Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I come around each time your notes are high.

Jesse put up another batch of vinyl records to end this weekend on eBay! It's smaller than the first batch because we were so busy last weekend, but it's got some great stuff for anyone into these bands -

Indian Summer (6) - including a bunch of Splits
Cap'n Jazz
Jesus & Mary Chain
Karate (8)
Kill Sadie (4)
Sondre Lerche
Low (3)
Mali Music (Damon Albarn from Blur's project)
Mew (2)
Milemarker (9)
Mogwai (3)
Mohinder (5)

And many other bands included in very rare splits - CHECK OUT THE LIST!

I know some people who read this blog bid and won this past weekend - congrats! Remember, 10% of the proceeds will go to the Dear Jack Foundation. And! Jesse will continue selling more batches in the upcoming weekends.

Thanks dudes!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

You're different from the former.

I'm always happy when the nominees I think should win actually win! YES! This happened in the case of Best Supporting Actress going to Penelope Cruz over Viola Davis, and Best Actor going to Sean Penn over Mickey Rourke. Everything else I said would win...did.

I actually liked the awards a lot this year - I'm also a sucker for Hugh Jackman. What does that dude not possess? He's what I like to call a "full package." He's endlessly charming, and I couldn't help but be smitten. I also love Baz Luhrmann, so, yes, I liked that tribute to musicals in the middle. And Erica and I definitely giggled when we realized that Zac and Vanessa were singing a song from HSM3 - mainly at ourselves for recognizing it.

The introduction of the actor nominations sometimes stretched a bit too long, but I liked the past winners showing appreciation for the nominees. There were many a moving moment, as well, from Heath Ledger's win to Dustin Lance Black's acceptance speech for scripting Milk. And hilarious moments like Ben Stiller Joaquin'ing it up. I just hope future shows are as enjoyable.

But let's get to the important part. THE FASHION! This year didn't offer up too many surprises, but I did have my favourites and...not so favourites. I'll start off with my tops -

Penelope Cruz in vintage. At first, I was kind of like "eh, wedding dress," but then they did some close-up shots and I fell in love with the details. Also, her hair and make-up are perfect - she reminds me of Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, and as cliche as it may be, I adore that look. Also, I don't understand why Penelope continues to irk some people - she's amazingly talented. Watch any of her works with Almodovar (whom she thanked in her speech - they are a great team), and you'll understand. Especially Volver. Plus, she always manages to look classy and elegant on the red carpet.

Marisa Tomei. Okay, I know that this dress has actually shown up on some worst dressed lists. But, like my directors, I like risk-takers. I'm kind of mesmerized by the pleating here, and she looks fabulous. It's avante-garde but lovely. I like the super-structure of the dress with the soft hair and make-up. I think a severe hairdo would have ruined the look. And this dress would have so easily overtaken a different person - Marisa can pull it off.

[Sidenote: Marisa is apparently dating the actor who played Ryan Atwood's brother Trey on The O.C. - you might have seen him sitting next to her at the awards. What's weird is that I was behind that same actor a little over a year ago in a Best Buy customer service line, and he was with a woman and had a wedding ring on. It was obviously his wife...back then. Hey oh!]

Obviously, when I watch the red carpet, I have these delusions of "If I were invited to the Oscars - would I wear that?" And I would definitely wear the above dresses. I have also always told myself that if I were ever able to go to the Oscars, and had the power to borrow a designer dress, I would wear Jean Paul Gaultier. He's a little weird, a little different, but I always like his designs. They're usually that nice balance of elegant and risky that I love so much. Marion Cotilliard wore him last year. Neither here nor there, as I am sitting at my desk in New York.

Freida Pinto looks radiant in that bright color. Though there were many asymmetrical dresses on the red carpet, I loved the inclusion of the sleeve. It's different.

Also, how gorgeous is Freida? Very simple hair and make-up completes it. This is what it looked like on the runway:

With just a little more fabric, the dress becomes red-carpet worthy, but not completely boring.

Also good, but not as awesome as above: Evan Rachel Wood (I didn't like her hair, though), Tina Fey, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotilliard, Angelina Jolie (boring, but the green jewelry sold me).

Oh, and now, yes, m'dears, it's time for the worst. I don't really rank the top dresses, but I'm going to have to rank the following.

Jessica Biel wins Worst Dressed. Not only is she clearly irrelevant to the show (um, she gave out tech awards, whatever - Jessica Alba did it last year, and she too was horribly dressed and irrelevant to the night's events). She also had these clunky black heels under this. Ick. You can't really tell here, but on stage her hair looked very messy and not in a cool way.

Amanda Seyfried's dress almost beat Biel for the worst. But I give her credit for roles in Veronica Mars and Mean Girls, and Biel blows. (These are when those extra credit points, count. Related: I'm SO effin' weird, I know.) I digress. Amanda, how old are you? It looks like you're going for 40 with this dress, but no self-respecting 40-year-old would choose this. You know Jennifer Aniston is 40 right? And she looked waaaaay better than you. Just sayin'. Dress your age, and maybe one day you'll come out on top. BLECH.

We all know Heidi is phenomenally gorgeous - too bad I don't like anything about this at all. From the hair, make-up, dress, to jewelry...nada. Nothing flatters here. Except for the fact that, yes, she is Heidi Klum.

Oh, Reese. I couldn't find any good pictures of her on the red carpet, but I did notice that her hair was all down there and all up on stage presenting. That was why it looked like a bungled mess on tv. This picture is from the afterparty, where I guess she went halfway. Her dark eye make-up also looked horrible on tv; her eyes looked sunken-in. The dress wasn't very flattering on her at all. And, um, you can also see in this picture her "invisible" bra straps - Reese, I see them. Tsk, tsk.

And in my final fashion thought: I love Tilda Swinton. I know she's going to show up to any red carpet looking completely abstract and infinitely cool. I, personally, could never and would never show up wearing this - but Tilda can do it. And, she rocks.

Now I must dedicate a section to RDJ, who looked quite dapper and continues to charm me from afar (I hear you, RDJ, I hear you...) -

On the red carpet, an interviewer asked him who his date was. He said, "My date? Yes, my date for the rest of my human incarnation - this is Susan Downey." Yes! Let's double date, RDJ & Susan! Also, let's party, because you two look like fun in pretty much every picture:

To end this GINORMOUS post, I give you pictures of Jon Hamm I found from Oscar afterparties. One with Paul Rudd (hot nerds alert!), and another with his girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt! You're welcome.

I'm glad to bring you somebody else's Barftime. Yessssss!

The End.

Monty Are I last night @ Highline!

Last night, Perry, Kells, Erica and I rocked out at the Monty Are I show. The dudes from Rhode Island haven't played live in over a year, but they didn't miss a beat. I got really excited waiting in line outside because even though it was deathly cold, the two girls in front of me were singing "Between the Sheets" and I was like, hells yeah! But, really, I just smiled. They should have an album coming out at some point this year...and judging from the new songs I heard last night, it's going to be just as epic as their last effort, Wall of People. And once they go on tour, you should check them out - one of the best live shows ever.

Steve and the gang couldn't hang out after, so the girls and I went to a bar/diner and talked about our new love...Friday Night Lights. Yeah. Then Erica and I went home and watched a couple episodes of that. But, anyways, that Oscar post will still maybe happen. It's becoming increasingly irrelevant, though, am I right? Ha.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Swear I knew it all along.

I got Jesse to open a Flickr account for his wonderful Lomo photos! Yessssss! He also got another roll developed, and it's looking great.

...even when I don't look great, at brunch - his pictures still rock.

He caught these two leather-jacket-laden relatives on the subway.

And speaking of fashion...

I'm planning a big post on the post-Oscar rundown, including some thoughts on the fashion. I'd write more, but it's a busy Monday! Tonight I'm going to Highline Ballroom to see my old friends Monty Are I play - I'm so excited.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oscar Predictions!

The Academy Awards are this weekend, ladies and gentleman! The good news is that George Clooney is no longer with Sarah Larson, so I won't have to see her in a dress made from a wall tapestry this year. I kid, I kid.

This year I'm making predictions, because GUESS WHAT? I've seen all five Best Picture nominees! I feel quite accomplished - in past years, I never felt like I could fully throw in my opinion because I hadn't seen every film. Now, there are a couple of acting nominees I haven't seen (Frozen River, The Visitor), but I'll take my chances with my predictions, which I list leading up to the big acting and film awards. So below I list the nominees, and what I think the Academy voters WILL vote to win, and which nominees I personally think SHOULD win.

Kung Fun Panda
- should win, will win

I was hoping against hope that Wall-E would actually be nominated for Best Picture, but it was a stretch to believe that out of the Academy. And I have no doubt it will win in this category, because, um, it was definitely one of the best if not THE best film of last year.

[Sidenote: I haven't seen any of the foreign language nominees, forgive me.]

Eric Roth and Robin Swicord - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley - Doubt
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
David Hare - The Reader
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire - should win, will win

There are some serious contenders here in Doubt and Frost/Nixon, as they are both triumphant theater-to-film scripts. And weaving F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story into a lengthy movie was certainly a feat; the main attraction of that movie is the script. However, I have to give the edge to Slumdog Millionaire for a script that turns every which way and ran me through a gamut of emotions. The tv-show backdrop in contrast to the sometimes harrowing tale of the main character impressed me. It was hard to choose which way the Academy would go, but I think Slumdog will rise above.

Courtney Hunt - Frozen River
Mike Leigh - Happy-Go-Lucky
Martin - In Bruges
Dustin Lance Black - Milk - will win, should win
Andrew Stanton - WALL-E - should win (couldn't choose!)

Another tough one - I was really hoping to see Frozen River before this Sunday because I was intrigued by one of the only female screenplay nominees. However, it probably won't happen. I'm not sure if the In Bruges Golden Globe win will matter here, but I'd put my bets on Milk, which had one of the most honest scripts for a bio-pic that I've witnessed (I tend to despise biographical films because they have a habit of exalting and praising their subjects with "life rewrites" that are completely false - see: The Hurricane). I would certainly vote for Wall-E, because the idea is completely original - but I don't think enough Academy voters will consider a movie with a majority of robot sounds to be worthy enough.

Amy Adams - Doubt
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona - should win
Viola Davis - Doubt - will win
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler

There's so much good in this category! It was really hard for me to choose between Adams, Cruz, and Davis. While good, I don't think Taraji P. Henson's role as Button's mother was completely Oscar-worthy. Tomei was also good, and I like her, but I don't think she stacks up to the other three performances. I think Cruz should win because she thoroughly immerses herself into this emotional tornado of a character; but even though she's "crazy" she's not unlikable - she's not a stereotype of a scorned lover. She's intelligent, brazen, loving, and yes, totally and completely gorgeous. She made Scarlett Johanssen's presence, [non-existent] acting abilities, AND looks pale in comparison. But the voters? My guess is they'll go with the one-scene emotional brevity of Davis' turn in Doubt. It's a turning point in the film, and Davis is mesmerizing in it.

Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight - should win, will win
Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road

I don't think The Dark Knight would be AS great as it is without Heath Ledger's Joker. It would still be great for the rest of the performances, the directing, the sound, the scripts, etc. - but Ledger is the ultimate center of the film. The other actors are all worthy in this category (even RDJ, whom you know I love - but just his nomination is a win in my book!). Brolin and Hoffman, especially. But The Joker wouldn't be The Joker without Ledger; he was intense and funny, but not farcical. And to remember all of his other work from Brokeback Mountain to even 10 Things I Hate About You - they all differ, and The Dark Knight displays his abilities at his best...and this year, The Best.

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt - should win
Kate Winslet - The Reader - will win

I'll say it again: I love Kate, but she was better in Revolutionary Road. However, is there anybody doubting her win? Speaking of - is there any better actress these days than Meryl Streep? She can do anything, and she does it well. She was in the crapshoot that is Mamma Mia last year - but she was sunny and bright and lovely; and then she was in Doubt where she is cold, bitter, and dominating. Her every move, enunciation, and eye-stare is part of the character. Of course, she's had her wins - Kate hasn't. And neither has Anne Hathaway, but, she's got time to prove herself. Kate has certainly deserved an Oscar in past nominations (for Eternal Sunshine, Sense & Sensibility, etc.) - and this role is more of a Supporting Actress role, anyway. I'll cheer her on, but hers was certainly not the Best Actress performance of this year for The Reader.

Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk - should win
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler - will win

This may be the toughest call of the night. Rourke has already garnered a lot of awards going into this; he was certainly great and everybody loves a comeback. However, I'm realizing as I write this up that Milk really was one of my favourite movies in the race, and a large part of that was Sean Penn's performance. It may be the best of his long, illustrious career (no matter what I hear of him in "real life"). I, personally, would give it to Penn. Maybe the Academy will, too, but Rourke's generated some serious steam from this role. I think Pitt's been WAY better in other roles, and I haven't seen Jenkins' performance. Langella also gave a tremendous turn as Richard Nixon - I believe it's easy to make a caricature of that man, and he portrayed him quite realistically. I honestly can't think of a Nixon portrayal better than his. I'm excited to see where the Academy goes with this category!

David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant - Milk
Stephen Daldry - The Reader
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire - should win, will win

UGH - if I could only replace Daldry with Christopher Nolan. UGH. Or even Sam Mendes. Those two directors (of The Dark Knight and Revolutionary Road, respectively) deserve a nomination more than Daldry for his choppy, inconsistent, and rather un-fascinating directing. All the other nominees had something interesting in their directing - I really love this category. I think the clear winner is Boyle, because he was able to keep a clear narrative through all the jumps in the story. It was pulsing and energetic and colorful and sometimes bleak - it was innovative, and I think Boyle likes taking risks. They paid off here. Fincher is always good, but Seven, Fight Club, and maybe even Zodiac, were better-directed than Button - he didn't take too many risks here, but that was necessary, given the story. Van Sant would be my runner-up to Boyle, as I loved the way he directed Milk, and I think it's best yet - certainly better than his last nomination for Good Will Hunting. Howard's safe and elegant, and always films with much reverence for his subjects - I liked Van Sant's more honed and up-front approach to directing a bio-pic.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
- should win, will win

Ah, the biggest prize of the night. I can't back The Reader or The Curious Case... being included here. I think you can guess as to which two films I would put in their stead. Actually, three. But, anyway - it's quite anticlimactic this year, as it tends to be, and I think Slumdog's got it. The latest Entertainment Weekly had an article saying that the only thing that could upset Slumdog is The Reader. That would be a travesty. I'd obviously also be happy with a Milk win...though I'll still think of Best Picture as Wall-E.

And now, please allow me to bring up The Reader again, because until yesterday, I hadn't even read any reviews for the film. And while my favourite critic, Roger Ebert, gave it a favorable review, I had to disagree! And you, readers, can disagree with me as well - I would never think any less of you. I respect everyone's opinion. I never read reviews until after I've seen the movie (I'd rather not be skewed in my views going into it) and knowing The Reader got nominated, I thought I'd come upon mostly favorable writing. I was actually looking up reviews to enlighten myself, like - did I miss something? Is this actually a good movie? And while Ebert argues to a certain extent, it couldn't convince me of its greatness, and I found that it actually got very mixed reviews.

Here are some parts of other articles that I quite agree with about The Reader -

I have no idea why The Reader is even nominated. Oh wait...that's right: Harvey Weinstein. It's a nice enough story, but I can think of numerous films that should have been nominated before The Reader. What's troubling is -- if you believe the Entertainment Weekly article -- this is the only movie that has a chance to beat Slumdog Millionaire due to Weinstein's campaigning! Kate Winslet's performance in The Reader is far from the best performance of 2008. It's not even her best performance of 2008! She was far superior for her role in Revolutionary Road. Let alone Meryl Streep for Doubt or Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married -- a movie I did not particularly care for.

- Will Leicht (Deadspin)

From the same article, different critic:

But The Reader is so much worse: I think it's the worst film to be nominated since Crash.'s endlessly pandering and slothful. Are we really supposed to care that she can't read? SHE WORKED IN A NAZI DEATH CAMP. I think pretty much everything else pales. I love how, when the film first came out, there were some rumblings about the kid being underaged (and naked throughout half the film). That's the least of this movie's problems. The Reader is the reason the Oscars have lost so much relevance, and the reason so few will watch this year. For good reason.

- Mike Ryan (Starpulse) - both the above from this article.

And below, is a quote from an article entitled, "Don't give an Oscar to The Reader," from Slate written by Ron Rosenbaum. He wrote a book entitled "Explaining Hitler," so you know what he focused on in the film. I more focused on the crap directing, editing, and secondary storyline of the boy's journey to manhood through sexual affair and subsequent pathetic actions. Still, I agree about this -

You had to be deaf, dumb, and blind, not merely illiterate, to miss what Kate Winslet's character seems to have missed (while serving as a guard at Auschwitz!). You'd have to be exceedingly stupid. As dumb as the Oscar voters who nominated The Reader because it was a "Holocaust film."

But that's what The Reader is about: the supposedly difficult struggle with this slowly dawning postwar awareness. As Cynthia Ozick put it in her essay: "After the war, when she is brought to trial, the narrator ['Michael Berg'] acknowledges that she is guilty of despicable crimes—but he also believes that her illiteracy must mitigate her guilt. Had she been able to read, she would have been a factory worker, not an agent of murder. Her crimes are illiteracy's accident. Illiteracy is her exculpation."

Indeed, so much is made of the deep, deep exculpatory shame of illiteracy—despite the fact that burning 300 people to death doesn't require reading skills—that some worshipful accounts of the novel (by those who buy into its ludicrous premise, perhaps because it's been declared "classic" and "profound") actually seem to affirm that illiteracy is something more to be ashamed of than participating in mass murder. From the Barnes & Noble Web site summary of the novel: "Michael recognizes his former lover on the stand, accused of a hideous crime. And as he watches Hanna refuse to defend herself against the charges, Michael gradually realizes that she may be guarding a secret more shameful than murder." Yes, more shameful than murder!

And now, I shall close the book on that subject. Both articles, while I don't agree with everything in them (I liked Crash!), are good reads.

FINALLY - (seriously, thank you for reading!!) - what do you think? Who do you want to win? I'd love to hear from others. Comment! E-mail me! This is basically my favourite topic ever, duh. (Okay, I will try to keep the "duhs" to a minimum to sound more irreverent while discussing award-winning films in the future.) On Sunday, I'll be watching - for the red carpet, for the winners, for the losers, and for Hugh Jackman...of course.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And watch dissolve in the heat of your charm.

Hey oh! Jiscilla has posted pictures of the fun times we had at Trainwreck last Tuesday! And thus, I post them here.

Erica & Suarez - talking about DJ'ing or staring contest?

Jesse and Gaby - heard some shocking news?

I'm demonstrating all the caverns of my face to Perry.

Convincing Tyler to drink a Brooklyn.

Those are Gaby's own hands, I promise!

Jiscilly, photographer extraordinaire. I hide.

Enough pictures, I say!

In other news, I just want to remind everybody that Jesse's vinyl sale on eBay is still going on - his first batch of records ends this weekend. Then he'll put up the next batch (it's alphabetical)!

Stay tuned for my Oscar predictions later today or tomorrow. It's probably going to be long. And yes, it will include some choice words on The Reader and how it should never have been nominated for Best Picture in the first place.

For now - I hope everyone is having a fabulous Thursday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jason is in town!

Jason, Jesse's best friend, just came in town from St. Louis and Keanu has taken a liking to him already!

And it's brought me to my current agendum.

I am the proud new owner of an iPhone! This isn't a simple story, mind you. It's an epic tale of rigorous battles and unwavering patience. A tale of two years ago, when I bought my Sidekick 3, which was all the rage until the iPhone came out four months later (arg!). I believe my first post ever was about getting my Sidekick. Okay, perhaps it's not the most EPIC of stories, but I had to wait a long time to get out of my contract!

About a week after I bought my Sidekick, Jesse and I hung out for one of the first times, and he told me that he would bet me $100 that I'd break it within six months. Well, mister, it's been two whole years! I've not lost it nor had it repaired in any way.

I went into the Apple store yesterday on the exact day my t-mobile contract expired, ported my telephone number, and walked out with my shiny new toy! I've already got a few apps downloaded, but if anyone has more suggestions - please enlighten me in the comments!

And so a new era is born; the grainy and sometimes green-ness of the Sidekick photo is out, and the iPhone photo is IN! Not that I have one to share right now. BUT -this morning I was sitting at my desk trying to take a pic of me and my iPhone (my bestie, my requited love, etc.) when Keanu Robot jumped into my lap. The following picture is what ensued, starring my gigantic teeth, my iPhone, and Keanu looking like a disheveled, crotchety old man-cat.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jesse's selling his vinyl collection.

Jesse has decided to sell most of his record collection. It'd been sitting in storage for most years while he was on tour after tour with the band, and now he thought he might as well sell it to other vinyl lovers. The first part of the collection went live this weekend on eBay, and will continue for the next few weekends as he makes his way through the records (it's going up alphabetically!). Check out all that he is selling HERE.

Some rarities that went up this weekend -

Alkaline Trio, Goddamnit 12" - Jesse is selling the very first pressing of the record, which was limited to 1000 copies and has the original clock labels. He got it at their record release show in Chicago at the Fireside Bowl in 1998.

Brand New, Deja Entendu 12" - the double record also comes with an autographed Brand New poster.

Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlantacism 12" - a limited edition Double 180 gram record which is out of press.

Jawbreaker, Dear You 12" - on the rare blue swirl vinyl.

Jimmy Eat World, Clarity 12" - this double vinyl of the original pressing is super rare. Jesse has a lot of rare Jimmy Eat World vinyl, because he was friends with them in the 90s and put out one of their 7" records.

Jimmy Eat World, Back From the Dead 12" - according to the Jimmy Eat World website, this is the rarest record in the band's catalog. Only 200 were pressed, and of those 200 only 20 had the hand-drawn cover that Jesse is selling. The album includes the song "Carbon Scoring." The pressing also comes with material from Jim's earlier band Schon Theory and Rick's earlier band Carrier.

Most of Jimmy Eat World's vinyl discography is available to buy through Jesse's sales. Other bands listed: Alkaline Trio (9 listed), All-American Rejects (2), April March and Los Cincos (2), Blur (6), Brand New, Braid (3), Brainiac (5), Built to Spill (3), Bjork, Cakewalk, Cap'n Jazz (5), Christie Front Drive (5), Chisel, The Clash (2), Clikitat Ikatowi, Coldplay (6), Coheed and Cambria, Crimson Curse (2), Graham Coxon, Boy's Life, Elvis Costello (2), John Coltrane, Depeche Mode, Dead Milkmen (2), Dirty Three, Doves (4), Death Cab for Cutie, Dwarves, Brian Eno, Evergreen, Fuel, The Faint (3), Fugazi, The Get Up Kids, The Good Life, Hot Hot Heat (3), Hot Snakes, I Am Spoonbender, Idlewild (9), Jawbreaker, The Jennifers, and Jimmy Eat World (15).

He's been going through his collection for the past couple of weeks, and I can tell it hurts just a little bit to part with some of these records. But, he also wanted to do this for a good cause - he contacted his friend Andrew McMahon from the bands Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin because the last time he saw Andrew at the Woodies, he was winning an award for the great social impact of his Dear Jack Foundation.

Jesse is donating 10 percent of his sales to The Dear Jack Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to funding cancer research and was founded in July 2006 by leukemia survivor and Jack's Mannequin front-man Andrew McMahon.

"Having fought my own battle with Leukemia I feel an intense personal obligation to use whatever resources are at my disposal to raise both money and awareness for the countless young people who are being diagnosed with similar blood diseases. I hope to focus attention on the grossly understudied demographic of cancer patients falling between the ages of 15 and 22. It is also my hope to use the Dear Jack fund to provide outreach and assistance to families coping with cancer" says McMahon.

The primary beneficiaries of the Dear Jack Foundation are the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ( & The Regents of the University of California.

I just wanted to post something here about the sale, because I know some readers are music fans with interests in some of these bands, and vinyl records. This first batch's selling ends next weekend, when the second batch goes up. I'll be sure to post a list next weekend, as well. Thanks for reading, and checking this out. Jesse (and I) super-appreciate it! I hope some of you collectors might find something you like! As for me, it's time to get this lovely day-off started with some BRUNCH!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sun turns the evening to rose.

Last night I kicked Jesse out of the apartment for two hours while me and the cats prepared a Valentine's Day feast. Now, I know when we go to fancy restaurants, Jesse loves to order the meatloaf - and I've never been a big fan. But I decided to show my culinary love through a home-baked loaf of meat. It was much easier than I anticipated, and I rounded it out with some potatoes au gratin and string beans with bacon. I sent Jesse on a mission to make a cocktail to go along with dinner, and e-mailed him this yummy-sounding drink. I also picked up a walnut brownie (for him) and a red velvet cupcake (for me).

He loved it! Of course.

It was quite delicious and we ended up very, very full. So we sat on the couch to watch L.A. Confidential, which is one of my top ten movies of all time. He'd never seen it and I loved watching it in blu-ray.

Then we ate dessert and snuggled to Alec Baldwin and the Jonas Brothers hosting SNL. We ended up being super-tired (all that food!) right after the show and forgot to open our cards to each other. This morning we did - and yeah:

I mean, I know I've said we're gross before. But I think we outdid ourselves here. We got each other the same card. And we wrote almost the exact same thing inside them.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Loved him by Tuesday afternoon.

I usually spend Valentine's Day with Desmond Hume. You know, from LOST. And Erica. Me, Desmond, Erica, and our couch. That's how it's been the last two years! And let me tell you, I only have fond memories of those nights.

Well, this year Erica is out of town and Jesse is IN town and Valentine's Day doesn't fall on a Wednesday. Oh, how the universe has triangulated to make me face this day! I mean, it's just another day. I told Jesse I didn't want to go out to eat because I don't think even I could stomach all the Valentine couples in the restaurants and streets. It's like a weird stigma of pressure to celebrate if you're in a couple. We are kind of just gross all the time; there's no need to designate a day.

We're not doing presents, but I told him I'd make him dinner and he's going to provide cocktails. Then we'll probably play backgammon or cribbage and watch Saturday Night Live, because we're also nearly eighty years old. But writing all that out just made me smile. Because we do what we do, and we love each other, and we smile together. We're happy. And we remember that every day, not just today - whether together or apart.

The nighttime crushes the hurricane rose.

Jesse got a lomography camera this week and already developed his first roll of film! He doesn't have a flickr (yet?!), so I wanted to share some of his awesome shots. Jesse studied photography, but I think it went to the wayside with the advent of digital cameras and how easy they are on tour as well. I think he's excited to get back to film. He's still getting used to the camera and exposures and whatnot, but I was super impressed by his first roll!

Egg in Brooklyn

At Jesse's barber shop

On the way to the subway - I pressed the button on this one

Subway platform

In the mirror at Bowery Ballroom

Jesse and I at Whiskey Bar

Erica DJ'ing the hits at Angels & Kings

Totally serious Mr. Photographer at Bleeker


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cause your words don't translate.

On Monday, I had the full intention of taking to my blog about my weekend and what I thought about the movies He's Just Not That Into You and Fanboys. I planned on talking about my burgeoning domesticity and "apartment projects" like getting shelves for kitchen cabinets and cleaning out the closet. I was prepared to articulate the ways in which Jesse busies himself with new power tools and wood.

Unfortunately, I've been busy!

So, that's your summary of my weekend. Except to say that last night over a beer, I was talking with two ladies who hadn't seen the piece of turd that is He's Just Not... and apparently I have too many words to say about a movie that shouldn't really matter that much. I'm going to be short: Kells, Erica, Gaby and I went to see it on Friday night, and in a packed theater of 99% women - most of whom were completely engrossed and related to every inanity of the sweeping caricatures of the females in the film. The four of us left the theater and looked at each other and were like, "So..." and somebody (I can't recall who) goes, "LAME!" And we all agreed and started talking about how we were slightly offended as women and overtly offended that such a poorly-edited, crappily-written movie would manage a green-light. Seriously. And, one more thing about the editing: nearly every scene was about a minute and thirty seconds tops, with storylines juxtaposed from something entirely depressing (like death) to a party scene with flirting - it was jarring. Don't even get me started on the prettily tied-up ending. The good thing was that we all were like, "I'm so glad you all are my friends." We were all on the same page - which seemed to be a very, very different one from some of the women sitting around us in the theater. A whole different book, if you will.

Also, Scarlett Johanssen is one of the most awful actresses in the business.

Okay, I think I'm done. Apologies. I'm just writing what I'm thinking at this point. That said, Fanboys is a budget movie about Star Wars geeks, and while totally, totally cheesy and bad, it was surprisingly enjoyable, if only for the references, the cameos, and the fact that the producer, Kevin Spacey, got the cast on the actual Skywalker Ranch to film part of the movie. I would go looking for Spacey's amazing Star Wars Lost Auditions skit from SNL in the 90s on YouTube, but I'm at work. Perhaps I'll remember later - because they're golden.


Last night I saw Lily Allen and was quite underwhelmed by the whole business. The band played to backing tracks, which made the songs quite boring. I thought, I've heard this. On your album. On my iPod. The new songs haven't quite been made into riveting live diddies (diddies? ditties? whatever...), mainly because not many people knew the songs nor are they as energy-driven and bombastic as Alright, Still. Of course, it WAS a free show in a small venue - hopefully this just amounts to poor planning and execution as a one-off, and she'll be back in April at Roseland in full force. Still love her, and she looked adorbs. Also, Amazon has her new album on sale for 3.99 now - get it!

After the show, Jesse and I went to Trainwreck to see...everyone. We had some fun dancing and seeing all those lovely faces. I think the best part of that party is the secrets; it's like Vegas but not as gross. Okay, sometimes it can be as gross. I don't know what I'm saying. Just, that's it's fun and there's usually something gossip-worthy going down. It cracks me up to sit back and watch it. And when I don't go, Erica has the best stories. Ha!

In lieu of having no pictures of last night at the moment - Jesse got a lomography camera so he has to get those developed, and Jiscilla hasn't posted hers yet - I bring you two of Katie Brown's polaroids from Perry's Mad Men birthday party a few weeks ago:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lily! Came out in leopard and red of course.

But you never make me scream.

Okay, okay, okay my neglected patrons - I promise to be back later with a full recap of my weekend. It's been swirling about in my head, I just haven't had the time to type it all out! Just know that I had a great one, and I have some choice words to share about that number one movie in America.

MOVING ON! Tonight I'm going to see LILY ALLEN at Bowery Ballroom! Jesse was fortunate enough to get us on the guestlist, though it's free - I wouldn't want to miss out if it reaches capacity. Good thing Motion City played one of those MySpace shows a couple of years ago!

I know I haven't done the Monday Music thing in a while; it's mainly because I've been doing way more reading than listening during the day (hello, Anna Karenina) and also I think I got a little burnt out on music at the end of last year. Oh, and nothing's exactly grabbed by attention this year. Except for Lily's new album It's Not Me, It's You - which, while not as ska-happy and blistering as her debut, is definitely funny and cheeky like Lily. I dig it. And I haven't seen her live before, so I'm rightfully excited!

AND, if you're wondering what I'm doing afterwards, I'm sure you've already figured out that I'll be heading to Trainwreck to see my fave DJ team start the dance party! It's the wonderful Allison's birthday! Allison is Erica's cubemate and I usually see her on Friday afternoons when I visit their cube downtown with Wendy's in hand. She's what we like to call around these parts "good people." And to document the birthday party? Jiscilla's in town!

I'm sure you have an idea about how stoked I am. Who's coming with me?!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And you leave me with my jaw on the floor, hey!

Feeling a lot better today! My elbow still stings, and my back and bum are sore, but I'll manage to do the laundry tonight. Unfortunately. (I think laundry, unless machines are accessible in the very house or apartment you live in, is the lamest chore ever.)

By the way, the illustrious Zan left a comment in the more positive post from yesterday about that doorman - and apparently, he's been written about before! Check it!

Anyway, I must now write about the wonderful time I had last night with Beth from Bethis. [Sidenote: if you're not reading her blog, you should be!!] She's visiting from Rhode Island and stayed at a hotel near where I work, so we met up at a classy place called Whiskey Park for the hilarity. And, I can tell you, she is as funny as her blog. I was dying.

The great thing about meeting up with a blogger is getting to share all the stuff you DON'T write about and the reasons why. Secrets, secrets - are fun, when they're innocent, and you'd rather share them with a friend than a google searcher. I think the main question I would ask of any blogger would be about their past; our blogs tend to reside in the present, and every now and then the blogger will tread back for a memory or two. But getting to talk face to face makes it all the better, and Beth and I talked about where we grew up, went to school, etc., etc., etc. Also, she's been living in Rhode Island for over a year and we don't have any mutual friends! That's surprising for two people who have lived there, just saying.

And that's about all I can say about what we talked about. Mwahahaha.

So after the hour and a half of laughing at the bar we had to part ways - her to another swanky bar, and me to my own tragic crosswalk fall. Beth, you better come back for more hangs!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A bit different from my morning.

So, after meeting up with a friend at Whiskey Park after work today, I was walking briskly across 6th Avenue in the sleet/snow and suddenly slipped and landed on my back and elbow. In the middle of the crosswalk. Three men were walking in my direction when it happened, and as I lay stunned on the ground (it took me a good second to realize what had just happened), two of them laughed at me. Seriously, like out of a movie where they slap each other's shoulders and point at me LAUGHED as I blinked, lying in a puddle on a crosswalk on 6th Avenue. The third man was nice enough to help me up, and grab my metrocard which had fallen under a nearby taxi. I thanked him, and had to fight back tears on the way to the subway because my elbow was (and still is) in incredible pain.

And Jesse's earlier flight got cancelled, so he won't be in until past midnight, and my elbow hurts so bad I can't lug the laundry downstairs.

In slightly funnier news, when I sat on the subway wincing and holding my elbow, I scooted over for a girl's friend to sit next to her. She didn't sit, and I wondered why until I looked down and realized that when I had scooted over the seat was all wet - from the fall, the back of my coat and dress were soaked with rainwater. I looked up at her, almost ready to explain and apologize, but her and her friend avoided my stare. At that point I almost started laughing and crying out, "I didn't pee! I didn't pee!"

I found the light in the tunnel at the end.

Every morning I walk past the Plaza Hotel on my way into work. At the entrance stands a congenial older doorman, who always has a smile on his face no matter the weather conditions - I've seen him smile while sidways sleet hit the side of his ruddy red cheeks. He remembers the regulars who pass by and nods his hat towards them, or says good morning, or remarks on the weather. Today I walked past and smiled up at him on the top of the stairs and he said, "Good morning, you look lovely today! I like the purple!" (I'm wearing purple tights.)

I continued walking with a smile on my face. Because that's a great way to start the day: with a compliment, and a smile. On some days I remember this and pass it on. I'll tell a girl on the subway I like her purse or her coat, or whatever it is that I do genuinely like. I've said "great book" in passing to somebody reading a book I like. And these types of small comments always come back with a smile.

Sometimes I can be so grumpy on the train rides in - just this morning I was annoyed by the loud mouth-smacking of a gum-chewer who sidled up next to me while I was trying to read (and concentrate on) Anna Karenina. How rude, I thought. And I probably scowled for most of the ride as the taped voice-over conducter repeatedly announced, "We are stopped because of train traffic, please be patient..." I probably scowled and definitely grumbled about the lousy start to a day.

As soon as I got off that train, and felt the wind on my face and saw the sprinkles of snow cling to my coat and hair, and I looked up at the cheerful doorman, it changed. I walked the block and half to work with a smile, and the positivity of one small moment really can change a day. At least the beginning of one.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

52 Books in 2009 Update: January.

It's the first day of February, and so I must count up my reading for January. I ended up reading six books (though 10 volumes of Y: The Last Man I count as one book). I FINALLY FINISHED THAT DAMN TWILIGHT SERIES!! I finished Breaking Dawn last night, and I can't tell you how happy I was to be done. Especially with this book with all it's I'm-carrying-a-demon-baby-that-breaks-my-bones nonsense. Hurrah! If you couldn't tell, I really don't like them. They're quite horrible, but I had to read them to be able to say that - wouldn't want to be unfair!

Let's tabulate:
01 A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin (01.05.09)
02 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, Max Brooks (01.18.09)
03 Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer (01.20.09)
04 The Road, Cormac McCarthy (01.22.09)
05 Y: The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn (01.27.09)
06 Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyers (01.31.09)
07 Infinity Blues, Ryan Adams (CURRENTLY READING)
08 The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 (CURRENTLY READING)
09 Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (Future Sean/Jessica Book Club Book - FSJBCB - started TODAY!)

Sean also just came over for the superbowl and we are coincidentally both on same page of Anna on it's first day: 14! What? It's a long book, but it's only the first day! Of these books, I strongly recommend The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It's entered the realm of my favourite books, ever. For thoughts on the other books, they're all reviewed and up on my Goodreads page! Has anybody read these books? I'm still taking recommendations, too.