Remembering Michael Friday, Jun 26 2009 

“OH MY GOD. ARE YOU OKAY?”

That was the message that was texted to me over and over and over yesterday.

I LOVE Michael Jackson.  I probably love him an unhealthy amount.

I’m watching a TV that I own because of Michael Jackson.  I went to Budapest because of Michael Jackson.  I even mentioned my habit of solo Michael Jackson dance parties in my Boston Globe blind date.

My friends all know that, and they knew how upset I would be to hear that he passed away yesterday at the age of 50.

Beyond upset.  Devastated.

I don’t have to go into detail about what made Michael amazing — his incredible ability as a performer; his vocal talent and otherworldly dance moves; his influence on fashion and style; his ability to break down barriers; his generous spirit that set a precedent for celebrity philanthropy.

Michael was amazing.

And he made some SICK music.

I’d like to share a few of my favorite Michael stories.

Rocking Halloween

When I was a sophomore in college, I decided to be Michael for Halloween.  This was in 2003, not too long after he dangled the baby over the balcony in Berlin.

As many of you know, I take Halloween VERY seriously.  It’s my favorite holiday.  I always make my own costumes and add every functional detail I can think of.  (I once covered my body with Sharpie for my Amy Winehouse costume and it didn’t wash off for a week.)

Here is my costume:

And while I whitened my face, hemmed my pants, got a fedora and glove and spent a few weeks learning all of the dance moves to Thriller and Smooth Criminal and Billie Jean when I should have been studying philosophy…that’s not what made the costume.  What made this costume was the baby.  I threw it around in the air and flipped it all night.

That won me first prize at Fairfield University.  Oh, and it was one competitive night in terms of costumes!

That won me the TV that sits in my room to this day.

That’s one of my favorite memories of college.

Discovering Budapest

While studying abroad in Florence, my friends and I were deciding where to spend our fall break when I discovered a candy museum in a little town named Szentendre just outside Budapest.

Their star attraction?  The white chocolate statue of Michael Jackson.

mj

I HAD TO SEE IT.  I HAD TO SEE THIS STATUE.

That is what motivated me to convince my friends to make Budapest the first leg of our trip.  (Booking two flights for a total of ONE CENT on WizzAir — NO JOKE — didn’t hurt, either!)

And, you know what?  I loved Budapest.  LOVED it.  To this day, it’s one of my favorite cities.

And it was Michael who brought me there.

Let me finish with a guilty pleasure of my childhood.

Captain EO

Yes, the 80s 3D film from Disney is now on YouTube.

To finish…I’m heartbroken. We’ve lost so much, but his music will live on forever.

Love you, Michael.  May you find the peace you were never able to find here on Earth.

God, I still can’t believe it.

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The Best of Vegas — This Time! Sunday, Jun 21 2009 

I just returned from my third trip to Vegas (not to mention my third trip within a year).

Not going to do huge monster-posts this time, so I’m just going to run down my top 10:

10) Staying at the Palazzo — a gorgeous room in a decadent and perfectly situated hotel.  Loved watching The Price Is Right while in the shower; also loved shopping at the designer boutiques downstairs.

Love the parasols -- they change each season. They had red lanterns for Chinese New Year in January.

9) Gorging ourselves on buffets. We went to Paris and TI this time.

8) Experiencing the ghetto fabulousness of Fremont Street and downtown Las Vegas — $5 blackjack, $1 chocolate-covered bananas, deep-fried Oreos and the weirdest crowd I’ve seen in Vegas (and that’s saying a lot).

How sweet is this?

How sweet is this?

7) Getting hooked up at every club, no line or cover, anywhere we went. Of course, we always do that.  But by this trip, I’m done with nearly all of the contacts from my old company and I’m just using people I’ve networked with on my own.  And how sweet is it to have free champagne all night?

The eight of us at Revolution Lounge at the Mirage: Carissa, Katie, Danielle, Beth, Lisa, me, Jen, Callie

6) Having dinner at N9NE — along with Maroon 5! (Believe it or not, Adam Levine did not hit on any of us.)

Maroon 5s table was behind us and to the right.  From left: Alexa, Grant, Lisa, Beth and me.

Maroon 5's table was behind us and to the right. From left: Alexa, Grant, Lisa, Beth and me.

5) Somehow ending up in a Skybox at Rain at the Palms. These VIP boxes are exclusive — they go for around $6,000 a night — yet we somehow got invited into one!

Rain from the third story -- the all-Skybox floor.

4) THERE IS A NEW WALGREENS AT THE PALAZZO. I can’t tell you how excited this made us. We kept going back for snacks, drinks, makeup and supplies.  Before this trip, we always had to trek all the way down to the MGM Grand!

Lisa and I screamed for about 5 minutes straight when we saw this.

3) Strolling right into Body English — the exact same night that Girl Next Door and Dancing with the Stars contestant Holly Madison got DENIED ADMISSION!!! (We didn’t find this out until after the trip.)  This is our first time at Body English and we LOVED it.  I wouldn’t dress up to go there, though — it’s more casual-trendy than dressy-trendy.

Rockin' club.

2) Dressing up and taking a limo to In-N-Out Burger. What can I say?  We’re classy broads.

Thats our bud Woodrow in the background.

That's our bud Woodrow in the background.

1)  Dancing in the pool at Tao Beach. This was a small yet AMAZING beach club — the best music out of any club, frozen drinks, ridiculously attractive people.

And I wished I looked like one of the Tao Beach girls, who all wore tiny python-print bikinis and red sarongs!

And I wished I looked like one of the Tao Beach girls, who all wore tiny python-print bikinis and sheer red sarongs!

Also, after this trip, I can now say that I’ve been to nearly every club on the Strip that matters, plus tons of lounges as well.

From the top of the Strip to the bottom: XS, Tryst, Christian Audigier, Tao, Tao Beach, Jet, Revolution, Pure, Pussycat Dolls Lounge, Drai’s, Bank.

Off-Strip, west to east: Rain, ghostbar, Moon, Playboy Club, Voodoo Lounge, Body English.

A few favorites on my list include Tryst, XS, Body English and Tao Beach.  Some I wouldn’t return to are Christian Audigier and especially the Bank.

What a great trip to Vegas.  Looks like our next trip back will be in December or January…

I went blonde! Sunday, Jun 7 2009 

Most of my friends know that I rarely do anything to my hair.  Lately, I’ve been cutting it about once a year to once a year and a half.  I haven’t colored it since I was 17 — since I got highlights before my senior prom!

Well, I was ready to do something different.  Not losing the length, of course (I love my length and have had some TRAUMATIC haircuts when I lost more than I wanted to!), but giving it a trim and changing up the color a bit.

And I had a bit of an odd inspiration for my new look.

Bradley Cooper.

I saw The Hangover on Friday night, and it is now one of my favorite movies of all time.  I have never laughed harder at a movie in recent memory.  I had to sop up my face with a Kleenex as we were walking out of the theater!  SEE IT.

And Bradley Cooper…he looked good.  There was a part when he came out in an all-black suit, and he looked SO, SO, SO good.  I was ready to hurl myself at the screen.

There are no pictures of him in the full suit, but you’d die if you saw it.  Here’s the best I could find:

So, why is Bradley Cooper, clearly a dude, my beauty inspiration?

Blue eyes.  Dark hair.  Olive, borderline golden skin.

That’s what I have.  (The skin is a bit of a stretch, but it gets SO gold in the summer.)  But he has such a fantastic GOLDNESS about him.  It makes him gleam.  I want that.  Gold in my hair, golden skin, eyes a wild blue contrast.

So I went to the salon.

Before picture on Newbury Street:

before

After picture at the salon:

After picture, with makeup:

I’M A BLONDE!!!

I was freaked out about it at first — and still am, a tad — but everyone has been giving me so many compliments, it’s made me feel good about it.  (Everyone loves it straight, too, but I NEVER straighten it because it’s so tough to do and takes so long.)

I think I’ll keep it through the summer, then go dark again.

What do you think?