Thursday, October 22, 2009

Now I just have to learn the Dewey Decimal system.

Hola! So I think this Fifty-Two Books thing is getting to me. I realized I've been dressing like a kooky librarian. And then I thought, you know what? That's pretty sweet. Today's outfit for instance:

I woke up and put on dark purple tights, a bright pink skirt, a bright green cardigan, white tee, and floral scarf. Cardigans are so librarian, love them.

Oh, wait. Those look like new glasses don't they? Well, here's the thing. I have horrible eyesight. I'm pretty blind without a prescription. The last few years I've gone to an optometrist for glasses, they keep on reminding me how bad my prescription is when I start looking at frames: "You're going to need thicker frames than that."

So I picked up this brown tortoise pair via Ralph Lauren, and was set. Slightly geeky, but not wholly unstylish (these days). I went to the optometrist last Friday and the doctor informed me that if I kept wearing my contacts as long as I do, with as much computer staring as I do at work, then my eyes were going to explode (that may be hyperbole, but he did use the word EXPLODE). He said I should be wearing glasses at least three days out of the week.

Luckily, I had this pair!

However, when I picked them up today I realized that not even the super thinned out lenses I paid extra for really fit in these medium-frame glasses. They stick out a smidge, but that's hardly noticeable. I'm pretty sure I'll be one of those grandmas with two-inch thick glasses who's always squinting (get ready, Jesse!).

Speaking of, Jesse also got me a nerdy pair of Kirk Originals glasses that I absolutely adore. They're yellow tortoise shell...

And come with a surprise on the left side!!! -

I saw them and immediately thought about how stoked my 7th-grade self would have been. PRETTY STOKED! Yes, it's all glitterized - on one side. The other side is completely normal. Do love.

I can't wait to switch these pairs around during the week. I also have a black pair (boring!) but I'm pretty sure I'll continue wearing these perfectly librarian-esque frames with my increasingly coloriffic outfits. I have to say, I'm pretty satisfied with my latest sartorial choices! And I should be, right??

Anybody else wear glasses? Particularly thicker-framed ones? Fave brands? Apparently my blindness is an excuse to invest in this particular accessory...!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So I got this in my inbox from Who What Wear. And tonight I've decided to try out the blackberry lips. Not because I especially want to look like Mischa Barton, but I did have a tube of the color left over from the 1920s NYE party.

Also, it's CMJ! Which is always a fun time in New York, and I'm going to see EMPIRES tonight - remember they had my #2 album of 2008?? Well, it's their first ever show in New York and I will BE THERE!!! Then it's off to Trainwreck to see some of my favourite people - and tons of people are in town for the FUN.

Okay, so back to the lipstick. It looks far more darker in real life but that's the way my Macbook cam is, I guess!

Woah. That one's a little too serious, no? And my arm looks creepy!

Time for the fun!

I am with you til the end.

Have you heard?

I love it. A lot. What do you think about it!?

The dudes are gearing up for an intense winter which includes a Halloween show on October 30th at the Triple Rock in Minneapolis (they have FUN stuff planned!), plus three shows in a row in Chicago in December - each show dedicated to playing one of their albums start to finish, another impending announcement regarding shows before year end (it's GOOD, trust.) and the new year means even more touring and yes...the new album, My Dinosaur Life. I'm so excited and excited for you to hear it!!

I'm stoked to join in the fun - well, as much as I possibly can. You know, I'm here in a cubicle, but I hope to escape ocassionally to join in the festivities when I can. (Yes, festivities.) Just as this past year has been a whirlwind with some quiet moments, I believe the upcoming year is about to jump to new levels of tornado-quality. Good, enthralling, lovely-sounding tornadoes!

Stay tuned for more official announcements on their newly designed site and you might also want to get a profile there ~ friend me if you do! I'm, quite surprisingly I think, "jessica maria" on the site.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Too much distance to measure it out.

I'm ecstatic about Fridays, it's true.

The weather of rain and cold winds doesn't even make a dent in my happy Friday mood. Work is more lax today, and somebody actually gave me a brownie (score!). I'm meeting up with Keller for lunch at Chop't - my favourite lunchtime eatery. I'm getting my eyes examined because I have two glasses frames that need prescriptions (!!!) and tonight I'll be meeting up with three lovely ladies I graduated high school with in Carlisle, PA. This includes my best friends Amber and Kells.

Plus, today, I'm wearing my fave LAMB cashmere hoodie at work. FANTASTICO!

And last night the loneliness of having both my husband and roommate gone was subsided by the merry trio of Jam, T-Bone, and Mike coming over to watch the two-hour NBC comedy block and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (milksteak!). Jam farted on the couch, lest I miss Jesse's own gassy habits (ugh, thanks). And T-Bone and Mike took the length of two sitcoms to order food. Fun was had, though!

Also, I was quite happy to be awake and out in the world this morning because last night at around 5am I rolled over to find a stuffed cat we keep on the top shelf behind my bed underneath the covers. This stuffed cat has never fallen off the shelf before in the years it's been there, and the real cats can't get up there to knock it off. I may have freaked out a little, and it may be because last weekend Jesse took me to see Paranormal Activity, where all scary things happen while they sleep which is one of my biggest fears.

Yeah, that's a screenshot from the movie. See how there's nothing there but there's a shadow against the door? THAT'S WHY THE MOVIE SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME. And why I may be a little hard pressed to find sleep tonight.

And how is your Friday going?! Anybody else see Paranormal Activity? Let's discuss.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Now I've got a feeling if I sang this loud enough.

I was just talking to my friend Dana, whom you may remember as the goddess who took me to see her pals No Doubt in concert a few months ago, as well as took me backstage where I met most of the band members, and then finagled us a ride back into the city with the drummer Adrian Young and his family. Yeah, like I said, GODDESS.

Anyway, she's doing some more rad stuff! She told me all about this, and I wanted to share - Ben Sherman, the stylish UK clothing label, rounded up a bunch of guitar picks from some of the world's coolest guitar and bass players and are auctioning them for charity. In the UK, apparently, picks are called "plectrums" so that's why this endeavor is being called the Very Important Plectrums Auction.

All proceeds go to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy with the exception of funds raised from the Singapore bands, which will go to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, Singapore. Each band's plectrum comes with a handwritten message and is beautifully presented in a frame - and there are some awesome bands involved:

I mean, RIGHT UP MY ALLEY! Also involved: Dragonette, New Found Glory, Passion Pit, Nine Inch Nails, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, Blink-182, AND MORE! These plectrums look sweet, they go towards a good cause, and I wouldn't mind having a handwritten Tony Kanal note up in my place somewhere. You can find out more about the auction dates, the plectrums themselves, and the rest of the bands involved HERE!

Let me know if you start bidding or which ones look especially tempting!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Our little rebel.

It's been some time since I updated about Pee Wee, the little kitten Jesse rescued from the streets of Brooklyn the Monday after we got married. Pee Wee is growing up well and is ADORABLE. We can't imagine our household without him now! Also, Eko has stopped hissing at the little guy and they've become an unbelievable tag team - chasing each other through the house, spooning together on the couch, and setting up strategic "wake up and feed me" attacks.

Pee Wee has also proven to be a handful when anybody steps in the kitchen - he's a jumper! Whenever I'm cooking or washing dishes he'll be right next to me trying to jump up to the counter. He's succeeded a couple of times, but mostly he just hangs on the edge by his claws and meows. He also loves to snuggle in bed and ocassionally attack our feet under the covers. He's a purr-er. His purring can sometimes be louder than his meowing. And his little tiny face packs so much attitude sometimes I just drop everything and squeeze it because I think it's so cute and I'm also akin to an 80-year-old grandmother, of course.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

She's ripping wings off of butterflies.

My stellar weekend can be enumerated in various degrees of awesomeness --

On Friday I picked up Erica at work and we discussed our absolutely crazy work weeks, and decided we deserved an ice cream cake. As we were explaining our plans to her coworkers, somebody asked, "Oh, ice cream cake? Whose birthday is it?" Erica and I looked at each other, mouths agape. "It's nobody's birthday, sir. It's Friday night. We have a right to eat cake." On the way home from the grocery store with our little ice cream cake we would devour whole later that night: "I can't believe people don't realize the value of ice cream cake in non-celebratory situations. How can you only eat it when it's someone's birthday?? It's ice cream AND frosting - that in itself deserves celebration enough." Some people.

Ice cream cake consumption via the couch while we caught up on the seemingly infinite amount of television shows on the DVR.

Shows that are way better than Gossip Girl: 90210, Melrose Place, America's Next Top Model, and the video Erica and I made of us eating ice cream cake. Seriously. Erica and I were almost stoked watching  it this week because we thought a character finally told the truth. False. He reneged on it and lied in the end anyway. Seriously, everybody but Blair and Chuck should be killed off the show and new characters reinstated. I'd rather watch Annalyne McCord's annoying, awful acting on 90210 over another tv-screen full of Blake Lively's gaping cleavage, which deserves a whole other paycheck because sometimes it's the show's only draw for the masses.

How good is Mad Men this season? Best season yet, I'm calling it.

On Saturday, I managed to come out of my ice-cream-and-tv coma and Jesse arrived from Pittsburgh! Apparently Jake Gyllenhaal was on his flight, but I didn't hold it against him for not starting a life-long friendship with the blue-eyed actor - I was too happy he was home.

Erica and I then met up with Kells and Amber WHO NOW LIVES HERE and we dished the gossip, compared moments in our lives to rom coms which is now a lasting theme, watched a horrifying clip of the week on The Soup (I nearly threw up), expressed our disappointment in some people, and generally cracked up.

Met up with rad friends at Barcelona where Amber and I downed another Top Gun shot in commemoration of our September birthdays. It's absolutely marvelous to have Amber so close after many years, and Saturday night definitely brought together a bunch of great people I love catching up with.

I've had Paramore songs stuck in my head all weekend. Mostly "Brick by Boring Brick," "Looking Up," and "Where the Lines Overlap" from their latest album Brand New Eyes. It's a vast improvement on Riot! - which, I liked, but there were too many skipper songs on it. And the slower, acoustic songs are lovely and non-corny - I dig it!

On Sunday, the 410 trio prepped for FOOTBALL SUNDAY! We went to our usual bar for massive football consumption that included some great games for my fantasy players - and an intense, great Patriots game as they took down the Ravens! (Sorry, Katie.) Tonight I find out my own standings in my matchup with the Minnesota/Green Bay game -- go Green Bay! Don Driver! I hope the Minnesota defense sucks it! (Sorry, Galea.) Fantasy can get really heated, if you couldn't tell. [Note: I wrote most of this post yesterday - I can now tell you that I won this week, though I'm still second in the league simply by two points! ARG!]

I also am officially Jessica Johnson - social security card, driver's license, banks and bills all changed. SUCCESS. Erica witnessed my first credit card signature with the new name, as well.

Sunday night we went to the Fall Out Boy/Blink-182 show at Madison Square Garden. One of the best men at our wedding, Diaz, tours with Fall Out Boy. We had some great seats in the first row to the right of the stage. According to the performers, it was probably the last FOB show for a few years (a la Blink, No Doubt I'm guessing) and at the end Mark Hoppus came out on stage and shaved Pete Wentz's head while Diaz took over for bass on "Saturday." Blink-182 played another solid show, anchored by Barker's amazing flying and spinning drum solo in the encore.

Afterwards, we were in Tom DeLonge's dressing room with a bunch of people and Mischa Barton wandered in with a dazed smile. From observation alone, there really doesn't seem like there's a lot going on up there. Also spotted: John McEnroe, famed tirading tennis player, was a few seats behind us. And Chad Smith, the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, watched from the sound board and everybody mistook him for Will Ferrell. Literally, I did a twitter search and everyone thought Ferrell was in the audience. But I suppose they're easy to confuse:

Jesse caught up a bit with Mark Hoppus, who produced the forthcoming Motion City album, and then some of the crew and our friends headed to a bar for some more fun. At the end of the night, apartment 410 climbed in a cab and I made everyone early morning grilled cheeses to celebrate the end of a weekend - we didn't have any ice cream cake left.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekend suggestion: go see WHIP IT!

Well, it's been a week. Quite a week, starting off with my birthday and my job exploding with work every day. Before you get a chance to ask - yes, I had a great birthday and I'm so glad I got to share it (finally) with Jesse. And now I have to tell you about last night.

Erica got us reserved seats at a screening for the new movie Whip It - and it was RAD. I absolutely loved it! Jezebel enumerates quite well the reasons it rules, and I agree. All the characters really bring something to the film that makes it feel relatable and it doesn't play out like the whole thing is a silly joke. To that point, with people like Kristin Wiig, Juliette Lewis, and Jimmy Fallon in the cast - there is no roll-your-eyes overacting here, either. Quite a feat in these days where comedies are all about gross-out stunts and over-the-top jokes set in a world where only dudes are funny (see: Land of the Lost, Year One, The Hangover, Bruno) or in a world where women can only be funny in relation to dudes (see: the rom-com genre, like this year's The Ugly Truth or The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past). Whip It is set in the world of (OMG!) reality.

As I'm sure you already know, the movie is about a teenager in Texas who finds herself trying out for a spot on a roller derby team. Ellen Page proves that she's not a one-hit-wonder with her Oscar-nominated role in Juno - she plays Bliss so well at every turn, whether she's slightly insecure, vengeful, apologetic, sad, ecstatic, or, of course KICKASS. Her relationships throughout the film recalled moments in my own teenage years, from her best friendship with Pash (Alia Shawkat) or her dad (Daniel Stern). But the relationship that stood out the most to me was of Bliss and mother: during the movie I recalled moments as a teenager between me and my mother. I was reminded whether it was as inane as Bliss and her mother shopping together or having small disagreements, or the big, paradigm-shifting arguments. I didn't participate in pageants or join the roller derby, of course, but the basics are there and I think in tune with what a lot of people go through in their teenage years.

Also, Marcia Gay Harden was oh-yeah-that's-why-she's-an-Oscar-winner perfection as Bliss' mother.

Some of the immensely talented cast of Whip It.

And through all this teenage angst, the movie is straight up hilarious. There was serious uproar in the theater at times, and it was a credit to all the actors and the script. Not to mention the noteworthy directing. I may have underestimated Drew Barrymore's directing abilities, though I have no reason to, since she's done so much business-wise in film. Let me tell you, her directorial debut was fantastic. She's grown up making movies, and then producing movies, and her first take at directing deserves an A.

I'm also not just saying this because she showed up at the end of the movie as a surprise and did a short 10-minute interview:

WHAT?! Yeah, it was awesome, as is she. She remarked on her own relationship with her mother being a source of inspiration for the film, as well as working on the script for over a year with the writer, Shauna Cross (who also wrote the book the film is based on). Barrymore said she'd been waiting for something to direct that encompassed everything she'd learned over her years, and everything she personally liked in movies and music and art, etc. She explained her hands-on directing style, her efforts to get improv'd reactions out of her actors, and how they could only film certain scenes once due to budget constraints. She also talked about all the women doing their own stunts and hanging out with real derby girls - of which there were some in the audience! All in all, I had a great time last night watching the movie and hearing from the creator herself. I would see it again, and highly recommend it to anyone reading this!

In other news, on my birthday, Jesse and I walked out of The Informant! an hour into it. Yes, walked out. Warning: not laugh-out-loud funny like the previews, and actually quite boring. That is all!