Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'll send you my love on a wire.

That was my view for most of the weekend on Fire Island. Add that a great group of friends - Amber, Jaime, Kelly, Cara, Jon Cheese, and Jesse - and I think you know how fun my weekend was. I'd love to go into the details, but after uploading these photos, I think I'll let them speak for themselves.

Yeah, I think that's about right. Perhaps more details later. How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in.

Last night after work Jesse, Diaz, Erica, Jim, Adam and I traveled to Coney Island to take in a Brooklyn Cyclones versus Staten Island Yankees baseball game. Going to Coney Island for baseball has been one of our favourite summer activities since we since moved to New York. Even though the Cyclones lost, last night was no exception to our usual funtimes.

I'm taking a three-day weekend starting tomorrow and we're heading to a little house on Fire Island for some beach and sun! Ever been to Coney Island or Fire Island? What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy (Belated) Birthday Jiscilla!

Yesterday I thought a post went up regarding my dear Jiscilla's birthday. IT NEVER SHOWED. And then she herself made a cute post on her blog of the pictures I took of her when Tyler gave her The Gift. Check out the adorableness!

As this is belated, you'll be happy to know that Jiscilla indeed had a glorious birthday. Since she was miles away in Connecticut, I celebrated personally last night by joining her boyfriend, my husband, and two hooligans (Jim and Ben) with some happy hour sushi & sake. I missed Jiscilla.

Jiscilla, she who takes fabulous photos and looks like the third Zooey Deschanel/Katy Perry doppleganger, is the sweetest unicorn you will ever meet. She's the ultimate Celebrities player, perfect party pixie, and she has the greatest dance moves I've ever witnessed. When I met her at a show in Providence five years ago, I definitely had no clue she would one day be celebrating my wedding next to me as a bridesmaids. In a word, she's wonderful.

Happy Birthday, Jiscilla!

Monday, August 16, 2010

An easy girl to miss when you're gone.

You can rest assured I had a fabulous weekend, what with all that incessant blogging on Friday. Could you tell I just couldn't wait?! Well, I couldn't.

I went to Connecticut, to the lovely home of the Lester family - the place where my friend Jim grew up (if you can call what he does adult, with such post titles like this...). I usually post at the tumblr when traveling, so there are some pics up from the weekend. His parents, sister, and grandparents are the SWEETEST and treated us city hooligans with every nicety. Along with Jesse, Kelly, Amber, Jiscilla, Sam and Tyler - we lounged by the pool, played bocce ball, made margaritas, and ate lots and lots of grilled food and potato salad.

Amber and I began eating the potato salad around two in the afternoon and managed to consume the giant bowl in full by one am eastern standard time. We lamented eating it all after wanting more the next day.

The Lester family also initiated Jesse into a softball game and I love them dearly for they fashioned him just so for the activity:

Luckily, he didn't shame our good Johnson name and he did three very good things that included hitting a ball far and coming to home plate.

Tyler also made a great to-do about Jiscilla's impending birthday (TOMORROW! IT'S. TOMORROW.) and presented her, in a giant box layered with red and yellow tissue paper, A PLANE TICKET. To Austin! In November! WITH ME! Jiscilla and I shall be a'travelin' maids (what?) to visit our DEAREST friend CHRISTY!

Upon which I said, "Now you're like Kate."

Christy moved down south a couple of years ago, and while Jiscilla has had the good fortune to visit her, now I get to tag along as well! Oh, and we're topping off our Austin BFF Extravaganza Weekend (working title) with a rock show - aka the end of the Most Awesome Tour Ever (named that myself just now right here). Our dudes will be descending on Austin for the last date of their tour together, and if you haven't guessed yet, it's going to be so much fun!

I mean, you've heard A Great Big Pile of Leaves already, RIGHT? Thought so.

In other weekend news, Jim, Jesse, and Lisa (Jim's mom) pulled off a successful "Triple Scare" on Amber (and the rest of us, but mostly Amber) on Saturday night in which they hid behind trees or kitchen doors and jumped out at Amber (and us). There was a lot of screaming! Mostly by Amber.

Tonight I plan on extending my Jason Schwartzman Day by geeking out again with some friends to Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Also, SIDENOTE, two of my best friends have boyfs getting back from tours tonight, and I can't help but get all vicariously happy for them - I know how thrilling those days are! So congratulations to Erica and Kelly!!

PS If you liked that gray dress I sported last weekend, I bought it at Delia's and it's available online! (Though in-store I got a discount.)

How was your weekend?!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oh I know you have to go, yes I know you have to go.

Oh, hi again. I suppose I'm just makin' up for the lack of updates this week by sitting here and banging some more posts out.

I'd like to present to you some of my recent purchases.

On Gilt, I bought some L.A.M.B. sandals and I'm wearing them right now, and I've worn them for the past week, and I love them.

They have sweet buckles on the side, too:

Gilt has some great sales! If you need an invite - HERE IT IS! I'd been eyeing these sandals all summer on Piperlime, and when I saw them on Gilt docked down so much, I didn't even hesitate.

Last weekend while Jesse and I were staying at the Westin in Providence, I woke up early and did some shopping, seeing as how the hotel is connected to the monument of commerce that is Providence Place Mall. I bought a cute, simple gray dress - what do you think?

That night we went to a delicious dinner in Newport, me in my gray dress and L.A.M.B. sandals, and Jesse in his new plaid shirt. I remember having two glasses of wine and then discussing Jason Schwartzman for a bit.

And now for that which I wish I could buy. These pieces by Lauren Moffat are gorgeous and I want them. I want to be able to afford them. As well as the sunglasses the model is wearing, too. Of course!

I'd also like this dress that Emmy Rossum wore. And the sunglasses.

And finally, could this girl be any more adorable? By that I mean, if I tried to pull of that hair, that outfit, that pose, it'd come out something horrible - something TRAGIC, even.

Coveting anything lately? Inspired by any sweet fashion blogs? (Pass them along!)

I think this may conclude my blogging for the day. Maybe.

But I know you can't and I know you wouldn't anyway.

Wouldn't it be good if you could stay?

I've unofficially deemed today Jason Schwartzman Day. I listened to Coconut Records on the way into work, because hey, those songs are fun and I like Jason Schwartzman. If you like Jason Schwartzman you should probably go see Scott Pilgrim vs The World this weekend because he's hilarious as an evil-ex and it's definitely the most fun thing you will see this summer.


It's Friday and I'm frazzled from the week and all of its activities. This post will make little to no sense. Ready?

Okay. Last night I met up with Awesome Blogger Zan and we concluded the following things:

1. While some people may differ on whether they liked Inception or not, the fact remains: everybody has had a conversation about it after they've seen it. Some people are still talking about it (like us!) and I think that's enough for it to be deemed worthwhile.

2. Friday Night Lights is the best television show. Season 4 just ended, and Zan and I agree it was the best season yet. It feels like its own little world, a neighborhood you live in occasionally. Zan and I SHARE the memories of Coach, Saracen, Julie, Tami, Riggins, etc. They are our friends. I mean...anybody who watches that show feels the same way, right?

3. At the other end of the stick, Entourage is still on television and also, do people still watch it?! It's THE WORST. Zan caught a minute or two of this season and shared her horrifying experience with me. If you still watch Entourage, tell me WHY. I can't fathom why anyone would still think that show is worthwhile or watchable, and I used to love it.

Here is Awesome Blogger Zan and her lovely eyelashes:

She doesn't use this mascara product.

After three Shanghai cocktails, I headed downtown to meet up with the husband and a couple of friends to see Chris Hardwick, he of Web Soup and Singled Out fame, do some stand up comedy. True to form, it was hilarious, and because Jesse has met Chris before, we talked to him for a while after the show. About many nerdy things. And I told him I'd need a picture with him, and after three he finally approved this one (celebrities!) -

If you live in New York, or anywhere, you should check out his stand-up (& Nerdist podcast!). It gave me stomach pains, in a good way. And I yelled "Singled Out!" when he mentioned he got stopped on the street in the 90s. Dude, I don't think I missed an episode of Singled Out. Also, I totally remember how it was used in Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion when they were trying to get boyfriends and they were too old for MTV. File under: things that shouldn't take up room in my brain but they DO.

Then we ended the night at another bar where there were a bunch of Frenchies, a Japanese guy, a French guy that looked like Daniel Faraday from LOST and a bartender that looked like Sayid. No lie. Amber, Kelly, Tyler were there - the best ones, the normies. Oh, and these people.

All in all it was quite a night, and while some of the guys were "talking shop" I got another level to three stars on Angry Birds. Slowly but surely all those levels will have three stars.

And now my final question: who else loves Jason Schwartzman?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

C'mon boys, make some noise!

Jesse and I spent a wonderful weekend in Rhode Island with baseball, a wedding, and our one year wedding anniversary. More details when I get to them (you wouldn't believe how tiring having fun is!), but for now, enjoy this playlist that Liz and I put together! I just downloaded the mix myself, and it RULES!

Liz, amazing music blogger that she is, always posts mixtapes on Mondays. They are all awesome. (You should really start reading her if you love music, too!) The last time I was in Philadelphia, we discussed music with her roommate, Pogo. He said he loved music that crescendo'd or spanned from soft to hard and back and whatnot. We present you: Build Ups & Break Downs.

01. Sign No More - Mumford & Sons
02. I Can Barely Breathe - Manchester Orchestra
03. Out Of My Way - Damone
04. Road to Joy - Bright Eyes
05. Up In Arms - Foo Fighters
06. Blood - The Middle East
07. Cosmic Love - Florence & the Machine
08. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance
09. Konstantine - Something Corporate
10. Living Room - Tegan & Sara
11. Chase This Light - Jimmy Eat World
12. Even If It Kills Me - Motion City Soundtrack
13. Say It Ain't So - Weezer
14. Dog Problems - The Format
15. Bend & Not Break - Dashboard Confessional
16. Transatlanticism - Death Cab for Cutie
17. Terrible Love - The National
18. Be Calm - fun.
19. Innocence - The Airborne Toxic Event
10. Learn To Share - A Great Big Pile of Leaves
21. Heroes - David Bowie
22. Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups
23. Motorcycle Drive By - Third Eye Blind
24. Me Vs. Madonna Vs. Elvis - Brand New
25. Exit Music (For a Film) - Radiohead

Download here

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

But instead you went to floor.

Do you ever walk out of a movie and feel like your perspective suddenly takes on traits of the film? As if, what you are seeing and doing is being shown through the lens of that specific director, writer, cinematographer, etc.? I do occasionally.

This week, that happened to me twice - though both are wildly different from each other. And both are quite wild in their own ways.

On Monday night, Erica was able to snag us a couple of seats at a screening for the upcoming film Scott Pilgrim vs The World (official release date is August 13th). I went into the film intrigued by the comic book feel of the trailer - though the last time that happened to me I ended up with the slow-mo fest and tragedy that was Watchmen. However, Edgar Wright (he who directed Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead previously) is no Zack Snyder. And I've never read the Scott Pilgrim comics.

The movie, about a young musician (Michael Cera) trying to date the (literal) girl of his dreams by defeating her seven evil exes, is hilarious and fun. The music: Beck, Broken Social Scene & co. put up some good stuff for this movie - I'm considering checking out the soundtrack for the Sex Bob-Omb songs (that's Scott Pilgrim's band). The writing: laugh-out-loud witticisms that had me doubled in my seat at times. The acting: as precisely over-the-top as I think it's supposed to be. Cera does his job in the lead role as Pilgrim's bass-playin', clumsily girl-crazy, slightly insecure character. The other actors are great as well - especially Ellen Wong's Knives Chau, Kieran Culkin as Pilgrim's gay roommate, Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, etc. Oh, and great cameos! A well-cast movie, if you ask me.

And now to the directing... there's no mistaking Wright's original take on a comic-book film. But I would almost call it more of a video game film. The unending references to video games, comic books, music, and geek culture will satisfy every nerd out there. Others might feel confused and bombarded. Not to mention how much is going on on the screen at once - from the words "POW" popping out with each Pilgrim punch, to the quick-chop action shots, split screens, and a myriad of loud sounds simultaneously. They all add to the fun inherent in Pilgrim; it seems like it never stops - like I was on a ride. I also felt like I had ADD. However, I'm not sure some of the audience out there over a certain age will "get it" or have patience for such a set-up; I can see some people walking right out of the theater.

After the movie, Erica and I were totally in that "swish swish" cut angle 1 to 2, frittered, video game-inundated state. Moving fast, talking fast. Erica said she spotted "that guy from The Hangover who dates MK Olsen" and I replied, "Justin Bartha?" as we saw him a few feet in front of us on the escalator. Then we looked at each other once we confirmed it was him, high-fived, and said "1UP!" This film may have the very ability to turn anybody into a NERD. Fair warning.

That was Monday night.

Last night, Jesse and I caught the French film, Micmacs. The movie was released back in May in the US, but I had forgotten about it until this weekend. It's the first film in five years for director Jean Pierre Jeunet, who also helmed Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children, and Amelie. He's also one of Jesse's favourite directors, so I bought us some tickets at the last theater it was showing at in Manhattan.

If you've seen any of Jeunet's previous films, you know his vision is a bit saturated, kitschy, and almost "out of time." (I also think he may like the color green as much as director Alfonso Cuaron.) That said, I believe Micmacs is somewhat of a departure from his earlier works in its lightheartedness and modernity. The story is about a boy who loses his father to a landmine, and thirty years later, survives a bullet getting lodged in his brain as an innocent bystander. He then stumbles upon not only a motley crew of funny eccentrics, but the two armament companies responsible for said landmine and bullet. And thus begins a journey of vengeance for Bazil, the main character, against the warmonger CEOs of both companies.

It's sometimes strange to see the juxtaposition of regular Jeunet visuals like an old jalopy truck stuck in a traffic jam with sleek and modern BMWs. Strange, but interesting. As the rest of the movie is - there are many little machinations at work on the screen in any given frame, and I almost want to see it again just to fully realize all of them (similar to Pilgrim). One of my favourite parts was a wink at the characters in Delicatessen (PS that movie's on Netflix Instant Watch right now!).

After, Jesse and I walked out of the movie laughing, and down a tiny hallway to the restrooms. We stood between two open doors, obviously restrooms, and looked left, right, right left trying to figure out which was male and female. We leaned forward simultaneously, to read the writing on the doors left ajar - again, I felt like that little moment was straight out of Jeunet. Our eyes would be wide in confusion, and fall into a smile and chuckle when we figured it out.

It all seems so miniscule, but I like movies with a vision that extends beyond the screening. There's some sort of power in that kind of directing and cinematography. Even the acting, at times. Has a movie ever made you look at your world differently afterwards? Even for just a moment, a night, or a week? What movie?