Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sorry Ms. McIlhon

Ms. McIlhon was my creative writing professor in undergrad and she would be outraged at how lame my posts are here. I'm outraged after all. I am better than this and starting this blog was partially in order to hone my former skills as a writer by practicing as often as possible. I was recollecting what I wrote last night and realizing even away from the computer how much they lacked in any detail or interest.

I wrote that there was "great food" at the consulate? That doesn't even remotely describe the food there. Shame on me. So I plan to rewrite that post (not delete it) and hopefully I can salvage the small amount of dignity I have for my writing prowess with a concentrated edit. But not now. I am currently streaming all of the Gossip Girl episodes I missed while vacationing in Europe. So ta ta for now. More to come...

Slumdog Millionaire

This is a MUST SEE. Granted, I have not been to many films this year but this was the best this year. And why did I stop going to independent films? And boys, it's not a chick flick. There are aspects of chickyness in it but there's also all this gangsta and violence shit that will satisfy you if you're into that sort of thing. It's such a great story and you'll love the way the writer framed the storyline. I did. I heart this film and want everyone to go see it. The actors are AMAZING. And I recently saw them interviewed on some morning show I think. They are so humble. So adorable. You will be laughing, crying, on the edge of your seat. ALL OF THE ABOVE. But you may take my advice (even before I saw this film) and never go to India. It's a tough place with a lot of icky folks unfortunately. And I guess I could be sympathetic and say that poverty can make some people do horrible things but this is just AWFUL. and so much of what I saw there is just heart-wrenching. ENJOY THE FILM.

Oh, what a night!

Little did I know when I woke up yesterday that I would be hanging out with Indonesian pop stars at the Indonesian Consulate of all places. It was so much fun. Great food and I got a photo of me with them so if I ever go to Jakarta and show some teeny-bopper the picture, I'll be so envied. The lead singer (Fadly) was a cutie-patootie. I wanted to squeeze his cheeks. And so nice. The whole band was so nice. I decided that I think I'm going to try and figure out when other consulates have these shin-digs. I could eat and be entertained for free all over the upper Eastside of Manhattan. No one checked a list, I just signed in and smiled a lot. At first I was the only non-Indonesian person but then some middle-aged journalist walked in to cover it and that was that.


My cutie, Fadly, is the one directly in the middle. They played in Brooklyn the other night and are heading to D.C. on their American tour. Check them out if you can. They're great!

Take backs - I hate the MTA

So last night, I'm leaving the Columbus Circle area so I go to 57th and Broadway to catch the R. I just get down to the platform and the R closes its doors on me and I wonder if it's the last of the night because it's nearing midnight. So I see an N next but wait to see if another R will come. Nope. But that damn garbage train comes that creeps by at a snail's pace. So we have to wait for that to pass to get another N train. So angry. (thank goodness I had my Glamour magazine with me). So then another N comes and I get on it but it doesn't go anywhere. It just sits there in the station and finally announces that NO train will be leaving out of this station AT ALL and you have to go downtown in order to go to Queens. So I finally got to Times Square and had to walk to the E train and then wait for that. A typical 20-minute door to door trip took me about 90 minutes and then it was pouring to add insult to injury. I didn't have an umbrella so now today, I'm sneezing a lot. Damn the MTA! (just not that nice conductor dude).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A kinder, gentler MTA

So coming home tonight from Murray Hill (my friend Shira's Swami Celebration; she just received her certification for teaching yoga), I got super lucky with the 6 train uptown to 51st and then lucky AGAIN with the E train to Queens. But when I got out at Queens Plaza to transfer to the R train, I stood on the platform for some time waiting. No biggie though, I had my trusty girlie magazine with me to read (Glamour, not Penthouse). So the R finally comes and we all hurry to get on. So while I'm sitting there after the doors close, this gentle voice gets on the loud speaker announcing the next stop but then he pauses and says, "I just wanted to apologize to all of you that have been waiting for a while. We are about 12 minutes behind schedule due to some congestion on the R line so that is why you were waiting so long. We're sorry for that." I was STUNNED. And for those others around me that didn't have their iPods on, they were all smiling because it was so sincere and heartfelt. MTA should take this guy to the next training and tell everyone to stop saying the standard "thank you for being patient" when they fully know that no one is BEING PATIENT and it's just aggravating to hear someone TELL you what you're feeling. This guy had it right. Just say sorry in a believable way and it makes New Yorkers smile. We all need to relax regardless. It is what it is. The subway system is robust and complicated. We're not always going to get what we want. And in order to relax ... I know this great new yoga instructor you should really check out. :-) Ommmmmmmmmmm......

Who knew a church staple was so naughty?

Around where I grew up, there were often church banquets or dinners that the parishoners would put on to get to know other people in the congregation and often help the elderly be social and such. There might be a pancake breakfast or a turkey dinner but no matter what was on the menu, it was a way to bring the community together.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to learn this tidbit of information. I almost busted a guy last night at this party because the hostess and host had both just gotten back from about a year of campaigning for Obama in Montana and Pennsylvania and told me this story about how someone invited this Asian woman to a spaghetti breakfast and she almost passed out at the suggestion. Why, you ask? Because "spaghetti breakfast" is a euphemism for "tentacle rape" (see below illustration). So here they were having a friendly, get-to-know you Obama event serving a cheap-to-make food item on their budget and this poor woman thought she was being introduced to some twisted porn ring in Billings, Montana. Sheesh. Shows you how we should all be more up on our slang intake.

P.S. There's even a Spaghetti Breakfast Club (get it). Their Google description lists, "A group for people who like ravaging with, or being ravaged by, non-human entities, like tentacles, demons, aliens, et cetera." I love the etc. bit. Like you can use your imagination for all of the other types of serpents that have tentacles and could possibly defile you. Wacky stuff, eh? Apparently, there's a whole genre of porn about this stuff too! Where have I been?


There's a first time for everything...

So I'm at this party last night in Brooklyn and my stupid friend is in this conversation with this guy who's driving her crazy so what does she do? She sends him my way. In her defense, she must have thought we'd have more to talk about since he lived in Thailand currently and I was thinking about going there for a few months soon. So he instantly weirded me out, maybe because he was way drunk but moreso because he was THAT guy, the one who has traveled the world and wants you to be AS impressed by it as he is. So he said one thing that was worth all the minutes I spent talking to him. At one point, I thought asking for his work URL because he worked for a language teacher organization in Thailand would get him to go away, he said, "Let me go get my trifold." Now there's a new one. Never had a guy go to get one of those before. So he comes back with just that. A glossy trifold which he made a point to add that all of the photos on the cover were shot by him. He also proceeded to tell me that the area I was planning on going to was overrun with American tourists who say things like "I really want to go hang out with The Hills people," which I'm assuming are indigenous people in the mountainous areas? But in his next breadth, he said that he lives in an area just like that. So wasn't he one of those stupid trust fund kids that wanted to really "experience life?" Whatever. My outlook is: don't hand out pamphlets while you're at a party. It's cult-ish. And while you're pointing out the photos that you took on the cover, don't fall over drunk onto the boob of the girl you're trying to impress. What was the BEST was that after I finally got him to go away by concentrating on someone else's conversation, this other girl from the party came over to us and said that she totally offended this dude from Tibet (Thailand but she was drunk too) when she said "Fuck Tibet. Put 'em all in prison." She was just being funny but he didn't think so. I guess those NGO folks are way serious about their saving the world shit that they can't even laugh at a good joke.

I figured out what I want to do in my next job

I think I will be an investigator with the New York City Public Administrator's Office. The job is such that when someone passes away that lived alone and doesn't seem to have anyone to take care of the arrangements, the investigator might go to the home of the deceased and look around to find any possible connection to family or friends that might want to know that he/she passed or find someone who might be able to arrange a funeral or take some of the belongings. I heard about it on NPR's This American Life ("Home Alone") and I think it's such a special job. The investigator they followed for the story went into this woman's home who had just died in the hospital with no visitors and she read old letters from her husband who was in the service. She discovered when he died and how long it had been. So she was able to follow somewhat of a timeline of a woman she doesn't know but is now assigned to. Very sad but bittersweet as well. Has anyone ever known someone who does this for a living because I'd love to talk to them.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Grumpy Old Chap

I uploaded a bunch of my photos from London, but just 2 days worth. I think I have over 900 left to caption and crop and color correct. UGH! Luckily, going upstate this weekend. Between raking leaves and replacing light bulbs, I will post more. And write more here.

This guy was my favorite subject. Okay, I guess you can't call him a subject since he looks like he's about to grab my camera like I'm some kind of paparazzi but his face and expression is priceless. Oxford Street was insane this day. It was Monday, Sarah's last day in London before we headed to Geneva. And we had to shop fer gosh sakes before she left. So she was in the store getting this kick ass boots and I was hanging out outside snapping shots of walkers-by. It was fun. Only a few saw me do it. You can probably tell who. Oxford Street, as Sarah said, is the equivalent of the Macy's area. Large department stores and little shops in between. This was the day I discovered Primark and I will never be the same. It's the English version of Target. But dare I say, better?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Words Cannot Express The Relief...

So instead, here is a photo showing the sheer excitement and joy felt last night in my apartment when we learned that Barack Hussein Obama was our new President. It may not come tomorrow or next year, but change is surely in reach.