Monthly archives of “May 2011

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Back at It.

Hope everyone had a lovely and long weekend. I’m still in a state of shock that I took four consecutive days off in a row.

 

Here’s what I did:

 

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Inspiration Boarded.

 

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Snuggled.

 

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Beached.

 

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Bitched.

 

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Shopped.

 

Discovered Wet Seal is the place for cheap, trendy belts. Who knew? Not I because I had just spent $30 on belts at Express. D’oh.

 

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Sat.

 

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Art Directed.

 

I also drank, wrote, weeded, laundered, worked, and ran, in that order.

 

Here’s to June!

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House: Art Buying, Or My Trip to the Dark Side

Back in April I wrote about how to be an art collector on a budget, and since then we’ve picked up our original pieces (and more) from the Cotton Candy Machine (and others).

 

I’ve always needed to have something hanging on the walls (even back when I wasn’t allowed to put any holes in them), and so collected art museum postcards and prints, would never throw out a calendar, and even occasionally made some art of my own.

 

My transition to grown-up art can’t really come as a surprise—since I started working at Esopus in 2007, the pictures torn out of magazines have stepped up a notch, and I’ve scored some incredible actual artist editions as well.

 

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“Untitled”, Berend Strik, Esopus 10 (Spring 2008)

(Reproducing the artist’s original stitched photo X 10,000 was a labor of love!)

 

My jobs have also introduced me dangerous, dangerous places like Art.com and 20×200, where I scored these sweet Mickey Smith’s after we published her in Esopus 13:

 

P1000944 Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Right and Left Panels, Mickey Smith

 

I’ve also been surrounded by Scott’s art. Now granted, we have discovered some amazing things we BOTH like together,

 

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“Snowy Egret,” Charley Harper, Charles Harper’s Birds and Words

 

but his kind of art looks more like this:

 

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Scott

 

And then last year I found a man who bridged the gap between Scott’s art world and mine:

 

The Welcoming Party_lores "The Welcoming Party," Greg Simkins

(A limited edition print of this was my Christmas gift from Scott!)

 

It was the allure of an original Simkins that motivated me to motivate Scott to get in the car and drive to Brooklyn on a Saturday afternoon for the “Tiny Trifecta” show at the Cotton Candy Machine. But it was the art that motivated me to buy some after the Simpkins very, very quickly sold out.

 

P1000934Eric White

 

I even let Scott buy some of his own pieces.
(I was supposed to be in charge of us “not

going crazy.”)

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                             Dave Correia                                                              Brian Ewing

See, our office was supposed to be the “scary art zone,” and maybe it will be, but for now the scary art is spreading.

 

P1000919 Alex Pardee

 

Sometime between our first trip to the Cotton Candy Machine, and our second my brain got addled. See, we went back for the ZeroFriends’ shows, and suddenly there were all these things I wanted. How could I not? I mean, My Little Pony looks totally badass as a skeleton, amirite?

 

P1000920Dave Correia

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Alex Pardee

 

And who cares if this is “Mothra,” and I don’t even know what that is, it’s really awesome colors. And we had to get a “Jaws” for Scott, and it looks so perfect in the white shadowbox frame…

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Alex Pardee

 

IMG_20110507_220311the before: a lazy pic from my phone

 

When we got home I reformatted our living room collage wall (that Scott had always complained about—I will never understand what was wrong with having Kirk and Spock there!?) with our new acquisitions.

 

P1000961 the after

 

So by the time this guy showed up in our mailbox a few weeks ago, I just shrugged, admired the beautiful light, concluded it reminded me of the Haunted Mansion, and hung it in the living room.

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(Note: my shelves are on the right complete with Harry Potter collection and my prom photo, as compared to Scott’s shelves on the left full of menacing looking things.)

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This is another review of the movie Bridesmaids.

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I don’t really do movie reviews. Which is a little odd, because I used to write a ton about pop culture. And I probably should write more again because I love it like my own child.

 

But I find it hard to write a “review,” because I am not a film kid who analyzes these things. I can critically analyze history and art and design and culture, but films, tv, and books? Those are my fun time.

 

That’s part of the reason why I just wanted to give my two cents on this one before I’ve even read the viewpoints of the internet ladies I adore and respect so much. (Also cuz they’re like smart, yo.)

 

So I present to you:

Is Bridesmaids A Step Forward or A Step Back for Female Comedy and Gender Relations?:  Or, A Debate with Myself.

1. Many say that the success of Bridesmaids will pave the way for other female comedies to get green-lit, which is obviously a very excellent thing.

 

Women are funny. Anyone who says differently is an asshole (not to mention a misogynist). But very few women, think Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Rosanne Barr, have begun legendary comediennes, whereas there are more famous male comedians that you can shake a dick, err stick, at.

 

Why?

 

Well I’m not much of an academic these days, but I would argue that it’s the studios and the executives.

 

Yes, we’re no longer dealing with the crap that were were years ago about what women can and can’t do on stage/screen (have you seen the Joan Rivers documentary!?), but we are still dealing with [elderly] male executives and their OBSESSION with the bottom line.

 

And THEY [wrongly] think the bottom line is that smart, funny women don’t sell tickets.

 

(Yea, we will buy the hell out of shoes and purses, but movie tickets? Nooo. We let the men pick the movies!)

 

So until the [male] power behind the movie-making cash money changes, the majority of the female writers and actresses out there (a handful of women like Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen and their best efforts aside) will still have trouble getting their projects out the gate (not to mention getting equal marketing and press efforts to male-driven comedies), Bridesmaids or no Bridesmaids.

 

2. Women can do physical comedy….so they can also do toilet humor, right? And everyone loves toilet humor, right?

 

Why yes, yes us woman can do physical comedy. Again, we’ve all seen Lucille Ball (and before her the incomparable Rosalind Russell), and Carol Burnett, and more recent ladies like Always Sunny’s Kaitlin Olson kick some physical comedy ass. We can do it, and still be ladies, and still be sexy. It is so.

 

But the pooping and the vomiting?

 

Was there for the dudes. Because I mean come on. I don’t care how nice the salon was, and how much these ladies wanted to be “there” for their bride.

 

Women know when to find a toilet. Come hell or come high water.

 

Unless maybe in a foreign country. But even when I puked on the Vatican I found a trash can. And a planter.

 

So I’d like a little realism in my female toilet humor please. Like the drunk pee on a sidewalk. Or the wilderness camping poop.

 

AND if you really want to shock?! Give me a menstrual blood gag, and THEN we’ll have comedy equality. Someone needs to tell THOSE stories. Because mine are private.

 

3. Woman can have sex like men! Or they can’t? Or is it that men can have sex like men! No wait, they’re sensitive too…

 

The message I think the Rhodes character (played by Chris O’Dowd—watch The IT Crowd!!)  was trying to get across is that every is a PERSON. And some people are dicks, and others are good people. Some of us—like me, like Kristen Wiig’s character—can be dicks AND good people.

 

But this message is overshadowed by the portrayal of Wiig’s seemingly masochistic love life, which hearkened back to the Sex & the City girls’ constant attempts to “have sex like men” and not get attached but always winding up getting hurt anyway.

 

Which brings up my question to the masses: do women really act like this?

 

Do you really keep going back to the assholes and ignore the good guys? I guess a lot of people must otherwise it wouldn’t be a trope… but it makes me want to give a lecture or fuck, a whole seminar series.

 

I mean, I don’t want to brag, and I can honestly say there are few things I’ve done right in my life but one was knowing when to ditch the loser. Even when it was before breakfast.

 

So that first scene, I was all excited, waiting for my modern female-written comedy. Ok here we go, she’s having bad sex, ok…sneaking to the bathroom, washing up, ok, we’re gonna grab the clothes and get out of there…

 

And then she stays?!

 

Uh, WTF?

 

The sex was bad, and you could tell by his dialogue mid-coitus that this guy was no prize piece…so um, leave!

 

That’s what guys do, right?

 

Cause having sex like men (if we’re STILL trying to do that), doesn’t entail making yourself up at 7am to get back in bed and lie through your teeth saying you “don’t want a relationship.”

 

/rant.

 

4. Men like Rhodes exist. You just have to find him.

 

As for the first part: Yup. They do. I can’t argue with it, I have one. It was shocking, and he will vouch that I didn’t believe it for like 6 months, but it was ALL true.

 

As for the second. NOOO. You will not find him, you must stop looking. Instead, you have to stand still, get on with the other parts of you life, and short of joining a nunnery, leave a space for a good one to find you. And most importantly, get your head out of your ass long enough to recognize one when he finds you.

 

5. Female rivalry accomplishes nothing, and in fact, only set us back as a whole.

 

Except HI-larious hijinks.

 

Annie (Wiig) had her integrity…and Helen (Rose Byrne) had…everything else.

 

And you never really knew where Maya Rudolph stood on any of it.

 

Sometimes I think life would be easier if friendship came with written codes of honor, like the knighthood.

 

Children should come with instruction manuals too.

 

Yea right. That doesn’t happen, and both women’s reaction to being thrown into the high pressure cooker of weddings is totally justified—and I related to both of them.

 

I just didn’t like that at its core this was a movie based on the shenanigans of jealousy and rivalry. Is pettiness what makes woman interesting?

 

Because while both character’s reactions to the situation were understandable, their actions were just petty, with no perceivable consequences, and no real resolution. There was a bit of “a girl’s will be girl’s” cop out to the conclusion of Annie and Helen.

 

—–

I did love this movie for its moments of a deeply truthful portrayal of womenhood and female friendship. The part where Annie says to Megan, “I just miss her,” nearly broke my composure. And obviously, the cookie.

 

And Kristin Wiig? Well I kind of want to marry her. Because that girl acted her pants off, oftentimes with the subtlest of glances, and yet the entire time you knew exactly what was running through her head. Brava. She is my secret dream of being an actress (and a writer!) personified.

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Why this week has sucked.

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I generally try not to get upset about things provided everyone stays employed and out of the hospital.

And I definitely don’t like to endorse negativity, but this week has demonstrated that it is almost impossible for me to write about positive or at least thoughtful things when I’m in a shitty mood. All I want to do is bitch, but I don’t cause I think about those gratitude journals and how I *should* be doing that instead or something.

Maybe I had high expectations this week cause it was my birthday, but I doubt it because I generally don’t think of my birthday as a big deal. Rather, I probably just had the expectations that this week be normal and NOT SUCK.

Instead what I got was:
~An entire week of awful weather
~Plans to go to dinner/yoga/anything that involves interacting with people not happening bc I haven’t showered in 3 days.

Monday:
Train schedule change, train late
Phone won’t start
Giant audit request at work
Work late
Mess with broken phone
*Phone fixes itself*

Tuesday (my Birthday):
No heat in our house=Cold shower
Estate sale fail
Computer at work gone bananas
Work late
*Shopping spree at Marshall’s and Target*
Guilt over shopping spree—>late nite closet purge

Wednesday:
Girl sits next to me at Lynbrook
Panic-attack inducing pain in my shoulder/chest all day
Exhausting amounts of work at work
*No huge work disasters*
*Seat on crowded train*
STILL no heat

Thursday:
New AM train schedule ASININE
Forgot water bottle
AM train crowded – people in my seat and my backup seat
Accidentally took subway extra stop for first time in 4 YEARS
Weather unexpectedly hot as balls during unexpected walk back from extra subway stop
*Left work on time-ish*
STILL NO HEAT
Cat vomit all over bedroom

UPDATE: Friday:
New-ish girl at work still messing with my chi.
Very stupidly and unnecessarily fucked up at work.
Didn’t have time to take a lunch and rain ruined my trip to Express anyway.
Worked late.
Too dark to run.
*Very nice people said nice things to cheer me up.*
*Uncrowded train.*
*Honey’s check up went A OK.*
*HEAT!!!*
The spell is broken!!!

Whew. Well, I dunno about gratitude journals, but I think this little writing exercise has certainly helped me appreciate ordinary weeks that involve showering, commuting without strangers practically sitting in my lap, leaving work at a reasonable hour, etc.

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Wedding : The Where, Part 1

This was a tough one for us. As I touched on over at my first post on mine and my friend Aimee’s new blog about honeymoons, I have always wanted an intimate destination wedding. Just me, Scott, and maybe a dozen friends at a fabulous villa somewhere exotic.  (Most fabulous villas can be rented for a week at $10k or less, so I figured why spend it all on one day?)

Only in retrospect am I able to see clearly why this was such a strong desire of mine:
Long Island, where I grew up and we live now, is a veritable stronghold of the WIC. Here we have been raised in a land of catering halls, and are bred since early childhood, through years of bar/bat mitzvahs, sweet sixteens and proms, that one day our wedding will take place in such an establishment.

And so naturally, I truly thought the only way I could escape the grasps of the LI WIC and its message of back-breaking conformity was to get the hell out of Dodge.

A love of travel and a want for something small, unusual, and nontraditional seemed to effortlessly equal “destination wedding”. Over the years I have also taught Scott to like to travel, and as he wished for any kind of wedding planning that didn’t involve me doing (and thus crying) much, he was on board with “anything that would make me happy.”

And out of this our dreams of a Costa Rican wedding were born.

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Our Villa Buena Onda sneak peek last May

I came across THE venue in a Gmail header ad, of all ungodly places. Despite the URL reading the very cheesy “www.mycostaricavilla.com,” I clicked. I looked at the prices, then the photos (oh, the photos!), and finally took a deep breath and headed over to Trip Advisor, where a 100% perfect rating caused me to squee and bounce up and down in my chair.

An intensive email dialogue with Joan at Costa Rican Vacations ensued, and within a month we’d booked ourselves a visit to the Villa.

It was a clever excuse for a vacation, which you can read more about here and here.

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Scott looking spoiled and guily, signature drink in hand, as he checks out this view…

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The Villa was our last stop on the trip, and we were totally worn out and exhausted, but oh my god, was it the cure for all that. We were given a tour followed by lots of wedding brainstorming with Dayana the concierge, who was so adorable I wanted to take her home in my pocket, and so clearly on top of her game I wanted to hire her on as my own personal assistant. I definitely could’ve trusted my wedding to that woman.

Then we were given lunch (and ice cream!), and even had time for a dip in the pool. It may have been several of the nicest hours I have ever spent anywhere. Seriously five star treatment. So five star I was almost uncomfortable, and wondered if I could handle a whole week of this…

Gah, writing this actually makes my stomach churn, I still wish we were getting married there! (And here! Two weddings!)

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Even this collage could not convince our friends to come to CR…

But two does not make a wedding, only an elopement, and many variables (that I will discuss in Part 2) caused us to go down a very different path.

So instead, here’s to a Villa Buena Onda vacation in 2012!

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The Mom Mystique

 

Mom3-1 Waikiki Beach looking towards Diamond Head, Oahu HI

July 1967

 

Lately I’ve been reminded of how there are things we don’t ask our parents about.

 

Either because it just never occurs to us, or because we’re not sure if we want to know the answers.

 

In my case, there were many things.

 

Now that it’s too late, I sometimes wonder if I would want to have the chance to ask those questions, or if I’m actually better satisfied with the mystique my mom so successfully created around her life pre-me.

 

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Puerto Rico

July 1966

 

Having me at 39 in the 80’s, she painted a vague picture of a fulfilling life—of the 60’s and the 70’s, the NYC-slumming student nurse days dealing with lunatics at Bellevue, dancing at Studio 54, and traveling with her best friends.

 

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Puerto Rico

July 1966

In these days of My Parents Were Awesome, and Dads Were the Original Hipster-chic, my mom clearly holds her own, and a part of me dearly wishes to know the NSFW stories that I’m guessing exist

 

[Her affair with my dad, and my scandalous birth—39 year old woman having babies out of wedlock was no where near as badass in the eighties as it is now—is a whole other minefield.]

 

But on the other hand, I’m guessing the glamour was slightly embellished. (I’ve got to get my penchant for exaggeration from somewhere.)

 

And I think I might just prefer it that way.

  Mom4-1

Molokai, HI

July 1967

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2011 Syllabus : April

Inspired by Whitney Arlene, in January I created a syllabus for myself to give some direction and focus to the quarter-life crisis/navel-gazing/figuring out I’ve been doing. I gave myself readings, writing assignments, projects, and several classes/courses and activities. Each month I write an update on my progress. Click here to view the syllabus.

 

P1000815I’m behind on this one, but at least I’m doing it before May is over.

 

Instead of getting all philosophical on this check-in, I’m going to deal with just the facts.

 

I’m behind.

 

I think the lesson learned there is that a syllabus is a great tool, but when making one I need to be way more specific and measurable.

 

What Worked:

 

1. Parts that were either

a) very clearly broken down and scheduled or,

b) required me to be accountable to outside parties.

 

I’ve been [mostly] successful regarding my acting class, working on HDRx, and participating in Mondo Beyondo and Earn 1k.

 

What Didn’t Work:

 

1. Picking 6 books without deciding when and in what order to read them did not get me very far. In fact, I am impressed that I even read one book.

 

2. Saying vague things like “explore,” “weekly,” and “topics” and not further scheduling or specifying.

 

3. Things mentioned in my objectives that were not then broken down into an actual assignment.

 

For my last ditch effort to make a success of this, I plan to:

 

For May:

1. Read The Art of Non Conformity.

 

2. Create an editorial calendar for this blog.

 

3. Finish up Earn 1k : lessons & extras.  Create a sales funnel to generate new HDRx projects.

 

4. Email one potential career mentor.

 

—–

 

Last week I evaluated 2010 and recreated my yearly goals. This was a practice I tried out last year from a Marcus Buckingham worksheet that I really liked. Several things I placed in my goals overlapped with unfulfilled parts of this syllabus, and I think I’m going to let them go for now, and add them into any plans I make for the summer, whether or not that includes a “summer semester.” (Massive nerd alert.) Once again, I found the Buckingham sheet really interesting to look back on, and redo. Should probably have look at it throughout the year though, as it would have reminded me of my desire for things like “partying more" while I was busy working myself to death.

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More Spring Style : Laura

Second in a Three Part Series of Wardrobe Interventions

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Laura is a nursing student and yoga instructor. When I first met her she pretty much lived in yoga gear, so I thought she’d be a great guinea pig.

 

But she was a step ahead of me in the wardrobe building process, as she’d recently had a volunteering position that required “business casual,” which resulted in her having a pretty solid foundation of basics to build on.

 

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These consisted of some great-fitting jeans and pants, leggings, dresses, skirts and neutral tops.P1000443

 

Ok, I’m gonna say it again, fit, fit, fit!! The difference in attitude between Laura trying on her favorite new pants for me and knowing they looked good, versus Kristin’s self-consciousness was palpable. I swear, if it fits right, it will make you feel good, no matter your shape or size! (Of course, finding things that fit right is not always easy.)

 

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I helped Laura mix and match some of these existing pieces in new ways, and gave her some tips on fit about things of which she was unsure.

 

For her style board, I gave her some accessories that she could use to dress up her basics, as well as dresses and sweaters with pops of color that would go with the neutrals she already owns. And inspiration for her brown Frye motorcycle boots!

 

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