Wednesday, August 30, 2006

to further incriminate myself (because unlike JK but Serious, the purpose of my blog is to destroy all personal and business relationships), i will confess to my readers that yesterday while i was working at the bookstore my boss found out that i have a blog, for the unbelievably stupid reason that i brought it up myself, and asked me for the address. my mind immediately rushed to my last entry, in which i believe i made a few cutting remarks about the managing of the store. but don't worry- thinking quickly, i wrote not "", but "". if this actually is a running website, then i hope they appreciate the traffic i've brought them. if not, i hope he doesn't think to try nyc. if you are reading this Jim, sorry. I love the bookstore and I never meant any of it. hakuna matata.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

oh my god, i am so glad that i don't have much time left working at this bookstore. today, they decided to leave the door open despite the intense humidity that developed after the rain, so now all of the covers of the expensive books at the front of the store are curled like the copy of little women i left out in the rain while i was at summer camp.
that said, it'll probably be a while before i give this blog a real update (the update it deserves), because i'm leaving for china in a week. this means i'm trying to make the most of my time in this country before i leave for an undetermined amount of time. translation: it's hard to write a blog entry while you're stuffing your face with hot dogs. i'll probably do a big sum up of the summer at some point, and from then on my blog will have a very different slant. but if you're interested in hearing about my life, or just curious about what the life of an expatriate living in Beijing is like, i hope you'll continue to read.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I am really not a fan of gawker's new "already over" thing. gawker had always seemed like a hip older sibling clueing me in on the latest happenings in the city and providing a little witty commentary (much like my actual hip older sibling). but although gawker seems to think the best part of a "what's hip/ what's not" list is the "what's not" part, i totally disagree. the "what's hip" is what keeps the "what's not" in balance, preventing the listmaker from just looking like a snob. it makes the listmaker take a stand and put themself out there, so that their analysis of what is currently in makes them just as susceptible to mockery as their subjects. and that's the hard, scary part. you can pick anything you want and say it's not hot, and no one can really argue with you. even if it wasn't actually not hot, the act of putting it on the list has made it so. it is almost impossible to lose in such a case. even if the item is actually, on the contrary, very hot right now, you simply look ahead of your time, because of course everything that is in at some point will eventually be out. also, if reading the "what's not" list makes me feel bad because i'm still popping my collar and wearing trucker hats, i need a place to turn to that will tell me to buy shorts that are cut off at the knee or to go to american apparel.
and gawker's attempt at being meta by making their first "already over" gawker itself was just stupid. while pointing out all of the reasons that your blog is no longer very hip may seem like a really cool thing to do, very hipster and post-ironic, it is also raising lots of thoughts that may not have occurred to your less savvy readers. so there.

Monday, August 21, 2006

the worst thing about the internet- it used to be that when i opened my bottle of coke or diet coke, i would occasionally look under the cap and see that i had won a free soda. now all i see are a jumble of letters and numbers that only indicate that i am too lazy (and too indignant) to go to a computer and look up this code to see if i have won anything. really, its a question of opportunity cost. and it is really not worth the energy to me. but it really gets me that that's exactly what the companies want, so they can claim they're having a contest, but really only the most vigilant people will take the time to see if they've won, and so probably way fewer prizes are claimed. and i blame this entirely on the internet for existing.
it has come to my attention that due to the vague nature of my post on "hooking down," some people have feared that i was referring to them and have been, understandly, disheartened by this. i think it really comes down to human nature, that when one has done something they are embarrassed about, one becomes exceedingly paranoid that someone will shout it to the world. but don't worry folks, it was not about you. i can say this pretty much for a fact, because the actual subject of the post, the person with whom my friend "hooked down" is not a reader of this esteemed blog.
so breathe a big sigh of relief, and go along your merry way. go pop into an uncle louie g's and buy a nice italian ice to sooth your burned ego. i say this because i just noticed an uncle louie g's on 80th street and Bway (around there, i forget exactly what street) and i was really excited. because i looove ices, my favorite is vanilla chip flavored, and i am happy to see that uncle louie has made it to the city. mark my words, soon all these tasty d's will be replaced with louie g's.
so i finally went to see upright citizens brigade last night, after somehow managing to miss every sunday night since I first came home. i'm a huge ucb fan, but i must honestly note that every time i have gone has been slightly worse than the previous time. this time started out promising though. first of all, i was with a crew of miscellaneous swatties (that means swarthmore students, to you losers who didn't know) i hardly know, but all of whom i've always thought seemed like really cool people. so i was generally in an upbeat mood, and ready to laugh. and then, when they were announcing who was there to perform that night, out comes Rachel Dratch onto the stage. I was really excited, as she's always seemed like one of the funnier SNLers to me, evidenced at least by the fact that the usually exceedingly aesthetically minded producers allowed her on the show despite a certain lack of softness on the eyes. and debbie downer is one of my favorite sketches.
it wasn't a bad show. it never is, when you've got performers of that caliber on the stage. horatio sanz was his lovable self, popping into scenes with the most disgusting lines and actions you could never even imagine, and a woman i hadn't seen perform before opened the show with a delightful poop story that was refreshing to hear coming from someone of the female persuasion. but rachel dratch, man. what a let down. i mean, she's probably pretty depressed right now, as per the recent news that she was kicked off of tina fey's new sitcom because (rumor has it) of that unfortunate mug. but i can honestly say that she never improved a scene, nor did she create any interesting situations. since i had imagined her performance being in line with that of her frequent collaborator Tina Fey, who tore up the show when i saw her in UCB, or Amy Poehler, one of the most consistently best improvers i've ever seen, the whole thing totally bummed me out.
and the icing on the cake, Jeremy Cristol got his wallet stolen. how shitty is that? i was so surprised, given the general yuppy/hipsterness of the crowd there. but i guess after blowing all your money on american apparel clothes, you gotta find some way to pay the rent.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

i'd just like to point out that professor Harold Hill's song "The Sadder But Wiser Girl" from The Music Man could easily be renamed "I Like Sluts Cuz They're Easy." Way to go, Harold.
Also, the Times has a big article today about the big mystery of why successful broadway shows often flop when they hit the road. I was first assigned this story, but when i turned in my article, which simply said "duh. new york audiences are very different than other audiences, dillbags." they decided to go in another direction with the article, which i totally respect. well i don't respect it, but i'll tolerate it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

upcoming projects: i will be writing a novel called "Anne of Roosevelt Island" about a spunky redheaded orphan who finds a home on that little nook of an island just east of manhattan.
now that we are in the post-production period at work, there is literally nothing for me to do. all of the other interns are gone. i only have two days left though, so i guess i shouldn't complain. but i got to work at about 10:15 today (i think it's okay if i come in a little late since they never have any jobs for me), and now it's almost one, and i've spent the whole time looking for a restaurant to have lunch at.
as i'm nearing my departure for china, i feel the pressure rising to enjoy the last great new york food i'll have for a while. for me, as i am no huge fan of fancy cuisine, this means hot dogs, pizza, bagels, and pickles. unfortunately, these are the foods i love the most in the world, so i don't know if eating a lot of them before i leave will help, or will only further increase my appetite for them. so far it's not helping that much. i ate four hot dogs on one recent historic day, and still found myself craving them the next day.
i think to resolve this, i'm going to have to hark back to the only time i was ever successful in quenching my desire for a type of food. this was the infamous sushi eating competition among myself and my friends smita, annelise, heather, mae and niamh. in honor of someone's birthday or something, we went out to a great japanese restaurant with an awesome all-you-can-eat deal. because the restaurant assigned point values to each roll in order to limit the amount you could order at once, we took this as a challenge. we paired off into teams, and i was lucky enough to be placed with my friend annelise, a former lacrosse goalie who took the competition extremely seriously, shouting that i wasn't holding up my end and calling me karen carpenter every time i slowed down. to be fair, her determination did bring us to victory, with her eating about 13 rolls and me 8. but it was an oh-so-shallow victory, as i have never felt so close to vomiting merely from the quantity of food i consumed alone. i was not able to eat sushi, previously one of my favorite foods and a tormenting addiction, for about four months. so if anyone would like to take the challenge of a hot dog or pizza eating competition, i'm ready (this means you, Kobayashi)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

while catching up with an old friend of mine recently, we discussed recent hook ups, and he expressed a disdain for the person (a mutual friend) he had spent the night with. this made me so annoyed that i just had to blog about it, especially because in my estimation they were not an uneven match. while it is tempting to put down a person you've hooked up with if they're not your dream guy (or girl), i think the thing to remember is that hooking down (an expression i came up with, isn't it neat?) doesn't really make you look bad. what makes you look bad is talking about how you're better than the person you hooked up with.
looking at things from the flip side, being psyched about a hook up or at least respectful about it generally just makes you look good. for you, it makes you seem like a person who is a) not shallow, and b) knows what you're interested in. and as a plus, it generally makes the person you hooked up with look better also, that maybe there was something cool or interesting about them that you noticed which no one else had. so both you and your partner come out the better for it, and both seem like better and more interesting people.
on the other hand, when you decide to claim a superiority over the person you've hooked up with, you really only look worse. whether or not the people you're talking to think that you are better than the person, you stating it makes you seem like you're full of yourself. you also seem like an ass for being mean to this poor hook up partner, and like someone who sort of takes advantage of people that you're not interested in just for your own needs. and it makes the people you're talking to feel bad for the other person, especially if it's someone they think is nice.
bottom line: go for what you're interested, and don't hook up with people that you will regret. but if it happens, go with it. be a respectful person and don't badmouth the person, and you'll still come out of it looking better.
on an unrelated note, recent comments from good friends of mine have revealed that my blog is uninteresting and makes me seem like i'm full of myself. readers, i'm sorry and i'll try to work on this in the future.

Monday, August 14, 2006

for the first time, i am going to use this blog for good, rather than evil, and plug my friend ronen's band, communication corporation (i'm giving you their my space page, so you can sample their tunes). they are totally awesome, and they have a show coming up this thursday at the knitting factory at 9. i believe cover is 8 dollars. so anyway, if you think you're cool enough to handle it, come check it out.
so i went to see Scoop the other day, and I have to say, hugh jackman- perfectly cast, woody allen- perfectly cast (obviously) and scarlett johansson- maybe the worst miscasting i've ever seen. it annoys me because it is like woody allen is so blatantly trying to work with scarlett johansson that he's gotten a bit sloppy, and is not paying any attention whatsoever to whether she can play the role at all. this is not intended to be a dig at scarlett johansson at all- i think she's a very talented actress, probably one of the best of that generation. but a WASP is a WASP is a WASP, and they simply cannot play jittery jews. well i guess some can, but not the scarlett johansson type, which i class with the likes of meryl streep, where they seem to exude a certain un-jewishness that despite their best efforts and a plethora of talent, cannot be overcome. so the lesson is, woody, i don't care who you want to work with and craft your scripts around, but take the time to notice what roles they can and can't play, and use that information.
on a side note, do see little miss sunshine. just do.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

i meant to write a LeVar Burton update after meeting him on set of reading rainbow, but as it was kind of a hectic week, i haven't really gotten around to it. actually, there's not much to say about him, but since i spent the whole summer telling people how excited i was to meet him, i thought i'd let everyone know how it went. the most interesting things about levar i learned shortly before filming with him, which are that his name is short for Levardis, which is also his father's name, and that his wife's email address is Kunta's wife i've also realized that meeting minor celebrities is totally uninteresting unless they're hot. the first day we filmed with levar, i didn't even end up being introduced to him, but after having to report this to my friends at dinner that night, i vowed that i would at least say hi to him the next day. and i did, but it was only because we ended up being alone together as he sat in one of those director-type chairs on a break next to the monitor i was logging time codes on. so really, it was more of one of those "we're in the same place and it'd be rude not to acknowledge you" introductions, pretty much the same as i'd do with any crew member. he was very nice though, and we discussed the unseasonable weather (one of my favorite conversation topics). generally, i had an awesome time that day on set, and it kind of rekindled my previously wavering interest in working in production.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

so i went to the dentist today (i'm considering making this a blog just about my pearly whites) and i've decided that although i've been going to him since i was a little kid, i'm starting to doubt the man's legitimacy. i was always a fan of his laid-back attitude, demonstrated in his philosophy that most dentists are overeager to fill cavities to score extra cash. heck, i don't want to get my teeth drilled any more than he wants to drill them. but here are the three major warning signs i got today that maybe he's actually just a sucky dentist.
1) he has no hygenist. this was merely a "proceed with caution" sign for me. i don't know how important having a hygenist who does the cleaning before the real dentist comes in to do the dirty work is, maybe its just something upper west side dentists use to hype up them up, like an opener for the main act. i also think it has something to do with his more casual attitude about filling cavities. he's already cleaning your teeth, what more do you want? so on to the next.
2) he has really bad teeth. i gotta admit, this one almost made me want to bolt out of his office. i don't have super high expectations of my dentist's teeth or anything, i don't think he's gonna be like, uh, some celebrity with really nice teeth (you try to think of one, it's hard). but he had like, british people teeth, like the "what is orthodontia" type. and do i want someone who seems to have skipped over the basics of proper toothcare taking care of my treasures?
3) this last one is sneaky, but turned out to actually be the most worrisome. he has no receptionist. you may be thinking, "whatever, that has nothing to do with how good of a dentist he is." well first of all, it sort of does, when he has to keep leaving in the middle of my visit to answer his phone and schedule appointments. and second of all, when you put it together with the lack of a hygenist, you realize it's just him at his office, alone. this means that there's really no one to corroborate his legitimacy as a dentist. he's sort of just a guy with a dentist chair. and what if he decided to just go crazy on your teeth with his drill, Little Shop of Horrors style? there's nobody to hear your screams. eek.
therefore, i don't trust my dentist. i will continue to pay my yearly visit to him, making pleasant conversation and gagging on fluoride, but the trust is definitely gone.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

this is the second time i've gotten a fortune cookie that says "you can depend on the trust of the collective" Damn, chinese restaurants, stop hitting me over the head with your communist propaganda.
A new female character on Sesame Street? Sweet, but let's just hope she doesn't go the way of Lulu.
"The show had tried to introduce a character for just that purpose in 2000, the short-lived Lulu, a shy monster who 'had a kind of quirky personality,' Ms. Truglio said. 'She wasn’t that attractive.'"
Poor quirky, unattractive Lulu.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

sometimes it really sucks being a chosen person. that is, it sucks to live on the one block in park slope that seems to repeatedly suffer from blackouts while the electricity is blaring not fifty yards away (that was my estimation of the distance of a block, i am very bad at estimating distances so please don't point out how wrong it is). anyway, i don't have any more to say about that, except that it makes me want to throw my self on the floor and throw a tantrum, shouting "it's not fair! it's not fair!"
i wanted to talk about this new musical i saw at the vineyard a few days ago, called [title of show]. it's a show about two guys writing a musical for a festival, who decide to make the show about making a show. they're all playing themselves, and have lines like "i didn't say anything because i didn't have a line until now." yes, it's very meta, and when i first started watching, i felt like it was just too in keeping with the current trend of such irony and meta-awareness, and that like most hipsterish things, it would sacrifice the chance of having any heart. but as it went on, it definitely did have a core, and actually a surprisingly sentimental one at that. the closest comparison i can make is to Jonathon Larson's (composer/lyricist of Rent) first musical, Tick...Tick... Boom! [title of show]'s inspiring message is to take action and create what you want, and not to let your vision be tarnished by critics (called "vampires" in the show). As I was watching this, I was struck with the way that the message of this show differs from another popular musical about 20-somethings, Avenue Q. Where [title of show] tells you that everyone has an artistic message to get out, Avenue Q says that most people are sort of muddling their way through life without a clear idea of what they want to do. I'm not sure which side I support. personally, i guess, i fall somewhere between the two. i've never displayed any sort of talent in anything artistic, but i've also never been one of those people who wanders around feeling purposeless and wondering what i'm here for. but i don't know about other people. do the people who left Avenue Q feeling consoled walk out of [title of show] ready to hang themselves? And do [title of show] fans storm out of Avenue Q in anger that the vampires are telling people not to find their purpose? i wonder, and yet i feel like most people, with the exception of extremes of radiantly passionate artists and lackluster layabouts, probably leave each convinced that the playwrights knew exactly what their fears and insecurities were, and feeling relieved and inspired, respectively. and both are things we need to feel, sometimes. anyway Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along lets us know what's in store once we're through with our tumultuous twenties. regardless of whether we're inspired or not, we will all end up sell-out alcoholics. ah well, enjoy the good times while you can.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

today, as i stepped into an office-sponsored taxi to cross town to drop off a check (ah, the life of an intern), my cab driver told me that he liked my sunglasses, but that i was prettier than my sunglasses, and the best part was my teeth. First of all, i was very happy to have my teeth complemented, because i think that they are one of my least-noticed but best facets. Ask me to smile next time you see me. And I never had braces. Anyway, off of that little bout of narcisisma, this got me thinking about the relationship between salespeople and customers. As a part-time salesperson, i have often wondered at other people who complain of constantly being hit on at their jobs. shouldn't a salesperson be almost a non-person, someone who is only there to help you with your purchasing? even more than that, i've wondered about salespeople who hit on customers. for instance, at the restaurant Blue Ribbon in park slope, my friends and i are constantly barraged by the attentions of the waiters. although my friend who busboys there claims that it is simply the style of the restaurant to "make people feel at home," i think there is definitely a line between feeling at home and feeling like you're in a sketchy club. as a salesperson, especially a salesperson who relies on tips, the person is definitely taking a risk. they are putting their desire for sex over their desire for money, which i guess is reasonable as long as you're aware that you're doing it. and actually, the customer is always a variable, as there are numerous ways that they can respond. they can a) find the salesperson attractive, and score a date. tip will be bigger in this situation. b) feel uncomfortable, but ignore the person. tip may not be affected in this situation. c) be very offended, and let the salesperson know it. possibly also let their overseer know it. tip will be small to non-existent in this case. d) my case. feel bad that this person has put themselves out there and i am not interested. tip will be unnecessarily big in this case. So there you have it. As i look over these scenarios, i see that there are two cases in which the tip will rise from such behavior, one where it will be unaffected, and one where it will suffer. not actually such bad odds. hmmm...