Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

When Afflecks Attack



It’s the nature of the beast that bloggers misspell shit, although I’m worse than most. I once misspelled the word “card.” In a headline. These mistakes are the natural byproduct of a non-stop news cycle, too little sleep, too much caffeine, and the absence of fact-checkers. So my blogger friends (yes, blogger friends) and I often help one another out by shooting each other emails like “hey, the link on your Halle Berry story doesn’t work” or “Lindsay Lohan has been in rehab three times, not two.”


Thus, today's email exchange between me and my lovely friend Henry, who’s now working at my former place of employ, Usmagazine.com.

Me: Hey, Zahara is almost 3 years old -- not almost 2.

Henry: Damn. Thanks much.

Me: That's ok. I spelled Hitler's name wrong in a post the other day. Though, in my defense, it was only because I'd cut and pasted a statement issued by a publicist.

Henry: I almost published Violet Affleck as “Violent” this morn.

Me: That would’ve been pretty awesome: “Violent Affleck Hits Local Playground”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sidewalk Rage



Midtown is normally a very busy section of New York City but it gets exponentially more crowded during the holiday season when, it seems, entire populations of Midwestern and Southern states decamp to Manhattan to visit Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. These two landmarks stand between my office and the subway station that ferries me to and from work every day. So for two months, twice a day, I have to weave through the throngs of people who have come to gape at the unsuspecting 80-foot Spruce cut down in its twilight years for our general enjoyment. Like slow moving oil tankers, these tourists.

I’m not normally an angry person but lately I’ve found myself succumbing to sidewalk rage, a pattern of behavior brought on by thick crowds, symptoms of which include overaggressive speedwalking, elbowing, pushing, and loud ahem-ing at the people that stand in my way. I wrote the following text to my friend Jessica during high noon of PMS week, a time of the month that my boyfriend and I have come to refer to as The Zone of Pain.

Me: Omg, I hate plowing through the Rockefeller Center and Radio City tourists every day. I honestly just want to tackle every one of them from behind, grab their heads in my hands and bash them into the concrete.

Jessica: You are a good (if violent) person.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Live from New York...



Five days after undergoing media training, I made my terrifying live television debut on Studio B with Shepard Smith on Fox News. (Of course, I'd been on TV before, but that was mostly Red Eye which comes on at 2 a.m. and is slightly less formal as evidenced by the time I was on the show and declared that the state of Florida "looks like a wiener.")

My boss called me into his office on Friday and said that Fox requested I come on the show to talk about how Conan, Leno and Letterman are finally coming back on the air next month in spite of the writer’s strike.

Boss: “How did you do in media training?”

Me: “I was nervous at first but I loosened up after about 10 minutes.”

Boss: “Well, we need you to go on Shepard Smith this afternoon. It’s a 3-minute segment.”

Me: “So 7 minutes after it’s over, I’ll be completely relaxed.”

(Shep couldn’t have been nicer, by the way. When it was over he gave me the verbal equivalent of an affectionate arm punch and said, “Don’t worry, it gets easier.”)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

1 Girl, 3 Cups




Unsurprisingly, this night ended with vomiting.

Possible Names For My Future Gay Bar

Handcock's

Shits and Giggles

The Salty Nut

The Penis Mightier

Balls Incredible

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Your Breakfast Cereal Comes Full Circle


So if they're "Big Bite" Mini-Wheats, aren't they just...Wheats?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Blogging



I'm sorry to dwell on Billy Ocean but I've got something to tell you – rather, I've got something to say -- about the song "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going," the single on the soundtrack to Jewel of the Nile.

If you haven't seen the movie, it's the sequel to the equally excellent Romancing the Stone. Jack (Michael Douglas) and Joan (Kathleen Turner) are living the easy life on a yacht bought with the proceeds from a gigantic emerald extracted from the gut of a precocious crocodile. Alligator. Whatever. It's worth seeing for the awesomely bad special effects when the croc bites off the hand of a militant drug lord who somehow manages to continue smoking his cigar.

Where was I? In Jewel, Joan decides to travel to the Middle East as the guest of a sheik to escape their marital doldrums, but winds up being abducted instead. Jack decides to rescue her with the begrudging assistance of Ralph, played by Danny DeVito. Mad adventuring and ethnic stereotyping abounds. (ie. At a Sufi celebration , Ralph says to Jack, "Look at these guys, Colton. No sheep is safe tonight!" Gotta love the 80s.)

Point is, I love the song and the movie so naturally when I realized that the music video is based on the movie, I had to live-blog the proceedings…

23 secs: Probably the greatest opening bass line of all time.

30 secs: Whatever happened to synthesizers, right?

56 secs: The female saxophone player's hair is outstanding, as is her leather miniskirt with a zipper running up one side and the blouse TUCKED IN.

1 min 11 secs: The part that always throws me about this song is the lyric "I'm gonna make you stand and deliver/And give me love in the old-fashion way." Is he talking about doing her from behind? What is love in the "old-fashion way"? Without birth control? In missionary position with the lights off while sexually repressed? Lots of loose ends here, Billy.

1 min 18 secs: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny Devito appear on backup clad in white tuxes and, yes, there are bowties for everyone. For once Billy is actually the best dressed person in the room, which is really saying something.

1 min 23 secs: I can't say enough great things about Kathleen Turner. Remember when movies had women in them instead of girls? Best legs in the business. I dunno what happened there, but THIS makes me worried for Diane Lane.

1 min 30 secs: Jesus, Danny Devito is tiny, isn't he? Google reveals that he's two inches shy of official midget status. There's also a cyber conspiracy theory that he wears lifts and is actually shorter than he claims based on photographic evidence of him standing next to 5’½” wife Rhea Perlman. This is exactly what Al Gore intended when he invented the Internets, by the way.

1 min 43 secs: Omg. Synchronized air punches for emphasis!

2 min 40 secs: I get the feeling Catherine Zeta-Jones just has this video on file and threatens to show it to the children whenever she wants something from Michael.

3 min 20 secs: Watching this makes you realize that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were totally derivative in addition to badly permed. Not to mention prone to starring in films centered around a man on mission to jump into a flaming volcano.

4 mins 7 secs: In an incredible succession of events, Kathleen and Michael start bouncing Danny between their bodies like that old SNL Night at the Roxbury skit and pretend to beat his ass before they all run offstage.

4 mins 8 secs: I know it's silly, but the viewing experience is a bit soured for me knowing how Douglas' real life marriage turned out. When his 23-year marriage to Diandra Douglas fell into the doldrums, he divorced her in June 2000 and had a baby with Zeta-Jones just two months later. So the real lesson is: When the going gets tough, divorce your wife for a woman 25 years your junior whose father is younger than you are. Then again, I guess that title is hard to fit on a cassette.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How I Sleep At Night


Beware Would-Be Robbers: Even after 15 years on the job, Humphrey the Bear will not hesitate to break your shit.

The other day I underwent media training for my new job, designed to prepare us in case we ever appear as talking heads on celebrity talk shows or news programs (is that redundant?). It basically entails sitting at a news anchor desk and looking into a camera while several publicists impale you with baiting questions as if you were a guest on The O’Reilly Factor. While this is going on, you try to maintain your composure and come up with informative, snappy answers that won’t get you fired. About 25 questions in, one of the pretend interviewers sneered, “Princess Diana was killed because the paparazzi chased her down! You’re a part of that industry. How do you sleep at night?!”

“Pills,” I retorted. “How do you sleep at night?”

Actually I didn’t say that. I came really close to saying it but my boss was sitting right there and I figured that I should probably wait until my health insurance kicks in before implying that I’m a rampant pill-popper. Instead, I said something to the effect of, “Well, that was 10 years ago and it was an isolated incident…” Etc., etc.

How do you sleep at night? is an interesting question, though, with a totally uninteresting answer which I will share now.

First I take two Lunesta (what -- you thought I was kidding about the pills thing?); then comes what I like to call Setting Up the Defensive Line. You see, as a direct result of a childhood spent watching Unsolved Mysteries reruns, I’ve grown up with the understanding that there are many people in the world trying to kill me. And what better time to kill someone when they’re asleep and you have the advantage of the element of surprise? This is why, every night, I have a ritual to safeguard against any unforeseen attacks.

I check the closet to make sure no killers are hiding in there, and then I check the bathroom and the laundry hamper because the closet’s way too obvious. You’d think my 5’9” Self would be able to fend off someone small enough to fit in a hamper, but when you have the element of surprise working in your favor, anything is possible.
Next, Humphrey Bear and Stuffed Lamb are set up at the foot of my bed to stand guard against the forthcoming murderous midgets and closeted villains. A pillow fort is erected around the edges of the bed. This has less to do with safety than general comfort, and to ensure that I am surrounded at all times by excellent softness. I highly recommend this.

Then I place myself into the middle of the pillow fort and pull the covers over my head. I do this because of the lingering psychological damage caused by a kindergarten classmate who swore that if I didn’t cover my neck while I slept, the vampires would come. Next I smoosh the comforter around until I create a breathing tunnel so that I do not run out of oxygen while snoozing the night away in Fort Slumber.

Then I realize that I forgot…to…check…the…windows. So I get up and do it all over again.

Yes, I am completely serious, and yes, I am 28 years old. And now you know how I’ve made it alive this long!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Private Moment With Puffs Plus VapoRub



Ladies, do not buy the Puffs Plus tissues containing Vicks VapoRub when you have a bad cold and then later forget yourself and accidentally use one of the aforementioned tissues to wipe your special parts. Trust me, this is not an experience you want to have.

Unqualified Advice to the Broken-hearted



Last week, a reader posted the following comment on one of my posts:

Anonymous said...
can you please do a post about ridiculously insane breakups? i just went through one and need to read your entertaining thoughts on the anger and ridiculous things said back and forth (or just from side) at two people who one day prior were in love and planning their entire lives together.

isn't it such a phenomenon? let's say a girl gets absolutely verbally murdered by her ex bf a day after the aforementioned things being said. does she hate him from then on?

your thoughts would be priceless!


Oh Anonymous, sadly there's nothing entertaining about breakups, as anyone who saw The Break-up will tell you. They're awful and soul-annihilating and some of the most painful moments you will ever experience in life. Love and breakups are also thoroughly ridiculous on principle. So, one day you're closer to this person than any other human on the planet; you know more about them than even their own parents. Then out of nowhere you split up and become strangers and never speak again. I mean, how effed up is that? In the abstract it sounds like one of those unbelievable movie plot lines you watch and say, "Well, that's just not realistic at all. There's no way a bus could jump a 50-foot gap in the freeway. I don't care how fast it was going."

If love and breakups were a movie, I'd walk my ass out of the theater and tell my friends, "It was completely illogical. Didn't make sense at all. Don't waste your time and money." But of course, everyone goes to the movie anyway. Like 2 Girls, 1 Cup, some things just have to be experienced for yourself. No matter how bad the movie, we always manage to suspend our disbelief and convince ourselves that the next one will be better

But I digress. To answer your question, yes, totally just go ahead and hate him. Or just pretend that he died.

I will say, however, that past experience has taught me that everyone gets theirs in the end so take solace in that. Back in college I dated a guy that I really took for granted. I remember my mother saying to me at one point, "One day you're going to fall for a guy who treats you as badly as you treated [NAME REDACTED]." Of course, she was right. The next guy I dated was an utter douche. He ended up dumping me on my birthday via cell phone from another girl's party. But you know what? After me, he dated a girl who strung him along for years and banged all of his friends. Also, she had herpes. Karma is a bitch and she buys roundtrip tickets.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You're So Vein



Photo taken last year at the New York magazine Oscars party. And the Best Use of Blood Vessels goes to...

My boyfriend makes fun of me because I ruin half of our pictures with my gigantic forehead vein that pops out whenever I'm happy or excited in any way like some sort of ridiculous forehead boner. Reminds me of when I used to squeeze my little sister's doll and try to make the head shoot off while she shrieked in horror (which was like 5 years ago, by the way -- she's 12 now).

But I'm not alone in this. Go watch any Julia Roberts movie in which she cries and you'll see hers jump out, threatening to hit the camera man in the face. In my own defense I've compiled a list below of some other celebrities who are living in vein. I'm not positive who that last bitch is (Tanya Roberts??) but her head does it too so I'm obligated to love her. United we bulge!







The End is Nigh



As if the booming music alone wasn’t enough to convince you that Abercrombie & Fitch is now essentially a nightclub, the Fifth Avenue branch has installed a velvet rope and a bouncer. But do they have bottle service?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Let's All Get Ripped

About a year ago I was running down 23rd Street on a cold night -- late for an ironic dinner at Olive Garden –- when the pointy toe of my boot caught the hem of my wide-legged tweed trousers. I went flying. It was a cold night so I’d had my hands buried deep down in my coat pockets. With nothing to break my fall I found myself trapped, straitjacket-like, in a prison of my own making. All I could do was turn my head to the side at the last second as I skid on my stomach across the concrete so I didn’t smash in my face.

I survived but I ended up tearing a hole in one of my pant legs which I still haven’t gotten repaired. A normal person would have put them away until they could visit a tailor, but I love them and I can’t help it. So I keep wearing my Banana Republic cashmere cardigans with those otherwise impeccably tailored Theory pants with a big ragged hole in the knee like those faded ripped jeans people used to wear to Cyndi Lauper concerts.

As I reach for them time and time again, I say to myself, “Eh, if anyone asks I’ll just tell them that it happened on the way to work today and I didn’t have time to go back and change clothes.” I do this with a lot of things. Stain on my favorite shirt? I just pretend it happened over breakfast. Missing buttons? It just popped off an hour ago -- damndest thing! I wish I could say I’m making some sort of statement but I really just hate shopping so I don’t have that many clothes and I’m too lazy to make it to the dry cleaners.

But the other day, as my mother eyed the fissure in my slacks: Inspiration! “Hey, what happened to your pants?!” Mother asked.

“Oh...uh...it’s this cool new thing that all these writers are doing,” I said. “Ripping up our tweed pants as a throwback to the 80s. I think the hipsters started it or something.”

"Really?" she said. "How cute!"

The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I'm going to wear them around the East Village until they catch on. It'll just be a matter of time before they show up at Urban Outfitters where -- like the unlimited salad and breadsticks at the O.G. -- the douchey trends just keep coming. Say hello to the Sequin Igloo Mini and the Plaid Apron Skirt!