to signify smoking a joint.  Though I imagine that guys like these would be more into bongs.

The music didn’t stop.  They turned it down significantly, but they didn’t turn it off.

Well, at least I’ve got one very big leg up on them.  I don’t do drugs.  They do.  And if the noise situation here worsens, I have no qualms about using that fact to my advantage.

Best Dressed at the Emmys Monday, Sep 22 2008 

The Emmys, as usual, weren’t very exciting.  But I’m very happy that 30 Rock swept the comedy awards.  Well deserved.  I LOVE that show.

No matter the outcome of the show, however, I always get excited about the gowns.

Here are my favorites:

Tina Fey

Love her.  Love the gown.

Kate Walsh

Don’t care for her.  Love the gown.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Love her.  LOVE this gown!  It’s hard to believe that she used to wear black every year when she was on Seinfeld.  She’s been choosing some great colors lately.

Catherine Keener

Like her.  Not a big fan of tuxes on women in general.  But the first thing that this made me think of was that she was honoring Yves Saint Laurent, who passed away this year and who pretty much created the women’s pantsuit.  A few fashion insiders have said that tuxes would be big with women this year, but I haven’t seen much of them yet.

I just looked it up, and yep, that’s Yves Saint Laurent she’s wearing.  RIP.

Holly Hunter

Like her a lot.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress.

Debra Messing

Love her.  Love the dress.

Christina Applegate

Love her.  Love the dress.  She looks fantastic, especially since she just had a double mastectomy.

Heidi Klum

Love her!!  Like the gown a lot.  Seriously, she can do no wrong, fashion-wise.

Best of the night?  I think I’d say Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Holly Hunter and Debra Messing.

What do you think?

I caved. I read Twilight. Sunday, Sep 21 2008 

It’s a huge hit among the tween girl set, and it’s been dominating the bestseller lists for months.  It’s becoming a movie this fall.

Despite the fact that it’s a kid’s book, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and read Twilight.

I bought it at Borders.  I hid it underneath a more literary book until I got to the register.  The cashier was about my age.

“Is this for you?” she asked.

“I, um…” I began.  I had to come up with a witty self-deprecating reply.

“It’s okay!” she reassured me.  “They’re really addictive.  And the worst part is that she includes the first chapter of the next book in it.”

Well, I read it.

And I loved it.

And I’m in love with Edward Cullen.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s not nearly as imaginative and brilliant as Harry Potter.  But Twilight is something different.  It’s insanely romantic.  It’s sexy without being deliberately sexy — making it perfect for tweens.

Twilight is told from the point of view of Bella, a high school junior who moves to the rainy town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father.  She struggles to fit in at school and finds herself captivated by one of the guys: the pale, golden-eyed Edward Cullen.

She then learns, deduces and finds out for sure that he’s a vampire.

Here’s the movie trailer.  I LOVE the casting — Edward is played by the HOTTTTT guy who played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies!

I can’t wait to finish the series!  Working right by Borders is so dangerous that I’m going to order them all from Amazon.

Watch this…

The Obama Rally Tuesday, Sep 16 2008 

This past Saturday, my mom and I went to Manchester, New Hampshire, to see Barack Obama speak and take part in the rally.  It was a blast!

Here are the best pictures of the event:

Everyone loved my shirt — I got so many compliments on it!  Barack of Love.  I got it at Urban Outfitters.

I liked his shirt.  Cheney and Bush.

Ran into my friend Justin!

How hott is my mom?

Me and Mom.

Three generations of Obama supporters!

The huge crowd.  This is just a fraction of it.

Obama baby!  So adorable!

Republicans for Obama and Teachers for Obama.

The crowd goes wild!

The speech was great.  He didn’t offer anything too different from what I’ve heard already — and considering how much I read about this election, that’s not a surprise — but he hammered home his points.

Within 10 years, we will be off foreign oil.

Healthcare will be affordable for all, and insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate based on preexisting conditions.

If you serve your community or country, you will be able to afford to go to college.

95% of American families will receive a tax cut.

John McCain has rarely mentioned improving healthcare.  He has rarely mentioned improving the lives of the middle class.  He voted with George Bush over 90% of the time.

Oh, John McCain says he wants to bring about change — just not on the economy, healthcare, education, the war in Iraq, energy, taxes, or foreign policy.  But yeah, everything else.

How is that supposed to be change?

Our moment is now.

It was so much fun.  It was great to finally see him in person after being intrigued by him following the 2004 convention, then admiring him, then fully supporting his presidential campaign.

Mom and I bought some buttons.  We chatted up some supporters.  I told dozens of people where I bought my shirt.  🙂

After the rally, which concluded with Barack shaking hands (Justin actually got to shake his hand!) and U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” playing, Mom and I grabbed brunch at a very small, very quaint, very New England restaurant.

We sat next to a nice older couple.  We started talking about the rally — they had been there, too, though with considerably less Obama bling than us — and they told us about New Hampshire politics.  They are classic swing voters, having voted for Democrats, Republicans and one Ross Perot.

Their thoughts?  New Hampshire has been becoming more and more liberal, especially over the past few years.  (I think part of that has to do with increasingly expensive real estate in Massachusetts.  Many liberal Boston people haved moved to New Hampshire to save money.)  From what they’ve seen, although the race is close, they believe Obama will take New Hampshire.

I hope they’re right.  And I hope Obama takes it all the way to the White House.

The Someecards Confessions Wednesday, Sep 10 2008 

I read about this on a blog somewhere — perhaps The Modern Gal’s?  Or not?

I love the site someecards.com.  These are the funniest ecards on the Web, and they’re stunning in their simplicity.

What I’m going to do is join in the game of choosing five confessions or cries for help that are true for me.

Here we go:

Every year, I go back and forth.  Tan?  Melanoma?  Tan?  Melanoma?

And I love that gradually darkening Jergens stuff…but it makes your skin smell weird.

As long as it’s not the GOP, just give me the chance.  Please.

This one goes out to my dear friend Josh Debauche.  I’m getting there, babe!  I’m getting there!

(Get your mind out of the gutter, Josh.)

I will do any job in the kitchen — ANYTHING — before I make a salad.  If it’s a salad bar, that’s one thing.  If I have to wash and dry and chop and arrange and save the extra pieces, I will not do it.  My whole family knows this.

There’s nothing like drinking a Calimocho on the patio at Toro on Tremont St.  Or a glass of sangria at Casa Romero in the Back Bay.  Or a lychee martini at the patio of Alibi at the Liberty Hotel.  Or a beer or strawberry daiquiri, overlooking the Pike at the Other Side Cafe.

I love city outdoorsiness, but that’s about where it ends.

Vintage Travel Posters Sunday, Sep 7 2008 

I have a LOT of wall space in my new apartment.  We have really high ceilings — I think around 12 feet or so — and I never really decorated my last place, besides my Fairfield diploma and my Obama calendar.

And I LOVE vintage travel posters.

I bought this one on eBay a year or so ago, but I never got it framed:

That’s for Venice — in French!  Venice wasn’t one of my favorite places, but I found it beautiful, especially during the foggy fall.

I had an idea.  What if I decorate the apartment with posters from the places I’ve visited in Europe?

If so, here’s what I could get from art.com:

The destination: LOVE IT.  Italy is fantastic.

The poster: LOVE IT, but I’d rather have posters depicting specific cities.

Sun all year on the Cote d’Azur — the southeasternmost region in France that includes Nice and Monaco, where I’ve been, as well as Cannes, St. Tropez, etc.

The destination: LOVE IT!

The poster: Like it a lot, but again, I’d rather have more specific posters.  And I do like what it says, because it was October and I was swimming in the warm waters of the ocean!

The destination: Liked it a lot — but I didn’t visit the Monte Carlo part of Monaco, even though the entire country is less than a square mile.  Does that matter?  I saw it from half a mile away, from the Monaco-ville part of Monaco.

The poster: ADORE IT.  One of my favorites.  It says Chic people are in Monte Carlo during the winter.

The destination: Beyond words.  La mia bella Firenze, la mia bella citta.  I studied abroad here.  I adore Florence beyond words.

The poster: I like it a lot — and I love that it features my favorite Florence landmark, the Ponte Vecchio.  I lived just down the road from it.

The destination: Love Rome — especially in the steamy summer.  Pure passion.

The poster: I like it…I don’t adore it.  But I like it.  A lot.

The destination: LOVE IT!!  When I went to Nice, I hadn’t been to France for a few years, so I was thrilled to be back in the country that always feels like home to me.  (I’m not exaggerating.  I’ve been to France five times, and I feel like that every time.)

The poster: WOW.  This is a GREAT poster — one of my faves so far.

The destination: I loved Prague.  There’s no better place in Europe to party.

The poster: I wish it were more Prague-oriented, but it’s nice.  Probably won’t get it.

The destination: I love Paris more than anywhere else I’ve ever been.  It’s beyond words.  I was made for this city.  I love absolutely everything about it.

The poster: I like it, but I’m sure there are better ones out there.

The destination: I was a bit ambivalent about it the first time, but every time I visit, I like it more.  My company is based in London and I hope I get to go there for work someday.

The poster: I love the poster, but it’s not as obviously vintage.  It also reminds me of the pigeons that fill Trafalgar Square, and I’m deathly afraid of pigeons.

The destination: Fabulous!  I had one of the best weekends of my semester abroad here.  If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can’t miss Interlaken.  I went paragliding and canyon jumping (think bungee jumping with a rope instead of a bungee!).

The poster: Very beautiful.  Also expensive.  But seeing those Jungfrau mountains brings me back.

The destination: Loved Budapest much more than I expected to.

The poster: GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS.  Love it.  And I DID spend three days in Budapest, as the poster suggests!  This one is also quite expensive.

Now…which ones?

They’re expensive to frame.  It would take FOREVER to save up to fill my apartment (especially since I’d rather be saving for travel, like my presumptive trip to Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Serbia next summer).

If I had to choose three based on destination, I’d pick Paris, Florence and the Cote d’Azur.

But if I chose based on these posters, I think my top three are Nice, Budapest and Italy.

Which ones do you like?

City Life with Sars Thursday, Sep 4 2008 

Another mouse.  My third sighting in three days.

This one leapt out of one of my Whole Foods bags, eating through the ramen noodles that I bought before going vegetarian.

I threw out every open item I could find, plus a few others, for good measure.

Now I have to buy a ton of Tupperware.  You don’t think about these kinds of things before you live in an infested apartment.  You have to buy a separate Tupperware container for each kind of cereal, for regular pasta, for tortellini, for instant oatmeal, and for so many other things.

Now — awesome Boston.

I am SO glad to finally be living downtown.  It’s time.

In a way, it’s like coming full circle.  When I was in middle school and high school, I went to The Boston Conservatory for piano (I was pretty much groomed to be a professional musician from an early age — not getting into it now), and I would look forward to it every week.  I loved taking the T, getting off at Hynes, walking past the many music stores on Boylston St. and walking into the Conservatory, surrounded by music on all sides.

Now, I live in that exact neighborhood.  I’ve said I live in the Back Bay, and I do, but it’s kind of a weird area.  It’s kind of Back Bay, kind of Fenway and kind of Symphony.  Different guides say different things.  The zip code doesn’t match up with the trash code.  I don’t even know what to say when people ask where I live.

This small area is FANTASTIC.  I have yet to see anyone living in the neighborhood who is older than me — my building is a GIANT DORM!!  I LOVE IT!!!!!

I walked home from work along Comm. Ave. and it was so peaceful and gorgeous in the hot afternoon sun.  I can get home in 20 minutes flat, but this was nice.

I loved Davis Square when I lived there — for a while.  It’s a great place to live for some people.  It’s very liberal, very family-oriented and filled with intelligent students from nearby Tufts University.

But lately I’ve been feeling like there’s an air of pretentiousness.  To be more accurate, I feel like everyone’s trying really hard to be indie.  No offense to Davis residents, but I find that air to be widespread.  If you date someone in Davis, you run into him ALL THE TIME.  And the neighborhood is very, very white.

Here’s it’s more genuine, everyone’s so young, there’s so much individuality, so much diversity, and with so many music schools within a five-minute walk, there’s creativity as well.  There’s a much higher chance of getting jumped on a corner.  More homeless people.  MANY more creepy men.

And you know what?  I like it that way.

Best of all, I have Sars.  Lubly Sars, my lil big sis and now-roommate.

We’ve become an old married couple.  We watch the Daily Show, Colbert and Conan every day in my room, on my bed, since she has no TV and we have no couch yet.  We walk to work together.  We call each other throughout the day.  We eat a lot of pizza.

And yes, there were setbacks when we moved in.  A dirty kitchen and bathroom.  Only one set of keys for the two of us.  A front door key that didn’t work.  MICE MICE MICE MICE MICE.

But we’re solving those problems, little by little.  It’s going well.

And we’re in the nascent stages of decoration.

Our kitchen decorations so far?

A “Kucinich for President” sign, a Zac Efron poster, and two pink glasses that read “Ho” on them in gothic script.

That’s us.  And I love living with her.  We know each other so well, we communicate in grunts (which we often do, actually).

Despite the mice, I’m loving it here.

What a day! Wednesday, Sep 3 2008 

It’s been such a crazy day.  I just lost half a toenail, and that has NEVER happened before.  What am I going to do?

  • No mice were killed during the night.
  • At work today, I got to interview someone for a position.  I’ve never done that before.  It was cool.  🙂 I’ve got at least ten more over the next week and a half.  (Anyone with SEO experience need a job?  Let me know…)
  • After work, I went shopping for shoes at DSW because the only three pairs I’ve been wearing all summer have all fallen apart.
  • I then noticed that my right middle toe had a weird white nail — and then I realized that it was COMING OFF!!!!! That has NEVER happened before!!!
  • Distraught, I bought four pairs of shoes.  Two on clearance.  All gorgeous.
  • I came home and watched last night’s Conan with Sars.  I clipped my toenails, but the weird nail stayed put.  I left it alone.
  • I SAW THE MOUSE AGAIN!!!!  I thought I saw it dive underneath a pile of towels — they were moving — so I grabbed a pan, Petrovsky-style, and slammed it onto the blankets. Nothing happened — it was my imagination.
  • However, that DID lead to me discovering a hole beneath the bathroom door.  The mouse hole.  I covered it up with tape and plastic for now and will be buying some caulk (hehe) tomorrow.
  • I got out my clippers and went after the errant nail.  Now, this is the weird part.  It was almost like it was sideways — the right side was coming off and the left side was staying put.  I clipped it and about 55% of it was taken off.  There is a vertical white line in the middle of the nail.
  • Strangely, underneath where the nail would be, it’s not THAT gross — it has a hard shell on most of the removed part, almost like a mini-nail, but it looks weird and parts are sticky.  Should I go see a pedicurist? Would a pedicurist be able to fix it?
  • I went on Twitter, realized that I had three madly tweeting conservatives and one madly tweeting liberal.  I’ll be reading his hilarious commentary, but not watching the convention.  I’ll read the transcripts tomorrow.

What a day.

Question — have you ever lost a toenail before? And if so, did you lose it sideways?

It’s starting to hurt…oh, God…

There’s a MOUSE in my HOUSE! Wednesday, Sep 3 2008 

I wish that my first post about my new apartment in downtown Boston weren’t about something negative, but I MUST write about this: I had an encounter with a rodent this morning.

Welcome to the city.

I woke up at 5:30 AM to go to the bathroom.  As I was washing my hands, I saw a little furry figure scurrying (the word “scurrying” was made for situations like these!) across the floor.

At that point, I became a 1940s cartoon.  I started screaming and I jumped onto the sink.

My language, however, was pure 21st century: “Oh my God — oh my God — FUCK!”

I couldn’t see a mouse after that, and I didn’t see any holes in the bathroom.  Who knows where the little thing scampered off to.

I tried going back to bed, but I couldn’t sleep — I just kept playing that episode of Sex and the City in my head when Carrie has the mouse infestation and a mouse CRAWLS INTO HER HAIR in the middle of the night!!!

Again, welcome to the city.

I was finally able to doze off at around 7:00 AM.  I then kept having nightmares about cats in my apartment — cats that dug their claws into my arm and wouldn’t let go, even after I tried to shake them off.  Cats that were about to sink their teeth into my hand, and then I’d wake up.  Cats that rolled onto me and smothered me.  And a flying cockroach the size of a loaf of bread.

This evening, I bought four traps — one for my room, one for Sarah’s, one for the kitchen and one for the scene of the crime, the bathroom.  I baited them with Nutella, since we didn’t have any peanut butter and the hardware store guy said mice like chocolate, too.

It comes with the territory.  I live downtown now.  Mice are commonplace.  And besides the mice and a few other setbacks from the move (a dirty kitchen and bathroom; only one set of keys for the two of us; a door key that took 10 minutes of solid jiggling to work), it has been FANTASTIC.  The aforementioned problems have been solved.  The apartment feels so much bigger than I thought it would.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE living with my little sister Sars again!

This neighborhood is much more my speed than Davis Square — fewer families, nearly all young people, much more diverse.  And although it’s technically the Back Bay, it’s kind of a hybrid between Back Bay, Fenway and Symphony.  It’s gritty, and I like that a lot.  As Josh said last night, “It looks like everyone in your neighborhood smokes a LOT of pot.”

And I’ve been hit on more or less constantly — like when a group of guys actually yelled “Sexual erotica!” at me the other night!  Seriously!  It took all I had to keep from cracking up!

Well, it’s been a crazy ride so far — and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Let’s just hope that I wake up tomorrow to at least one trap filled with a furry carcass.