Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

America's Next Top Way to Get Ratings

Guilty I am of watching America's Next Top Model with vigor. I friggin love that show. I love noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker and his straightforward ogling technique. That guy gets so much emaciated model ass, he's been too busy binging to purge. I digress. This cycle of America's Next Top Model is taking the high road and having a tranny up for grabs. Turns out the fabulous Isis (come on, at least try to make the new name sound authentic. She may as well have named herself Lady Marmalade.) used to be a man. I'm all over trannies on ANTM, but will it only be a roundabout way of exposing the deeply shallow personae of the other contestants? I. Can't. Wait.

Oh, and on a side note... I thought they already had a transgendered person on the show. Her name was Dominique. You be the judge.

Hillary says blahblahblah, America says WOO

Would you call it Orange Sherbert? Or maybe Creamsicle? Perhaps it's a bit brighter than that and approaching the Fanta range. Either way, however benign Hillary Clinton was last night, at least she had the few ounces of badassness necessary to wear an orange pantsuit.

With the DNC in full swing, and Michelle Obama having given a semi-decent speech the other night, Hillary stepped up last night and took a swing at sincerity. She was surprisingly robotic. Prior to her taking the podium, a video was played containing a montage or Hillary greats and what other people have to say about her. It was far more interesting than Hillary in the flesh. I feel a twinge of guilt at giving her a hard time on this, since most politicians are robotic and idealistic in some way. She doesn't even have anything riding on this anymore. 2012? Maybe. But all she can do now is just support the democratic party and support Barack Obama and hope that no one remembers that she was more self-centered than party-centered before she lost the nomination. Husband Bill will garner more supporters just sitting on his sweet ass in the balcony.

My last and final dig before I give respect is that she made a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits joke. Completely uncalled for. But the crowd ate that shit up. It received more of a yell than when she mentioned the former Clinton administration. And who in the crowd do you think has even seen that movie? That's the 12-year-old girl market. Most twelve-year-old girls last night were either talking on the phone or watching My Super Sweet Sixteen on MTV. Either way, the response to her performance has been weirdly positive. She was able to inject a little fire into the democratic party and people are feeling good, people are feeling unified, people are falling for Barack Obama.

I do greatly respect her feminist approach to certain issues and to be a woman and be able to vote for your own mother for president would be a pretty visceral experience. We should be able to do that and it shouldn't be an anomaly. And people in the middle class should be able to buy houses and operate vehicles and have families and not feel like every cent we make is eaten up by four dollar gallons of milk and outrageously expensive healthcare.

I'm counting on Obama to clean that shit up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Notes: On Vacationing

Talk about benign. What a benign title for this post. Strap yourself in.

Vacationing is a strange concept, perhaps so glorious only because we spend the majority of our lives longing for it, going without it for far too long, not being able to afford good ones, or being denied it via Outlook Email Request. Personally, I spend months thinking about it, weeks getting around to planning it, and then long laborious days waiting and waiting, feeling like I'm chained to desk chairs and locked in routines of walking to the printer and attending the morning meeting every Monday and Thursday and "following up" and "checking in" and waiting and waiting and waiting. The last day before it's finally time, I have never been a more useless ball of flesh. But I can't even care because I have visions of margaritas and waking up without an alarm and taking two hours to eat a single meal. I forget how to transfer calls and how to trim the fat and how to send attachments and fucking FUCK Microsoft Outlook to high holy fucking hell! It's just time to rage.

A wise young man once said, "Even watching TV on vacation is infinitely more relaxing." An interesting concept within a concept. Why is that so? I actually find watching television at home somewhat stressful. Nothing is ever on. There's nothing to count on. Except the news, which is a depressing summary of the day's local tragedies in a hard candy shell. While vacationing, I could have that goddamn thing on for three hours and neither move a muscle nor have one independent thought the entire time because I can say to myself, "Well, this will be the Day I Do Nothing." And the days that follow are the Day I Went to the Beach or the Day I Bought a New Pipe With Which to Smoke My Tobacco or the Day I Had Clams For Dinner or the Day We Did Nothing But Eat and Play Boggle, just to name a few. Not knowing the whereabouts of my cellular phone could be one of the most liberating contemporary experiences out there. The sadness of this could seem overwhelming but the world has changed and in an age where you can be reached, poked, prodded, harrassed, contacted, hit on, broken up with, fired, nullified, and bothered from any location in the world at any moment, this is refreshment at its height.

When you're finally tan and relaxed and feeling full and not overstuffed, easy but not exhausted, when you've bought new things and worn things you only wear on vacation, when you've had guilt-free cocktails at every hour of the day and cake after every dinner, you start to... worry. Uuuugh, you worry "how will I return to civilization, how will I get up every morning at 7 am and shower and make myself presentable and show up somewhere at a specific time and do what they tell me to do?". Life seems impossible. The worst part is that when you begin to feel this you are still on vacation, and there goes the last two to three blissful days you thought you had left, gone into a downward spiral of turmoil and paranoia and finally depression, depression that you can't feel free and full and passionate about small things all the time. And maybe you think back and you remember a time when you might have, but it's so faded, so gray, so compressed under layers of eight hour increments and more waiting at the company printer. Vacation is just a number on your paycheck, people. They're paying you to go.

There it is, ruined forever. The beach seems like a pile of jagged rocks and those clams are making your stomach feel like a gastro-hurricane. Waking up without your alarm only jolts you with fear that you overslept and those linen pants you were in love with seem like they're too thin to protect you from all the evil that seems to be seeping through the cracked pavement as you hit the road back to the rest of your life.

Bathtub Gin Margarita, anyone? Technological Destruction session, anyone else?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Radiohead, Great Woods, Mansfield, MA

Thanks to my boyfriend's undying love and respect for Radiohead, we ended up in the rare situation of having a handful of extra tickets. Also, thanks to his employer, he ended up about a spit's throw away from the sexy-ugly Thom Yorke himself. I was back in section 215, row RRR, seat 3,255.


Regardless of the nosebleeds and the squinting and the blindness caused by the intense lasers meant just for those in my section, this show was incredibly intense, brilliantly performed, and wonderfully void of conversation. It's great to go see a rock show and not talk to anyone. It's also great when the performers themselves don't insist on making witty banter with the audience, who come to see them play, not hear them quip. I was impressed with the simplicity of the "candid cameras" on all of the video screens, which captured each band member in real time in one of four or six quadrants. It was a really cool effect for those of us in the Way Back. Layers and layers of long white tubes full of LEDs hung from the rafters of the stage, and everyone had their own interpretation: windchimes, jellyfish, other invertebrates, dreadlocks. The coolest effect they were used for was the simulation of rain, which was impeccably timed to nature.

Radiohead has always been a purveyor of near-perfect musicianship. They make music and they don't bullshit about it. More importantly, they create what they want to create and they do it their way. I believe they are uncomplicated. Some may disagree with that, but I've always found them to be straightforward. Straight up and bad ass, for sure, but straightforward. I don't even find them weird anymore. As I stood in the Way Back with my arms at my sides, swaying to the slow bridge of Paranoid Android, I closed my eyes and a New England breeze poured over me, the start of an early fall. That's something you don't get when you're in the 10th row of section 1.

My favorite from In Rainbows, Videotape LIVE here.
Set list here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've discovered Baked Alaska!

Baked Alaska. It's baked. That makes sense. But what is Alaska? I mean, it's obviously some sort of crab. At least, to any normal person that's what it is. When I hear Alaska I do not think of an ice cream ball surrounded by sponge cakes or pudding and then topped with meringue. Although, that sounds good, too. And I would love to be able to immediately get over the fact that the name doesn't make sense. In a way, it's pretty lovely that something so tantalizing and delicious has such a mysterious name composed of two things that are so familiar to the general public (hint: it's a state). Regardless of its moniker, I was lucky enough to indulge in the Baked Alaska at Craftbar in NYC, one of the many restaurants that features the culinary stylings of the sheen-scalped and hunky Tom Colicchio. That guy's got a double flavor savor, dude. One wasn't enough.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trebek makes smart testicle joke

I'm one of the biggest Jeopardy fans that has ever lived (claim not based on research). I get a thrill out of not knowing the answer and verbally reprimanding those who also don't know it, but should because they are on the damn show. I'm just at home, on my couch, with a tall boy, and some Wonder Woman print underwear, and a pizza crust on my gut. I'm not supposed to know the answer.
Anyway, my favorite time of year is when they air Teen Jeopardy, mostly because I know way more of these answers. What's funny is that I think most of the kids on these episodes don't really know the answers anyway, but they make it so goddamn easy to figure it out. For example, the clue will be something like "American author born in 1809 whose name rhymes with Schmo."
Anyway for the second time, I'm digressing in a major way. The entire reason I am writing this post, albeit juvenile and nut-centric, is because last light on Teen Jeopardy one of the categories was Balls. That's it. Just balls. And the funniest part about it was the kids were ringing in "Balls for 1200", "800 Balls please." And the answers were "pingpong balls", "golf balls", you know, any kind of balls. That Trebek. He's so sneaky, so clever, announcing the ball category with that little twinkle in his eye.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's not that funny. But balls are. And so is this.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Turtle eats turtle

Some locally renown artists from Boston's weirdest and most celebrated ad agency, which shall remain nameless, came into work today to find that their resident turtles, affectionately named "ROI" and "Viral Video is so 2004", had gotten into a scuffle which ended in the big one (ROI) eating most of the little one (VVis2004). ROI had recently bloomed in size, the cause of which was unknown. Experts believe that VVis2004 may have developed feelings of inadequacy and a negative body image after witnessing the growth of his lifelong tankmate. Although the reptiles were not under surveillance at the time, one hot Russian designer with an award-winning rack says, "I think Viral Video is so 2004 was just feeling down and you know how teenagers get... He stepped to ROI, and that wasn't cool. So ROI took him down. Sad. Real sad to see. Excuse me, I have a veggie burger waiting for me." Co-worker's arrived to find ROI sunning himself under his turtle light while VVis2004's head floated aimlessly about the tank, much like the staff member's believe his soul to be.