Archive | June, 2012

Wine Night

27 Jun

A few months ago, I started something I like to call “Wine Night” with a few friends.  Although I hoped it would become a regular thing, it has not. I’m hoping to rectify that soon.

Anyway, all Wine Night really involves is sitting around drinking copious amounts of wine. Sounds fabulous, right? Well, it is. If you want to make it even classier, you can play classical music whilst you drink your wine. Or, you could do what we did and watch “Saved By The Bell” on Netflix…which quickly turned into watching Miley Cyrus videos on YouTube…and then into a heated round of Just Dance 3 on the Wii. I kicked ass at that.

Nights with the two friends I was with usually turn into crazy, out of control events, and Wine Night did not disappoint. After one friend got really mad about losing Just Dance, we headed out to a really super awesome bar near my house. I’m using “super awesome” sarcastically here.  I did get to play Buck Hunter, though, so that bar did have its benefits.

Wine Night was awesome. One of my friends blacked out- always the sign of a good night. And, I learned some stuff, like that moscato wine is really, really disgusting. Wine Night also allowed me to compose the list below:

Things You Should NOT Do When You’re Out  At A Bar With Two Of Your Good Guy Friends…Or Ever, If I’m Being Truthful:

1. Challenge them both to an arm wrestling contest and get angry when they both let you win. Also, get upset that you really can’t beat them, even though you thought you could.
2. Teach them your best “stripper moves”.
3. Have a “who has the best ass” contest with one of them and make the other one judge. The contest involves posing and a walk-off. You find out a few weeks later that pictures were taken.
4. Feel ass of said competitor after he gets upset that he lost the contest.
5. Show off your abs (which aren’t that great, but you’re proud of them, especially when you’re drunk) by LIFTING UP YOUR SHIRT- although you get points when one of them likes your belly button ring.
6. Get caught texting the guy you like. You will be asked a LOT of questions that you don’t want to answer.

Too much fun. Wine night, anyone???

Song of the Day: Party in the U.S.A by Miley Cyrus

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Why I love Neil Patrick Harris and James Van Der Beek

20 Jun

Two three named men that are more commonly known as their most famous characters: Doogie Howser and Dawson Leary. In fact, NPH came into my restaurant the other day and my co-worker didn’t know who he was until I said Doogie Howser. I have the utmost respect and undying love for these two actors. And let me tell you why.

First off, Dawson Leary. Dawson’s Creek was a huge hit and has a very special place in my heart. I was addicted to it and constantly compared myself to Joey Potter and her struggles with loving her best man friend as I once did. The show was a teenage dream. It was full of drama, love triangles, huge vocab words, and a killer soundtrack. Dawson Leary was second to Pacey Witter in my opinion. While Dawson was the lead, he was wimpy and never seemed to get the girl or once he did, he lost her real quick. Pacey was the cool cat. I mean, he was in the Mighty Ducks so he’s already winning. One of the best episodes was where they were all in detention ala Breakfast Club and Pacey mentions how awesome the Mighty Ducks movies are. Anyway, I digress.

My love for James Van Der Beek begins at Dawson’s Creek but grows stronger with his post-Creek days. Being a semi teen heartthrob (Sorry, I’m all team Pacey over here), he could have easily faded into the background of former television stars. He could be in every Lifetime Christmas movie from here until forever where he plays a single father who is just looking for love but struggling with letting go of his dead wife when he meets the perfect woman but can’t find the way to fully commit until a Christmas miracle orchestrated by his young daughter brings them together at last. Fortunately, he is not starring in these masterpieces. He’s playing himself on a new TV series and he’s the best part of the show. He’s had other bit parts here and there and my favorite was his turn as the lovable psycho in Rules of Attraction. Fuck Dawson Leary, Sean Bateman was a BADASS. VanDer Beek took his career and made a total U-turn. He makes fun of himself while still respecting the fact that the Creek made him famous. For your viewing pleasure, see this example:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/57cd8635ef/asshole-for-hire?playlist=326139

In the above video made for Funny or Die, James apologizes for being the perfect dude on the Creek and offers to be an asshole to your girlfriend to make up for it. He’s a genius. From this and the other James VanDerWeek videos Funny or Die did, he became a household name once again. He playfully mocked his teen stardom days as Joshua Jackson also did with his Pacey Con video. He’s brilliant. I can’t tell you how much I respect him for the fact that he clearly loves being a performer and he didn’t want to let it slip away. It tells me that he had a great time on Dawson’s Creek and owns being the wimpy yet perfectly romantic boy next door turned motherfuckin’ badass. He is able to laugh at himself and has made that his public image while still pursuing challenges in television and film. Please see JamesVanDerMemes.com for more details.

Doogie Howser born again as NPH. He made an even bigger leap than Dawson. NPH was a child star in the early 90’s which, following the 80’s, was a pretty stellar time to be famous. However, think of the shows that came from that same time period. Not many of the stars of that time are still a household name (aside from Will Smith) spanning several age brackets from grandmoms to tweens. NPH took his time gaining a name for himself outside Doogie. It was in 2004 in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle that his brilliant new career path really came to light. He, like Dawson, was making fun of himself and revealing his true public image: a lady killing badass who really needs some drugs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7bK3w9Mw6w

While Doogie was an adorable genius doctor, it turned out NPH had incredible acting chops and comedic timing. Who knew? Barney Stinson has now taken over Doogie Howser. It’s more common to know him as Barney than the kid doctor which tickles me pink. Barney Stinson was a phenomenal opportunity for NPH. He steals every episode of How I Met Your Mother. He took that charisma and charm he had as a child and brought it into a sexy, suited up bro. Who can do that? Not Rider Strong, that’s for sure. Where is Rider Strong nowadays anyway? Or JTT, mind you, another three namer that has faded into the dust of stardom past.

Neil Patrick Harris has immersed himself in Broadway as well, having hosted the Tony’s three times. I was lucky enough to see him as the Balladeer in Assassins and I was blown away. His commitment to that role and the sadness he carried within his narration was brilliant. My friend Matt and I were literally speechless watching him, I couldn’t believe he was that talented. We met him afterwards and I am entirely serious when I say he is one of the sweetest, kindness celebrities I have ever met. He stood and talked with us at the stage door for about 20 minutes as we chatted up James Barbour who was a fellow Hofstra alum. I have a picture with his arm around me and I remember after it was taken, he kept his arm around me. I dream about that night sometimes. Of course, it was the next week he came out publicly. A girl can still dream.

My favorite part of the new Neil Patrick Harris is Doctor Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog. If you have not seen this, go to Netflix instant and do yourself a favor. If you like Buffy or The Avengers, this is for you. During the writer’s strike, Joss Whedon, NPH, and an incredibly funny team of cast and crew wrote this short musical for the web. It blew up. It showcased Neil’s skills as a musical theater performer for those who hadn’t seen him on stage. The comedy of the short is smart and sharp. It appeals to everyone from nerds to music geeks to superhero fanatics to bros.  I know all the songs by heart. Any one who has seen it does, actually. I find such joy when I reference it and people I would never expect to know it quote it right back to me. It was at this point that it was clear that Doogie was dead and gone and NPH was here to stay. Somehow this man went from a kid star to a man that appeals to musical theater kids, nerds, ladies, bros, and magicians all while presenting himself in a classy and fun way where you just really want to go out to eat with him at the places he keeps posting food pictures about on Twitter and talk superheroes and Broadway. Yes. I follow him on Twitter.

NPH mocks his Doogie days like James Van Der Beek. There’s an episode of How I Met Your Mother where he ends the show writing in his blog to the music of Doogie and the same computer screen set up that ended every episode. He did the same on Saturday Night Live when he hosted where an orchestra went into a dramatic and epic rendition of the theme. He’s mocking it while respecting it as how he became a star. He has come into his own as a comedy god. Thinking about how hard that must have been makes me so proud to be a fan of his. It’s the same as with Dawson Leary: these two actors clearly love the business and love performing. They would have given up long ago if they didn’t.

I will pay good money to see anything these boys are in. They are champions of fame and stardom while still maintaining some impressive acting skills and private lives. NPH is heavily involved with gay rights and is a role model to any gay child who may be feeling outcast or rejected or bullied. He’s proved that you can be out and be known for so much more than your sexual orientation. James Van Der Beek continues to bring laughter to old and new fans, giving the Creek fans something to reminisce about and the new fans to discover. As an actor, I can only hope and pray that my career takes a similar path. I wish for their smarts, wits, and commitment. Most of all, I hope for their passion. And maybe to learn to do some magic from Doogie Howser.

Hurricane Irene

17 Jun

In August of 2011, Hurricane Irene marched through the Caribbean and up the East Coast of the US leaving much destruction in her wake. The devastation she caused was catastrophic, and this post is not intended to downplay the severity of the situation at all; however, looking back, my day spent in the hurricane was pretty amusing and I’ve been wanting to document it for a while. However, I didn’t find it so funny at the time…

The weekend of August 27th and 28th was supposed to be a super fun weekend for me. I had bus tickets to NYC to see two college friends and, of course, Miss Rachel. The people on the news kept saying that Hurricane Irene was going to hit us, but I ignored them…until it was no longer possible to do so.  I made the executive decision on Friday to stay in Boston for the weekend, which ended up being the right choice, as my bus ride back home was canceled. New York also shut down its public transportation system, as did the city of Boston. I would have totes been stranded in New York had I gone through with my plans.

Anyway, now that my trip was canceled, I decided I should maybe start taking the threat of this hurricane seriously. My roommate, who is from Florida and has seen her fair share of hurricanes, had the same idea, although we did not share all of our ideas with each other. We both stopped by the store on Friday evening to pick up some bottled water and nonperishable food, just in case.

On Saturday, we teamed up to clean the back yard. Our landlord does not keep the tidiest yard and we wanted to make sure there was no debris outside that could come flying through our windows if the wind really got out of control. Upon the discovery of a snake in the yard, we abandoned our yard cleaning task and ran into the house. Well, I ran. And screamed. Like a girl. Which is ok, because I am a girl. We had at least secured the garbage cans and recycling bin.

The storm hit us on Sunday. For a while, it was just rainy. Then the wind picked up. A lot. There was a crash. The house shook. The power went out. And Roommate and I sprang into action. At first, we were convinced that a tree had come down on our roof. The crash we heard had been LOUD. The apartment seemed ok, though, and nothing looked amiss in the yard. Then we looked out the front windows: a HUGE tree had come down up the street, taking out a whole utility pole, crushing a car, and hitting a house. When the pole came down, it pulled a bunch of wires with it…wires that were connected to houses. Several wires had been snapped off of our house and the house next door had siding ripped off it it. Yikes.

Huge tree; crushed car.

At this point, we were both scared. We had been skeptical about this storm at first, but now it was very real. Also, our house is semi-surrounded by trees and the wind was clearly being an asshole. We decided to migrate to the basement until the winds died down. It seemed like the safest option.

Before the storm started, unbeknownst to each other, we had both packed bags with water bottles, snacks, important documents, toiletries, and clothes, just in case we had to evacuate. Roommate had blown up an air mattress to sit on in the basement. I had gotten Louis’s travel cage out of the attic. We had stocked up on candles and made sure flashlights had batteries in them. We may have been skeptical, but we were prepared skeptics. I guess my 6 months as a Brownie finally paid off.

Our time in the basement was comical. I immediately almost set the house on fire trying to light a candle. Louis got fidgety in his cage. And we all would get really quiet and hold our breath every time the wind blew. At least we had movies and a portable DVD player. And snacks.

After about 2 hours, we decided it was safe to venture back upstairs where we played Trivial Pursuit for a while. Then we went outside to assess the damage. I went out in what may have been my fanciest outfit ever: red athletic shorts, a pink hoodie with the hood on, of course, and olive green knee-high rain boots. So. Hot. I’m pretty sure Roommate has a picture.

Our house was fine. Our cars were fine. But, the power was still out would remain out for three days, during which time we got very good at living like the pioneers.  At lot of candles were used, and I managed to not set anything on fire. Not even once.

Those few days were very long and stressful, but now I just look back on them and laugh. I can only imagine what we must have looked like: two girls, sitting in a dark, creepy basement on an air mattress and lawn furniture while a guinea pig stares at them from his cage.

Song of the Day: Rock You Like A Hurricane by Scorpions

An Ode to Mr. Louis

11 Jun

When I was about 7, I pet sat my friend’s guinea pig while she and her family were on vacation. I was so excited to take care of him! After he was dropped off, I immediately took him out of his cage to let him run around my room. And then, when I tried to pick him back up, he bit me. My mom, who is not a huge fan of the rodent family, had to catch him for me. She was not pleased. I wasn’t allowed to take him out of the cage for the rest of the weekend and my hopes of one day owning my very own furry little creature were dashed for the time being.

In April of 2007, a friend of my roommate was giving away a guinea pig. My roomie, knowing I had always wanted some sort of small mammal, asked if I wanted him. I said “YES” without hesitation, and the next Saturday Louis showed up at our apartment with his fancy cage, little wooden house, and super awesome furhawk.

It was not love at first sight. Yes, I thought he was cute and he was so fuzzy and hoppy, but I was afraid to touch him. Terrified, in fact. I was convinced that he was going to bite me every time I stuck my hand in his cage. Dinner was not a happy time for me.

Over time, as we got used to each other, we bonded. Although he did sometimes nip, Louis never bit. He loved to run around my room and I loved to carry him around in the pocket of my hoodie.  He learned that the sound of the refrigerator crisper drawer opening meant carrots and his squeals would fill the apartment whenever it was opened. He would go on car trips with me (I swear he would get extra excited when I pulled out his travel cage) and loved to be outside- I nearly lost him a few times to the great outdoors; he was wicked fast when he wanted to be.

Louis has an outdoor adventure.

It was not all fun and games, though. Did you know that you have to clip guinea pigs’ toenails? Yeah, neither did I until Mr. Louis came along. Fun fact: guinea pigs DO NOT like having their nails clipped. Also, they’re not the cleanest animals and, even though you’re keeping up with the cleaning, their cages start to smell bad quickly. And so do they. Louis was not a fan of the baths I gave him in the bathroom sink, but he did like being all wrapped up in a bunch of towels when the trauma was over.  He would always fall asleep after bath time while I carried him around in his cocoon, from which he always emerged a soft, much better smelling, fluffball of a pig.

People always gave me a funny look when I told them I had a guinea pig- they’re definitely not your run-of-the-mill pet for an adult. Even I was sometimes embarrassed about it.  But, Louis was always excited to see me, he cuddled with me, always listened intently when I told him stories, never talked back, and squeaked when I fed him- what more can you ask for from a pet?

Mr. Louis passed away two days after Thanksgiving in 2011.  It took a long time for me to get used to not having him around- no more rustles coming from the foot of my bed when I woke up, no more happy squeaks when I would walk into the room.  And, although he was a lot more work than I had bargained for and did ruin a very expensive hair straightener (his favorite chew toy being any type of electrical cord), I still miss him. I swore I heard him squeaking the other day while I was sitting at my desk. I took me a minute to realize that it was a bird outside my bedroom window. I like to think that the birds remember the sound of his squeaks and want to remind me of Louis from time to time.

Song of the Day: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

I’m Super Creepy

1 Jun

I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’m kinda nosy. I like to know what people are doing. I like to keep tabs on my neighbors. I like to watch people. I think it’s the psychology major in me acting out.

Luckily for me, my apartment has a lot of windows. I can see into no fewer than 5 backyards from various locations in my apartment and into numerous front yards, driveways, and windows. I try to not actually stare into people’s houses, but sometimes I just can’t help myself…I also like to make up stories about all of the people in my neighborhood because I don’t actually know any of them.

Anyway, I digress. I’ve seen a lot of interesting goings-on out of my windows over the years. Here are the most memorable things I’ve seen:

This morning, I saw a squirrel being chased by two very mean looking birds. I was not aware that birds and squirrels paid any attention to each other. The chase went on for quite some time and was very noisy. I felt bad for the squirrel. It looked like the birds were pecking him.

I creepishly watched two super cute boys install a hot tub in their yard a few falls ago. Also, when their bulldog wandered out of their yard and into mine, I ran the fastest I’ve ever run to go retrieve the dog and thus meet the boys. The boys and I have not spoken since that meeting, but I still talk to the dog through my kitchen window whenever he’s in the yard. His name is Gus. He’s super lazy.

There was a hawk in my backyard a few months ago. That was pretty cool. I really wanted to go outside and see him up close, but I refrained. He had a very pointy beak.

One of the boys mentioned above at one point had a girlfriend. I saw her in the yard one weekday afternoon with a man who did NOT live in the house. I haven’t seen her since. Scandal? I like to think so.

Last August, I watched the idiots across the street from me take their baby out for a walk during a hurricane. Ok, really it was a tropical storm by that point, but the wind was still strong enough to take down huge trees. It was clearly not the best time to bring the baby outside. Later that day, I saw said baby crawling around on the wet sidewalk semi-unsupervised. And then I literally laughed out loud at the man as he tried to back down our one-way street (which was closed due to one of the aforementioned trees falling down) because I assume he thought he would get in trouble for driving forward (which would normally be the wrong way). He almost backed right up onto the sidewalk and into our stone wall. I was standing outside while laughing at him, too. His wife saw me. “Just turn around, asshat. You’re a terrible driver,” is what I wanted to say, but I figured that’s not the best way to make friends. Not that I want to be friends with these people. They’re currently in the middle of a landscaping project that’s somehow covered our whole street in mud. Gross. Plus, they have a small child. It’s probably sticky.

A week or two ago, I saw a cat wander into the yard right outside my bedroom window. I started talking to her and she stared right back at me. Intently. For a long time. I kept waiting for her to turn into Professor McGonagall, but she didn’t.  I was disappointed.

The boys on the other side of the house give me headaches. Literally. They insist on playing that stupid game where you throw bean bags at a hold in a board. They play it for HOURS on end. All summer. Right outside my bedroom window. Thump. Thump. THUMP. It’s the most obnoxious game ever invented. A few weeks ago when one of them could not get their lawnmower to work properly, I laughed evilly as payback. While I was staring out the window at him.

I kept a close eye on the yard remodel of the ladies next door. They had a lovely, stone patio installed. I was super excited for them when they got a new compost bin. I want to ask them if I can use it, but that would require admitting that I stare out my window at them all the time. They do seem to enjoy their dinners out on the patio…

Yes, I did feel creepy while I was writing this. But, hey, if a “Rear Window” type of situation ever happens on my block, I’ll be the first to know!

Song of the Day: Voyeur by Blink 182