Wednesday, February 27, 2013


For the first time since he's been in Australia, Jesse and I were able to video chat this evening (his morning)! We spent a good twenty minutes talking and not until after did I realize that it was the 27th of February. Six years ago we had our first date! Hooray! As I head to bed, the thought makes me smile even though he's halfway across the globe.

Also, this was the last screenshot of our conversation. YOU'RE WELCOME.

My secret to working out.

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." - Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
Yes, I am quoting the movie Legally Blonde before diving into a post about what I do to get those endorphins. My exercise routine for the past month has been dormant and this week I felt in need of a kick-start. I've been back to the gym and even tried this Zumba DVD set my mom gave me a couple of years ago. Yes, years...

Because when you haven't seen your husband in two weeks and the weather is dreary, you need some flippin' endorphins.

All that said, as a somewhat bookish person who played some soccer in high school and enjoys hiking mountains, I'm not quite attuned to regular exercise. What did I discover that brought me to the gym? I thought it could be making really cool mixes and jogging or ellipticalling (not a real word) to the beats. But no, it was the almighty Kindle that reeled me in. Well, the Kindle and a good book.

In 2010, I finished reading War & Peace on an elliptical as the sun came up over the Brooklyn skyline before I went to work. (I have a feeling that's one of the only books I will ever remember The Moment I Finished It.) Previously a bit skeptical of e-books, I now embrace the medium because it's allowed me to be more comfortable while working out.

Living in New York, my main reading space is on my commute on the subway. I've been conditioned to tune out most everything around me when on the train, and at the gym the Kindle helps me tune out the fact that I'm exercising! Miraculous. I think my next Kindle-read will be Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. Any suggestions for fast-paced reading fun?

(Can't remember why Rory would smile during that book, but okay.)
PS The television character I always related most to was Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. (Well, her and Hurley from LOST.) I think a Gilmore Girls series-binge is imminent. It's been over six years since I last watched the series. That is all.

PS2 Except for...what if Gilmore Girls had lasted long enough for the e-reader to exist? I wonder what Rory's opinion would be. I should have probably kept this meandering thought to myself...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Oscars are over and I'm tired.

Yesterday I was thoroughly exhausted from the weekend and Sunday night's festivities! No joke, I was too tired to update. I had my annual Oscar Party in which I represent each Best Picture nominee with something edible, entreat my friends to play Oscar-related games for prizes, and generally have lots of fun. I can only imagine that my exhaustion was probably extremely similar to being a nominee myself.

I think this year's preparation took the longest! Nine Best Picture nominees! Here was my spread:

Amour = Champagne [you got two Parisians growing old, one of them slowly dying onscreen - not a lot of representitive food choices! I'm not going to lie though, I entertained the idea of making a dessert in the shape of the dead corpse in the first scene; I think I made the right decision going with champagne, huh?]

Argo = Canada Dry Water [to represent the Canadians of the film harboring the Americans, and, y'know, airline water I guess.]

Beasts of the Southern Wild = Clam Strips from the Bathtub [I searched for hushpuppies in the frozen food aisle without success; making the southern delicacy which is also the main character's name seemed to entail needing a Cornballer, so clam strips it was!]

Django Unchained = Calvin Candie's White Cake [with requisite Tarantino blood splatter! I loved that scene near the end so much, the dessert seemed so crucial to it -- "White cake?" "No, I don't go in for sweets..." - the beginning of a glorious scene.]

Les Miserables = Valjean's Fateful Loaf of Bread [yeah, that stealing bread scene never occurs on screen, but y'know, that's the amount of effort I will put into this movie.]

Life of Pi = Pi(e) [in the film, the character Piscine is named after the word for swimming pool in French, but as a child his peers always refer to him as 'Pissing,' so he tries to become 'Pi' like the mathematical constant. Also, sounds like a FOOD! I am not much of a chef so I went in for an easy lemon merengue pie recipe, and it was a hit. I also used orange sprinkles because, duh, tiger.]

Lincoln = Silhouette Brownie [this was the hardest one to come up with; I just started thinking of Lincoln's famous top hat and beard and decided to make it using brownies because, hey, I didn't have brownies on the menu yet and they are easy to make.]

Silver Linings Playbook = Dolores' Crabby Snacks [minus 'And Homemades' the character always says in conjunction. I found the recipe online - I'm not the only crazy person with their Oscar party - and while it smelled absolutely putrid combining Kraft Old English cheese spread ::gag gag gag:: and canned crab meat, after they came out of the broiler they smelled great and were delectable.]

Zero Dark Thirty = Reward Hummus for the Prisoners [you know, that scene where the guy they've been torturing for days is allowed to sit down with his interrogators and Jason Clarke's character is all, "Have some hummus and this other stuff"? Boom, easy.]

So, I prepared all of that most of the day Saturday and all day Sunday. Also, cats are really into the smell of pre-cooked crabby snacks. Like vultures, they were! Frito the cat had been circling me all day - I needed security detail to make sure the food on the countertop would be safe. Even during the party he eyed the spread from afar, hoping to glean a morsel when nobody was looking. He visibly grimaced as I took this photo (I like to believe) --


My guests arrived not as dressed up as myself (sorry I have no pictures of my black and purple chiffon floor-length attire), but that happens every year. They each recieved an Oscar Ballot and an Oscar Bingo card. High spirits all around as everyone filled out their ballots during the red carpet and we sliced and diced the fashion (more on that later).

I was pretty depressed last year when I found out Seth MacFarlane would be hosting the Oscars; I'm not a fan of his misogynistic humor and feared the worst. And he definitely delivered on the misogyny  but it was somewhat skimmed over during the party because of hostessing duties, judging duties for bingo, and general lack of interest on my part... I will say that MacFarlane has a great retro-sounding singing voice and I enjoyed the bits of dancing with Charlize, Channing, JGL and Harry Potter, but the in-betweens -- the supposed bits that made him the worst host according to Captain Kirk's future were dumb. I understand that the framing of the jokes was supposed to infer it was in bad taste, but y'know... I should have cared more, but when has anybody been like super positive about an Oscar host? Ever? What a thankless job, no wonder Robert Downey Jr declines the offers! (Also, Zan says everything better.) I smiled along placidly, because in the end, all I cared about were the actual awards!

You'll be happy to know (no, nobody really cares!) that I only got three of my guesses wrong on my ballot. I was most happy that the first award out the gate, Best Supporting Actor, went to Christoph Waltz over Tommy Lee Jones (which I had changed on my ballot from my Friday post prediction). Hurrah!

The three I got wrong? Animated Feature - I've seen zero! Original Screenplay - I guessed in my prediction post it might go to Tarantino, but I was hoping Boal would take it! And, happily, Best Director - I thought Spielberg would take it, but my personal favorite Ang Lee did. Not too shabby with my guesses, and I'm quite proud that I got so many of those random (to me) categories correct.

Of course, as the hostess, I don't play my own games. This year Erica took home both prizes for predictions and bingo! I got Oscar nominated movies that featured a nominee from this year:

Overall, I was really happy with this year's nominees! My personal favorites didn't win each category, but that's what votes are about. Not that I had a vote.


When I watch the red carpet, I do that fantasy thing where I imagine I'm a world-class actor and I am wearing one of those dresses. My favorite dresses are the ones that I would kill to wear (or try on, maybe once?). Here are my top three looks:

Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive - unfff. As soon as I saw her on the red carpet I know she was destined to be my best dressed. She was talking about how she loves movies and old Hollywood glamour, and when she tried on the dress she thought it was perfect for how she felt about film. Girl, we already share the same first name, let's be best friends and watch movies together when I get off work and you wrap up your Broadway show. The hair, the red lips - she looked beautiful and wins the evening in my book. (I'm sorry she didn't actually win the Oscar. I love Jennifer, and Imma let her finish, but...)

Naomi Watts in Armani Prive (clearly if I'm ever an international movie star with a red carpet booked, Armani Prive will be the first people I call...) - that neckline! Not something you normally see, and also very hard to pull off. In my head I was like, I would love to wear that, and then I was like, buuuuut my body's not Naomi Watts' body, which is making that thing look chic as hell. I would look like a robot. That's why she gets paid the big bucks...and I'm hanging out in an office.

Halle Berry in Versace - the woman has a body that can pull of anything, and I love the long sleeves and stripes and somewhat 80s throwback feel to it. She looked gorgeous!!

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Lawrence - because she can fall in it and still look beautiful. I think this was the princess dress I would have wanted to wear in younger years. Plus, her accessories and make-up were perfect - I loved the delicate backwards necklace.

I think the worst look was Melissa McCarthy's truly terrifying gray ensemble and tragic hair. I can't even post it here. She's dressed better in the past! And, sadly, Anne Hathaway's Prada was second worst. I love Anne and I think she's a great actress, but the 90s apron prom dress with a poorly chosen necklace was horrible. Her hair still looks adorable, though.

Also, her win solidified the fact that I have spoken on the phone with an Oscar winner! Here's my Anne Hathaway story: back in college one of my friends was in an a capella group that travelled to Vassar for a show. This was the year that Get Real was on television and I had been telling my a capella friend how much I loved it and Hathaway. Get a call late one night from friend who said she was partying at Vassar with Hathaway and I should tell her how much I enjoyed her acting. Which, I did. She was very sweet and appreciative! You know, just being a fangirl from the start! Congrats, Anne!

Oh, and I can't forget the men... LOOKING GOOD, BEARDS:

This post was very long -- TELL ME ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS! Seth? The dresses? Did you have a party or go to one? What'd you think about the winners?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar predictions!

It's almost TIME! Going over this list of nominees, I think there could be some great upsets and surprises this year. In the past few years I've handily guessed who would win Best Picture...but this year things seem more up in the air. I've only taken the top eight categories to measure...

Adapted Screenplay

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Argo, Chris Terrio
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
Life of Pi, David Magee

This race is pretty tight - it could go to any of these scripts without surprise. I think Argo and Silver Linings are probably in the lead, but you never know with Lincoln. Personally I really liked the script to Life of Pi... I haven't read the book it was based on, but it would get my vote if I could vote.

Should Win: Life of Pi
Will Win: Argo

Original Screenplay

Flight, John Gatins
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Amour, Michael Haneke
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

I think Mark Boal's Zero Dark Thirty will and should win this category, even if I do have a soft spot for Moonrise Kingdom. Tarantino's gotten a lot of the script awards this season, though, so he may be up at the podium on Sunday even though his script isn't nearly as good as Boal's.

Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Will Win: Zero Dark Thirty

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained 
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master 
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook 
Alan Arkin, Argo
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Everybody's talking about Tommy Lee Jones, but I want him to lose just to see that grumpy face again from the Golden Globes. Just kidding, he will probably scowl all night regardless. In all seriousness: Jones was good, but I never got 'great' from his performance. I don't know why Arkin was nominated, either. De Niro was better than I've seen him in years, but Hoffman and Waltz were spot on. Waltz has been winning a lot of the other awards (even though his role in Django was much more of a leading role, don't you think?), but does he have the clout to beat Jones? Or could Hoffman grab another Oscar for a worthy (if, to me, expected and kind of boring) performance?

Should Win: Christoph Waltz
Will Win: Tommy Lee Jones

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role 

Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Amy Adams, The Master

I mean, wouldn't it be a great moment to see Anne Hathaway starting to get up but another actress' name is announced? It won't happen, but it still makes me laugh. I love Anne Hathaway, but she's been really grating on me this awards season with her ubiquitousness and Taylor Swiftian surprise faces. I think Helen Hunt had the best performance of the bunch, but like Waltz her role felt more like a lead role than a supporting one. Anne's performance was great, don't get me wrong, she definitely had the best five minutes of a terrible movie.

Should Win: Helen Hunt
Will Win: Anne Hathaway

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Denzel Washington, Flight
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables 
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

There is no greater actor today than Daniel Day-Lewis -- the man can transform into anyone. His Lincoln was astounding, and he should win and will most definitely win. I can't help but think that Joaquin Phoenix was right up there with him, though in a strange, mesmerizing way.

Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix
Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty 
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook 
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

I loved each of these performances. I think Jessica Chastain should win, but Jennifer Lawrence has been pulling out more actual wins lately (though Riva just won the BAFTA...). They are all deserving, so I wouldn't be upset in this category if any of these ladies took home the prize.

Should Win: Jessica Chastain
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence

Achievement in Directing

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Michael Haneke, Amour
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

This is a great category for an upset this year; most people have their bets on Spielberg but I think Ang Lee, respected director that he is, really has a chance. He's got my vote, too. I really was not impressed by Lincoln's directing; to be honest it was the least impressive of the five movies here but it will probably win because he's Spielberg.

Should Win: Kathryn Bigelow Ang Lee
Will Win: Steven Spielberg

Best Motion Picture 

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Django Unchained

I think Argo's going to take it away (I think?!), but I'd love to see Zero Dark Thirty or Silver Linings Playbook or Life of Pi win! Upset! Upset! I love being surprised, Oscars, let's do this!

Should Win: Zero Dark Thirty
Will Win: Argo

I'M REALLY EXCITED FOR SUNDAY. Who do you think will win?!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lady winery hangs.

You'll be happy to know I didn't spend my evening just thinking about the Oscar nominees, but hanging with friends at the nearby Brooklyn Winery. I'm a fan of red wine, especially on a cold winter night, so when I knew we were going to the winery I decided to wear my deepest wine color - my trick to keep the wine stains unnoticed. You know what I'm talking about!

Beca, Jaime, me

When Jesse's around I try to wear nothing on my lips that can rub off on him. Fortunately, my favorite red lipstick stays put for hours and never gets a mark on him! The wine-colored lipstick I chose tonight is actually a mix of three tubes I've acquired, and very sticky. Perfect for a night with two of my favorite ladies, Beca and Jaime!

My favorite room at the Brooklyn Winery was open; it overlooks the sidewalk out front at a slightly elevated angle perfect for people-watching but is secluded from the rest of the bar so there's the bonus privacy. It's warm, cozy, and full of old furniture and artwork that makes it feel like a comfy grandfather's study - good vibes emanate.

Leaving said cozy room was pretty tough for the three of us, as you can see the pain of the wind on their faces above. When I got home, Jesse had sent me an e-mail that he was just waking up in Australia, and now I'm watching Project Runway. Good vibes emanate.

Thinking sorrow was perfection.

I've just hit the time where it's hardest to be away from Jesse. I'm usually pretty good right after he leaves, but there always comes a lull a few days later and my heart sinks just a little bit. This morning he e-mailed me from Seoul, Korea where he was boarding a flight to Brisbane, Australia. Australia has always been a bit of a black spot for the mechanics of our long-dstance relationship since there is a 15 hour time difference and the internet situation there is usually spotty and at hotels very expensive. I'm attempting to keep positive and have high hopes for better communication this go-round. Yet I still remember the time Jesse walked around for an hour in the oppressive heat of Melbourne trying to find an internet cafe so we could talk.

His time in Japan has been good; I know it's one of his favorite countries, and the internet is plentiful! I'm not sure that word is the right descriptor, but even with the 14 hour time difference we were able to e-mail in my morning while he was finishing up a show and video chat when I got home from work and he was waking up in a hotel. Last night we video chatted twice, it was great! Pee Wee joined lazily the second time as he napped in my lap.

Jesse will be having a great time in Australia playing shows and catching up with old friends. Tonight he's going to a Metallica-hosted BBQ - how strange and fun! I'll busy myself by preparing for my annual Oscar-viewing party and making my Oscar predictions... I mean, I'm not saying I'm jealous of his lifestyle, but maybe I am...just a little?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Put on a slow, dumb show for you.

Sometimes you need to slow down. This past weekend at the cabin we were up into the wee hours of the morning listening to energetic dance and rock music -- and as people started drifting off to their bedrooms, I decided to provide a more subdued soundtrack so that everyone still awake could decompress. At least, that's what I needed, so I took the controls.

I've been having an extreme love affair with the Pixies the last three years; I'm not sure why, but I listen to them at least once a week. This week I've been waking up to "Bam Thwok!" every day, which is great because that song makes me happy. I still nod my head to it while I'm brushing my teeth even though I can only hear it in my head. But for the slow down, especially after the day we had had, I started with "Where is My Mind?"

Here's the whole list, listenable below on Rdio with the exception of Metric's "Twilight Galaxy," which was unavailable...

01. Where Is My Mind - The Pixies
02. Jesus - Brand New
03. Wonderwall - Ryan Adams
04. If I Didn't Know Better - Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen
05. I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
06. Title and Registration - Death Cab for Cutie
07. Twilight Galaxy - Metric
08. For You to Notice - Dashboard Confessional
09. Call It Off - Tegan and Sara
10. Slow Show - The National

I should note that this morning I decided to listen to Brand New's "Jesus" while on the walk into work  and I was in such a trance I tripped on the top stair up the subway and busted my ankle and knee. The song is mesmerizing and I'm extremely uncoordinated.

What are some songs you listen to to slow down?

Painting: "The Weather Girl" by Alexandra Levasseur

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vacation starts now, kinda.

The weekend in the Catskills could not have come at a better time! Hanging out with nine other lovely, great friends was definitely needed while Jesse was in a time zone difference of 14 hours. Here are some things that happened:

  • "Why is everybody going to the Catskills this weekend?" - traffic talk in the girls car made up of Kells, Jen, and myself.
  • I didn't know that going to the Catskills entailed going through New Jersey. Guess where we hit traffic?
  • Sometimes when you start out tagging things on Instagram and Twitter with #vacationstartsnow it kind of just sticks for the entire weekend.
  • Oh, this is where we hung out all weekend, it was PRETTY OKAY:
[Photo by Lyndsay]
  • Driving up the winding mountain roads and taking in the beautiful but sometimes horror-movie-esque surroundings, it was no surprise when the nearest location tag at the cabin was "Abduction Barn." Makes sense.
  • Our party consisted of four couples and Gaby and me. Gaby and I bunked in the 'kids room,' it was cool.
  • Also, two dogs. Pegs and Riggins, both adorable with various sweaters worn throughout the weekend:
[Photo by Kells]
  • Everyone was delegated a meal to prepare. Since I don't prepare many meals and certainly not for ten people and was one of the non-couples, I pitched in with what I knew: chips, salsa, dip, meats and cheeses, and six bottles of champagne with which to make mimosas in the morning. Plus, I'm really good at doing the dishes.
  • Most everyone went skiing on Saturday. I lack any talent in skiing or general coordination so I cozied up with the other three left behind for a day of pure relaxation -- painting nails, 21 Jump Street, general true crime shows on cable, cleaning the kitchen, and sporadic napping.
  • GAMES! We all played many, many games as the snow fell near constantly outside. From psychological games like Mafia to old classics like Celebrities (aka Notables aka Characters aka Inside Jokes aka Benjamin Netanyahu Smoke Signals) -- all were fun in this group. If anyone can find a game to play, it's Jon Cheese.
[Lyndsay and Gaby playing Mafia]
  • A lot of people know how to cook really well, and it was a delectable weekend when it came to the meals and I'm thinking of trying to kickstart cooking at home... maybe a weekly recipe or something. Props to Dan, Lyndsay's husband, for spending more than an hour cooking the most elaborate and delicious meal (the first photo in the post, Dan is at the far head of the table).
  • I found out what an NBA all-star dunk contest entailed.
  • Since only one bottle of champagne was used the first morning, I think you can guess as to how we really went for it with the mimosas on the second morning.
  • I finally learned what the heck the 'Harlem Shake' phenomena was -- video doesn't work at work, and I'm too impatient after work on my computer...honestly, I started watching two different Harlem Shake videos last week and stopped them five seconds in. Obviously this was the wrong tactic if I really wanted to figure out what they were all about. Good thing Erica filled me (and some others) in.
  • The weather was bitter cold on Sunday; too cold for the adventurers to go ski. Thus, after a long and lingering brunch with all those mimosas and bloody marys, we played more games.
[Never NOT a good time.]
  • We also watched 21 Jump Street -- again. 
  • We may or may not have filmed a Harlem Shake video.
  • Writing down stuff legibly in your journal becomes proportionally more difficult the more mimosas you've had.
  • I snuck off for a clandestine nap.
  • When I woke up I decided to put on The Avengers and explained to everyone who Tom Hiddleston was since nobody knew when we had played Celebrities earlier.
  • David had an announcement: it was Joseph Gordon-Levitt's birthday. He was happy to declare this, but I was still miffed that nobody knew to guess Joseph Gordon-Levitt during Celebrities previously. Instead there was a lot of Jordan Levi guesses when I listed off his filmography. Like, on the real?
  • Kells had packed s'mores for everyone and this led The Men to make sure the firepit was workable for marshmallow-cooking purposes. Of course, this occurred on the evening of the mimosa day (Sunday) and nobody made a s'more outside, instead utilizing the microwave.
  • All the guys went "outside firepit" and all the ladies went "inside dance party" on Sunday night. There was so much fun had and I fear incriminating photos and video of all of us dancing to N'Sync, TLC, R. Kelly, Save Ferris, etc., will surface soon. One of us may have been wearing flared jeans.
  • We vacated in style the next morning at 10am -- sunglasses positioned, GPS' pointing back to civilization, and with Jen's delicious migas breakfast in our tummies.
  • I rode back with Robb and Jen who needed to catch a flight back to California that day, and New Jersey did not fail us with the inevitable traffic. However, after they dropped me off in Brooklyn, they were to the airport just in time!
Jesse and I e-mailed back and forth the whole weekend, and while I wish he had been there with us, I'm glad I have these friends when he can't be around.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Off to a winter weekend!

Even though Jesse will be crossing half the world today -- further away from ME! -- I am grateful to have the great friends here that help distract me from the miles between me and the husband. This weekend ten of us are heading to a cabin up in the Catskills. I've lived in New York for almost seven years now and I've never been to the Catskills! There will be four couples, me, and my friend Gaby. I should be able to update from upstate (ha), and I imagine it will entail a lot of sweatpants, snow, wine, eating, and laughing. This weekend invitation came just in time!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Me thinking of you thinking of me thinking of you type love.

Programming note: the internet at home has been terribly slow for the past week! I am unable to upload photos right now. Will update when I can. Hopefully these words post...

Earlier this week I was talking to one of my friends who is in a relatively new relationship. Her boyfriend asked her if she ever watched porn, and she responded as I think I probably would have -- why watch skeezy videos when I love swooning to Ewan McGregor singing or George Clooney pulling a fully-clothed woman into a bathtub or Tom Hardy in a cardigan (plus their top notch production value)?

And so, on this Valentine's Day, since I will be spending it with my cat on the couch most likely watching Downton Abbey and Girls (check and check, Project Runway is currently on), here is an ode to some great (sexy) characters...

(I promise to update this with photos when I get a chance!)

>> Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth), Pride & Prejudice (BBC miniseries) - I watch this miniseries at least twice a year and it's like six hours long. That's how much it makes me swoon. I also know the DVD chapters that are 'most important.' (DARCY SCENES)

>> Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth), Bridget Jones's Diary - Obviously. Not only is it one of the best rom-coms ever, but it's basically Colin Firth reprising his P&P role.

>> Jack Foley (George Clooney), Out of Sight - hands down the sexiest movie ever. And there's no nudity or sex! But you just watch that trunk scene! You watch George Clooney pull a (surprisingly great) Jennifer Lopez into a bathtub with him while she's fully clothed! It makes no sense but it's sexy!

>> Christian (Ewan McGregor), Moulin Rouge! - that bright, shining face singing about love makes me swoon so hard.

>> Matt (Mark Ruffalo), 13 Going on 30 - Ruffalo is just so understated dreamy.

>> The Piemaker (Lee Pace), Pushing Daisies - the eager eyebrows do it all.

>> Walter Burns (Cary Grant), His Girl Friday - fast talking, LOVE IT.

>> Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy), Lawless - cardigans.

>> Eddie (Hugh Jackman), Someone Like You - I don't think many people have seen this rom-com, but YOWWWW Hugh Jackman in boxers!

>> Laurie (Christian Bale), Little Women - Bale has done many a swoon-worthy movie, but it all goes back to Laurie!

>> Hopsy (Henry Fonda), The Lady Eve - what a lovable buffoon!

>> Robert Downey, Jr in everything - because his charm extends everywhere!

>> Trent (Sam Rockwell), Lawn Dogs - little gem that made me fall for Rockwell.

>> BOTH Jesse and Celine in Before Sunset - because that chemistry! Their conversations; his smile, her accent.

>> Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), Silver Linings Playbook - I think I fell in love with her during the movie.

I could probably keep going...but I should STOP! Do you have any swoon-worthy characters you turn to when you need a romantic boost?

And if you need an injection of emotion tonight, here is a great and VERY SHORT but entirely AMAZING short story by Mary Robison called "Yours." It's wonderful, I promise.

I do miss Jesse. He is in Minneapolis and heads overseas tomorrow. We don't make much of a to-do about Valentine's Day, and he's usually traveling anyway. I'll tell you this much - he makes me feel loved and special most days of the year. I feel lucky and grateful every day... all those characters above are just characters, I got the real thing. Smiles! Happiness! Hooray!

And, finally, my Valentine's Day tradition, re-sharing Kelly's Christmas card from 2004 with you. Happy Valen-Mimes Day!

One night and one more time.

Programming note: the internet at home has been terribly slow for the past week! I am unable to upload photos right now. Will update when I can. Hopefully these words post...

Last week I was pretty excited when Fall Out Boy announced that they were coming out of hiatus to tour and release an album. However, per usual this really brings out the vitriol, the music snobs in people... I saw some people comment negatively about this and then breathlessly extoll about the new my bloody valentine album. I didn't download the new my bloody valentine, mainly because I don't care. Why do people who don't care about something or even listen to it need to spread such lame vibes? To each their own. FOB are an extremely catchy pop band and I've been a fan for a while. Last week a friend pulled one of these music snob holier-than-thou lines on me about them and then I decided to play some music (via Rdio to the speakers in our apartment) and he was singing along to each song. What a liar! All in the name of looking cool or something, right?

That said, I'm really underwhelmed by the new Fall Out Boy single "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)." It's probably most in tune with "This Ain't a Scene (It's an Arms Race)," but it's not as good. Ho-hum. I'd learned back in December that they had completed an album and were gearing up for shows (the benefits of Jesse's best friend being their longtime guitar tech), so I was excited for the news to break. I'm still excited for the album, the (I have to think ironically) titled Save Rock and Roll, which will be released in April.

Here's a little playlist that I played for my cynical friend... (I would make it on Rdio and embed it, but, again -- INTERNET SUCKAGE!)

01. "Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy" (featuring vocals by Justin from MCS!)
02. "Of All the Gin Joints in All the World"
03. "Thnks Fr Th Mmrs"
04. "I'm Like a Lawyer..."
05. "I Don't Care"

Funniest thing I saw about this on the internet last week was someone tweeting, "On a scale of Mikey Way to Fall Out Boy, how well can you keep a secret?" Scene jokes: always funny.

Post-script: falling a bit more in love with Tegan and Sara's Heartthrob. Have listened to "I Couldn't Be Your Friend" on repeat the past two days. Will the new FOB song grow on me? Unlikely...but you never know!

What are your thoughts on the new Fall Out Boy song? What are you currently listening to?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Last weekend.

The time has come again. Jesse has been home for a good two months, and tomorrow he leaves for a whole one. It's probably the reason I've been slacking on updating -- spending my downtime with Jesse was priority the past couple of weeks. (And updating will most likely take up as a distraction upon his departure.)

It's been some time since he was out of the country on tour, and we've haven't been apart for an entire month since the very beginning of our relationship. In fact, the beginning of our relationship started February 27th, 2007 -- a six-year anniversary coming up! He will be in Sydney, Australia that day. But I don't dwell on these things; it's corny but we do have the rest of time to hang out... which he takes care to remind me of every now and then.

We spent his last weekend in town like real hardcore cool people by going to a backgammon meet-up. Yeah, you read me right. Jesse loves the game backgammon, and while I find it frustrating to play him because he is simply streets ahead of me in the game, I like it too. Jesse heard about a meet-up at SPiN, the Susan Sarandon-owned ping-pong bar in Manhattan. Backgammon aficianado Jaime also joined us and we descended into the back room a bit nervous for what type of crowd backgammon brings around. Turns out it wasn't only octogenarians, but a pretty diverse crowd of young, old, foreign, etc.

Jaime remarked at one point, "dang, if I was single I would totally come here to pick up guys." You heard it, ladies: BACKGAMMMON MEET-UPS! Better start learning the game!

On Sunday, Jesse and I had a double date brunch with Kells and Jon, to La Palapa where brunch is $15 for a coffee, a delicious margarita, and the best huevos rancheros I've ever eaten. It's our favorite Manhattan brunch spot - at least the most frequented. After having a laugh as we always do with those two, Jesse asked me if I wanted to see a movie since we had no plans for the afternoon.

Me, see a movie?

Sometimes it's hard to get Jesse to go to the theater with me, especially since I go so often. My Letterboxd is telling me that I saw 40 films in the theaters last year. That's...a lot. I like going with Jesse because he is highly opinionated about films. Even when he's not with me I leave the theater wondering if it would be something Jesse would enjoy. I'm getting better at predicting his love/hate levels!

Anyway, I checked my phone and the new Williamsburg Cinema was playing Soderbergh's latest (and last?) feature film, Side Effects. Soderbergh can really go either way with me, and I wasn't sure if this was something that would be any good. I thought it might tread a little too political (for a movie starring Channing Tatum, if you know what I mean), but it ended up being something entirely different than what I expected. I really liked it, and Jesse did too!

That evening we went to a new restaurant in our neighborhood that had been getting good reviews and is up for a 'Best New Restaurant' award. It was delicious food! And had great cocktail to boot. It was a fitting ending to a great last weekend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Escape to Massachusetts.

The father and I in Massachusetts
The extended weekend in Massachusetts rejuvenated my growing weariness. Work ragged on my nerves and I worked late many days last week. As soon as my father pulled up to the train station to carry us to the 'country,' I instantly calmed. My mother had flown to Panama earlier in the week and so I figured my dad may want some company for Superbowl weekend.

We ate well (and by well I mean lots of ice cream cake) and watched many, MANY movies. Like father, like daughter I suppose. We saw the surprisingly adorable Warm Bodies on Saturday and ventured to get scared but really only disappointed by Mama on Sunday. There were also several DVDs watched on his new 70-inch HD television. I laughed along though I was bit underwhelmed by Seven Psychopaths, but I was shocked to find that I really loved End of Watch - a lot. It wasn't perfect, but I'd venture to say it was the best movie we watched over the weekend.

Since I've had a mild obsession with Kevin Spacey since high school, and one of my favorite directors is David Fincher, I've been anticipating Netflix's first original series House of Cards for some time. Good thing Netflix released all the episodes this weekend! The three of us knocked out six episodes, and I can't wait to continue - Spacey's always so good! I've been saying it for decades now! I also love any show that features a newspaper newsroom.

On Sunday my brother joined us, and his friend arrived to haul out my dad's huge, old tv. It was a mighty journey to behold these four guys get the tv from the house to the truck bed.

My aunt and uncle from Rhode Island arrived for the spectacle of the Superbowl on the giant television! It was truly beautiful to behold football on that tv. And yet, I didn't care too much either way who won. I was mostly enjoying the wonderful company and doing a lot of math to weight the chances of my pool numbers winning me $1000 (spoiler alert: they didn't).

Monday morning found my dad driving us back to the train station, which is always no fun! I wish we could have stayed in the relaxing atmosphere (with a rambunctious dog, though - the infamous Buddy), but alas we had to get back to New York. I had to stop into work for an hour, but I was soon back at home with Pee Wee.

And because this is New York, we already had a friend asking us to hang out. I met up with friends Jaime and Lisa at the Bowery Electric for a Bronx show and ran into many other friends, which always happens. We didn't stay for much of the show since I was tired, but it was fun to catch up and Jaime also had that thing that is somewhat of a holy grail in the city: a car. She drove me to Manhattan and back to Brooklyn in the warm heat, which ruled in comparison to the chilling walk to the subway I would have had.

Last night I caught up with Beca at a local neighborhood eatery and then Jaime invited Jesse and I to a fancy cocktail place called Apotheke in Chinatown. And woah! That's a great place for a fancy cocktail! Great atmosphere, live music, and the craziest cocktail menu I've ever seen. I opted for something called the Bees Knees which was listed under the health and beauty section and mentioned 'immunity,' so y'know, drinking a cocktail and thinking I'm not only being healthy but preventing disease really appealed to my senses. GOOD THING IT WAS ALSO THE MOST DELICIOUS THING I'VE EVER TASTED.

Also, in Chinatown it's located on the corner of the street where the final stand-off in last summer's Premium Rush takes place. Yes, I recognized that. Yes, I saw that movie in the theaters. You try to keep me away from Joseph Gordon-Levitt!

Tonight, finally: respite. And perhaps some more Kevin Spacey...

Friday, February 1, 2013

It's Friday, everything's awesome.

It has come to my attention that one of the animated shorts nominated for an Academy Award this year is available to view online! And it's a perfect little film -- and perfect to watch on a Friday, feeling good about the imminent weekend! Enjoy Disney's Paperman, above.

Jesse and I will be visiting my father in Massachusetts, to bask in the glow of his new bajillion-inch television and watch the Superbowl!