Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mildly Uncomfortable

Have you ever been looking at amateur porn on the internet, only to suddenly realize that one of the people in the video looks alarmingly like someone you know?


Just me?

Well let's just say that it makes watching the rest of the video mildly uncomfortable.

But I did it anyway.

I have no shame.

Friday, February 27, 2009


No matter how you slice it, rejection sucks.

To be honest, I kinda saw it coming. Over the years my radar has been fine-tuned to a point of sensing the end long before the beginning is even in sight. I try to chalk it up to a deeply ingrained sense of cynicism, but the numbers keep proving otherwise.

Anyway, despite my doubts about the Contender, I've been trying... because you never know unless you try, right? But for the past few weeks (during which I haven't seen him--he's been sick) I was pretty sure his interest was fading.

Today I emailed him to see if he wanted to try to get together this weekend, and a few minutes ago he called to let me know that "it wasn't working out," and "he thought he was feeling it, but he wasn't, sorry."

So I (far too perkily) said "Okay" and thanked him for calling and not just vanishing into the stratosphere... then we basically wished each other a nice life and hung up.

And there you have it. On top of everything else stressing me out this week, the threat of dying alone once again looms large on the horizon.

Even though I wasn't really feeling it either, and even though I had a strong suspicion that this wasn't going anywhere... being rejected still sucks.

Even if I didn't want him, was it too much to want him to want me?


I guess I'll just have to take solace in the fact that the sex was mediocre at best... here's hoping a better Contender is lurking somewhere ahead.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bad Frog

As you are most likely aware, I have some bad habits.

One of them is smoking.

Another is spiraling downward into an uncontrollable panic at the drop of a hat.

I try not to let them get the best of me, really I do.

Unfortunately, these two tend to go hand in hand.

Yesterday, I saw an apartment. A really great apartment. The kind every New Yorker drools over for the simple fact that it is WAY below market value, due to being classified as a low-income apartment. As in, there is a maximum allowed income for the occupant.


Or so I thought.

So today I rushed over to the broker's office to drop off my application, secure in the fact that, for once, my poverty would prove to be a boon rather than a burden.

He called me a few hours later as I sat in a hairdresser's chair with bleach searing my scalp, and lo and behold, in addition to there being a maximum income requirement, there is also a minimum.

Which is about $2000/year lower than the max.

And about $6000/year more than I can prove that I make.


So I'm scrambling... oh lordy am I scrambling... to try to find a way to make this work.

But somewhere around 9:30pm, after submitting a resume to a job I could totally do (elementary level textbook editor), but am theoretically not at all qualified for, the panic hit... and I found myself sitting in the middle of my diningroom floor, sobbing uncontrollably, while my cat sat next to me, purring contentedly, clearly too senile to comprehend the difference between Happy Mommy and Wigging-The-Fuck-Out Mommy.

Ahhh... pets.

25 minutes later I had relocated to the couch and was attempting to watch South Park, but every 30 seconds or so another sob would break through.

So I did the only thing I could think of that would calm me down.

I went around the corner and bought a pack of fucking cigarettes, and smoked one on my stoop.

Then I came inside and bookmarked a zillion Craigslist ads, which I will apply to tomorrow.

Now I'm going to go smoke another.

This bad habit may make me feel guilty... but a least it keeps me off the floor.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I considered live-blogging the Oscars... as in, sitting on my couch with my laptop and writing tidbits as the show went on and then posting the whole thing after, not inundating you and your readers with a new post every thirty seconds. I'm not that self-obsessed.

Either way, I decided that it would be too much of a distraction from the event itself--also I may or may not have feared spilling a Cosmo across my keyboard--and so I decided to hold off until it was all over.

Honestly, I probably should have taken notes instead of just shouting random comments into the ether for my cat (and possibly the neighbors) to hear, but I didn't. Again, too much of a distraction.

You see... as an actor, the Oscars are kind of emotional for me, because as I watch, I can't help but imagine for myself what it must be like to be in the shoes of each of those extraordinary people accepting an award. Ever since I was little, it's always been that way, even before I'd figured out that this was what I wanted to do with my life (which I did at the age of nine, early bloomer that I was). And with tonight's new format for the acting awards, having five different past winners presenting? God DAMN! No wonder Anne Hathaway was near tears having her nomination announced by non other than fucking Shirley MacLaine... I teared up just watching!

And dear god, to be one of the Best Actor nominees... Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, and Adrien Brody?? On the same stage, at the same time, to honor... me? Yes, it will never happen because I don't have a penis, but when I saw that line-up I nearly passed out on my couch.

I won't lie... there are some awards I disagree with. I think Wall-E should have taken at least one of the Sound-related awards, and while Slumdog was great it dominated in categories it maybe shouldn't have, and hey... since this is an election I can't vote it, I reserve the right to bitch about the results :)

My biggest beef though, honestly, is... mother-frikkin' Beyonce.

For fuck sake I am so fucking sick of her.

And that tribute to the movie musical would have been a million times better if they'd found someone who could actually DANCE! Seriously!! I'd hate to be a cameraman on one of her music videos because they must film for frikkin' weeks! Girlfriend clomped down those steps like she was wearing combat boots... And then the adorable Amanda Seyfreid from "Mama Mia" got to sing for all of three seconds before Sasha Fierce dove in over her. I would have gotten much more out of Hugh Jackman (LOVE!!) singing songs from West Side Story if they'd had a female who could actually sing the vocals opposite... though kudos to the producers for not letting Beyonce sing "Tonight" or I might have imploded from the travesty. Seriously, girlfriend (and the rest of the world) need to get the fuck OVER it. Ahem, okay, finished.

Other random thoughts from the evening (sorry, that last Cosmo is kicking in and I'm starting to space out) include:

Dear Myley Cyrus, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WEARING??? Love, Froggy

Damn I want to work with Meryl Streep. I think the first movie I ever saw her in was "Death Becomes Her" with Goldie Hawn (another favourite). Must put that on my Netflix.

The "In Memoriam" sequence gets me every year... this year especially, losing Cyd Charisse and Paul Newman, two of my idols. But did I blink or was Heath Ledger missing from the reel??

Speaking of Heath, it must have sucked to be a Best Supporting Actor nominee this year, because everyone knew he would win... not that he didn't deserve it, because honestly, he did. The whole dying thing just sort of upped the ante. However, I can't help but wonder how Robert Downey Jr. would have felt if he'd won for "Tropic Thunder," but not for "Chaplin."

Couldn't stop clapping when Sean Penn won Best Actor. Even though I think Mickey Rourke is adorable in his busted-up lonliness, Sean Penn's performance was one of the most brilliant I've ever seen.

Cried when Kate Winslet finally won her Oscar. If I'd been her, even with having won all those other awards leading up to this one, I'd still be expecting to lose to Meryl. I'm sure she was. And she didn't. And that is awesome. And even awesomer if you've seen the first episode of "Extras" because Ricky Gervais was right!!

Holy Crap the woman who won for best Documentary Short had an amazing dress, definitely my favourite for the evening. Kate Winslet's comes in a close second.

If you haven't seen "Man on Wire," you should. It is amazing.

Ditto for "In Bruges," which absolutely should have won best screenplay (and Colin Farrel totally deserved that Golden Globe).

By the way, have I mentioned that I dearly, dearly love Hugh Jackman? Why hasn't he done a movie musical?

Dev Patel is the cutest thing ever! Every time the camera panned to him in the audience (generally when "Slumdog" was winning something) he had that same puppy-dog expression from when Jamal sees Latika in the train station.

Dear Seat Assigners, Putting Robert Pattinson diagonally behind Mickey Rourke was not nice! When the cameras were on Mickey during his Best Actor announcement, my eyes kept being drawn to Robert, who is a.) beautiful, and b.) seemingly devoid of personality. In the future, please place someone less visually stimulating behind him. Sam Mendes perhaps. Cheers, Froggy

I know there were more, but I'm a little frazzled, and there's some serious detritus in my kitchen that needs to be cleaned up so I must reserve my energy.

Happy Oscar Night to all! Please, feel free to leave your opinions on my opinions--or, you know, the awards themselves--in the comments! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the ________ Goes To...

It's Oscar Day! Hooray!!

I have no special plans other than vegging on my couch in my PJs, possibly cracking open the bottle of Prosecco that's been lurking in my fridge for a month, and enjoying Hugh Jackman in all his singing, dancing, tuxedo-wearing glory.

I am more prepared this year than I have been in any other, having completed yesterday's mission to see all Five of the Best Picture nominees in one day, as those of you who are my Facebook Friends are well aware :) At the end of the very long day, I have to go against the masses and say that my personal pick for Best Picture is...

Drumroll Please...


Don't get me wrong, Slumdog was fantastic, but Milk wins, hands-down for me, for several reasons. First of all, Sean Penn's performance is absolutely amazing, and so are all of the supporting cast (Hello? Emile Hersch? I freaking LOVE YOU!!). It was shot very organically, in a way that feels at once both intimate, and like a vintage news reel; and speaking of vintage news reels, the clips that frequently pepper the movie are not even remotely intrusive, they blend perfectly with the rest of the film.

And the end? Holy hell I cried. Even though you know it's coming, I still. Wept.

Definitely gets my vote.

And now, on to other things that get my votes... I've got two, count 'em, two awards to pass out, so let's get crackin'!

Up first, since I received it a few weeks ago and am only now getting around to it...

The Lemonade Award!
Bestowed upon me by the lovely Sequined over at Sequins and Glitter.

1. Thank the person who was so thoughtful for giving you this award by linking their blog to this post. (Done. Thanks babe!!)
2. Put the logo on your blog or post.
3. Nominate 10 blogs which show great attitude/gratitude.
4. Link your nominees to your post.
5. Comment them to tell them about the award they've won.

Honestly,I'm cutting the numbers short since I'm giving out two different awards today, so instead I'll divide these by category..

J-Money at The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy, because she finds joy in self-depracation, and so do I.
Z at Autobiography of my Feet, because she handles the world's most evil boss with far more grace than I ever could.
Brandy at It's like I'm... mmmagic!, because anyone who works with small children deserves an award in my book :)

Jess at Du Wax Loolu, because someone called her ingrateful the other day, and that pissed me off because she is ANYTHING but!
Princess Pointful at ...and hijinks ensued., because, well, she just gets it.

Next Up...

The Love-Ya Award
Bestowed upon me by the darling Penny at Penny's Thoughts, who I didn't even know was reading my blog!

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

DS at Strange Musings of a Distracted Spunk, since I knew her in the real world before I met her in blogland.
Ashley at This Is Not The Life I Ordered!, for being my favourite mojito buddy.
Hope at Hope Dies Last, for letting me feel special by offering her lots of advice on a subject in which I am equally skill-less (that'd be love, people).
Deutlich, at Speak On It, who won't pass this on but deserves it anyway, and was the first blogger to become a Facebook friend without having met each other first.
Lily at Lily Speak, who I just met through Ashley's Be My Blog Valentine, and already I totally <3 her--and also she could use some bloggy love in her life after a rough few weeks.

Okay kids, those are my awards for the day! I'll try to go leave you all comments and let you know that it's sitting here, just waiting to be received with gratitude and awe, but really, y'all should be reading my blog anyway, so hopefully you'll find it on your own if I don't get around to it :)

And now... I'm off to bake something.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And they're off!

Comfy pants? Check.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches & Carrot Sticks? Check.

Environmentally friendly water bottle? Check.

Location of the nearest Starbucks? Check.

Fandango receipt? Check.

I'm off to my epic day of movie watching! Wish me luck!

(And that I don't fall asleep during the first film, "Milk," because I am really freaking tired. Just once, I would like to sleep through the entire night without waking up. Is that too much to ask?)

Friday, February 20, 2009

And the Weekend Goes To...


In honor of the Oscars, this weekend is going to be all about movies... because let's face it, what else have I got to do?

This evening I met up with a friend and saw "He's Just Not That Into You," which was cute and entertaining, if a bit predictable. I laughed out loud, I got a little weepy (even as I groaned internally at the cheese of it all) at one scene toward the end--those who've seen the movie feel free to guess which one--and spent most of it trying to control the unmitigable rage that Scarlett Johannsen's character caused to well up inside me as she portrayed every woman's nightmare: the big breasted, badly bleached blonde, big red lipped yoga instructor who actively pursues a married man.

I already found her annoying. This film did not help.

But it did make Justin Long seem less annoying, and actually kinda cute in a way, so I guess it all balances out.

Tomorrow, however, is the coup de gras. You see, select AMC theatres are offering a special deal for tomorrow only: All five Best Picture Oscar Nominees, in one day, for $30... including unlimited popcorn!!

I am so there, from 10:30am to somewhere around midnight.

Let's hope I maintain consciousness for all three hours of Benjamin Button... or that, at the very least, I manage to stay awake for the scenes where Brad is actually hot.

And then Sunday, of course, are the Oscars themselves... I'll pause for a moment while you imagine Hugh Jackman in a tux... and possibly viewing a potential new apartment--more on that later.

So those are my stellar plans. I, for one, am quite excited about them.

What's everyone else up to?

Happy Weekend, Campers!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


In case it isn't already glaringly obvious, I really suck at dating.

I don't suck at getting laid--that, I am quite skilled at when I want to be--nor do I suck at finding a guy who will stay interested in me for a few days, weeks, maybe even a month if I'm really on my game, before heading off for greener pastures. But in the last 10 years, the longest I've dated any man (oh who am I kidding? boy) has been... three months, maybe? Even that might be a stretch. Long enough to be called a "boyfriend" but not long enough to fall in love or establish any level of lasting trust or commitment

Except maybe The English Ex, who managed to break my heart in a remarkably short period of time, but that was a fluke. Do not date your best friend. Ever. But that's a tale for another day (which I've already told, actually, and would have linked, but couldn't find it in my archives. Sorry.).

So anyway, here I am, trying my hand at this whole insane process once more... and I have absolutely no fucking idea what's going on.

I know you all want to know more about The Contender--or, at least, some of you do--so I'm sorry if it seems like I'm purposely keeping you in suspense or something. I promise that I'm not. But I realized last night as I was trying to fall asleep that I have my reasons for not really talking about him, so, as a sort of consolation prize, I thought I'd talk about those.

First and foremost is the fact that, honestly, there's not all that much to tell. I could tell you what he does for a living, or what colour his eyes are, or that, despite an otherwise clean-cut exterior, he seems to have a predilection for ripped jeans, but how much does that really say about a person?

I see him about once a week, our activities have involved playing pool and watching a movie on my couch, and yes, we've slept together.

The other reason I don't really talk about it is that, to me, talking about it means that I expect it to go somewhere, and in the past, expectations have always led to disappointment. So I try not to have any. Or if I do, I keep them to myself, so at least my disappointment isn't made public.

Call it a self-preservation instinct.

And honestly, I don't know where it's going, or even where I want it to go.

On one hand, he's sweet, attractive, gainfully employed, and does all the things I've wished guys in the past would have done. You know, like return phone calls. I enjoy spending time with him, and appreciate the fact that, like myself, he loves olives and garlic.

I like him. I do. But I'm not infatuated with him. You know, that feeling when you get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about a person? I don't get that. At least, not often. Maybe once a week if I'm feeling particularly sentimental--which, if you've spent any amount of time reading this blog, you will know is not common.

And maybe that's good. Because in the past that sort of blind infatuation has led me to overlook all sorts of glaringly obvious faults with the object of my affection (having a girlfriend, being an alcoholic, having no ambition in his mid 30s), which leads to forming expectations, which, as I already said, leads to disappointment.

And if there's one thing I'm completely and utterly sick of--besides unemployment, the failing economy, and being stressed out about money--it's disappointment.

But by the same token, I miss that excited, fluttery feeling. Good for me in the long run or not, I like it. Is that something that can develop with time? Or if it's not there immediately, will it never be there? And if it's not there, does that mean it isn't right? Am I supposed to feel that way, or is that just the road to a quick burnout and more baggage than I already (clearly) carry?

I don't know.

So I don't talk about it.

Even though by not talking about I've more or less talked about it, still... I'm not talking about it.

At least, not until I know just what the hell it is that I'm talking about.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm feeling very crabby today.

While I technically have enough money to stay in my current apartment until roughly June 15th, logic dictates that it makes much more sense to move before I run out of money, and, as my father said on the phone yesterday, "putting it off won't make it suck any less." Thus, I have started apartment hunting.

For the record, the economic downturn does not appear to be affecting the housing market in NYC, which means that finding a cheaper apartment will most certainly result in either a drastic reduction in size of living space, or (the horror!) a roommate.

Or, you know, New Jersey. But really, we don't want to think like that.

And then there's my continuing unemployment. The bottom line is: I really need a job. Really. And it's biting me in the ass because the entire reason that I went to grad school in the first place is so that I wouldn't have to take another unfulfilling and mindless job just for the sake of having a job, and now it looks like that's exactly what I'm going to have to do.


So. Yes. The realities of life have got me feeling pretty pissy today, so here's a few pictures of things that make me happy.

The cake from Valentine's Day. It was every bit as awesome as it looks.

I would eat pizza every day if it wouldn't make me a total fat ass. However, when you make it yourself, it's actually not that bad for you, and thus I am on a seemingly never-ending mission to find the perfect NY style pizza crust recipe. This is last night's attempt, which was pretty damned good (and exactly what my hangover required).

I've started knitting my first ever pair of socks, and since I'm incapable of doing things the easy way, they are split-toed ninja socks! As in, I'm going to try to create a chart so I can knit a little ninja on the side. They're going to be awesome.

There. I feel marginally better. Time to eat leftover pizza and scour Craigslist for a decent apartment that's not a scam from someone claiming to live in Europe who needs me to pay $200 for her to send me the keys.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

In Pictures...

So all of my preparations are done, and now I'm just waiting for The Contender to get here, which will probably be another hour, so I thought I'd share some photos from my food prep.

The Menu
Beef Stew, Mom's Recipe
Salad (Blend from a bag that I fell in love with last week, my only cheat!)
Tomato, Basil & Garlic Bread

French Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Port Reduction and Fresh Whipped Cream.

Go ahead, wipe the drool from your chin. I'll wait.

Done? Okay, so...

My snazzy place setting. How freaking fantastic are those bowls? They were on sale at Fish's Eddy and I simply HAD to have them!

Tomatoes, waiting to be oven-dried.

Carmelized Garlic and Oven-Dried Tomatoes, ready to go into the bread dough.

The Bread. There are 2 more loaves in the freezer.

Phase one of Raspberry Port Reduction, which I made up on the spot and is soooooo good! Recipe below.

Raspberry Port Reduction
1 small carton raspberries
1/8 c. port wine
1 tbsp. sugar
Pinch Cream of Tartar

Reserve 5 or 6 raspberries for garnishing if desired and add rest to small sauce pan with port and sugar. Simmer until berries just start to come apart. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree (be careful! The steam will make the lid want to fly off!). Once blended, force mixture through a strainer to remove seeds (this will take longer than you think). Return mixture to sauce pan and bring back to a simmer. Add a small pinch of Cream of Tartar (optional) and stir constantly with a spatula until the bottom of the pan stays clear for a moment before the mixture closes back in. Transfer to glass bowl to cool.

Dessert! I have been dying to try this cake recipe for years, and no, that is not an exaggeration. I bought "The Chocolate Cookbook" when I was studying abroad in 2000. This is the first time I've had an excuse to make a whole cake!

And thus concludes the photos so far. The stew is in a pot on the stove and, if we're being honest, stew is not all that photogenic... but it tastes fabulous!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009


That's my new way of saying "Argh"...

So anyway, I don't think I blogged about this, but back in January I set up an audition/interview to direct a play at a middle school. The job would have lasted a few months and been at least one source of income, as well as adding some much needed post-grad-school experience to my resume.

Originally I was going to take the first available interview date, but once the guy told me that I would also have to "audition" by teaching a 45 minute lesson on "whatever I wanted," I opted for a later date to give myself time to prepare.

Two days before my audition, I see that I have a missed call on my phone. I check my voicemail and there is a message from someone at the school saying "We found someone we liked and offered them the job, better luck next time," or words to that effect. Like they couldn't have waited TWO FREAKING DAYS to see if I was better?!?

Anyhow, through a random coincidence I was looking at an acquaintance's Facebook page and realized that she is the one who got the damned job.

So not only am I annoyed because I wasn't even given a chance, I'm also annoyed because, damnit, much as I like the girl, I am better.

Or at the very least, just as good.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Notes. Mostly About Boys

I should be in bed right now.

A few minutes ago I was digging around in my underwear/lingerie drawer looking for a nightgown and accidentally grabbed a little number from Frederick's of Hollywood that I'd completely forgotten I owned, so of course I tried it on. This led to giving myself a private fashion show of all the sexy little things in my drawer and let me tell you, there are a lot of them... roughly 90% of which (maybe more) have never been seen by anyone's eyes but mine.

I'm hoping to change that.


I absolutely adore Frederick's for fun, sexy, inexpensive lingerie (and everyday cotton undies that are far cuter than Fruit of the Loom), but I hate the fact that once you order from them, you are put on the mailing list for every purveyor of slutty clothing known to man.

My landlords are the only ones with keys to the mailbox, so they bring in and sort the mail.

I worry they think I'm a stripper.


No, The Bad Date doesn't think we've been dating all this time. That weird email was a combination of his not-so-humorous sense of humor, and a passive-aggressive dig at me for ignoring him.

Oh yeah, clearly, I'm missing out.


The Russian Who Never Called seems to genuinely feel bad about being a Non-Caller. Looks like this was a case of a sheep in jerk's clothing. Or something. Whatever, I'm not losing sleep over it (not that I ever did).

Besides, he had bad teeth and the early signs of a bald spot.


The English Ex has split up with his fiancee, poor guy. Granted, he's a bit of a fuckwit and considered leaving her last year when he developed a crush on some other girl, but he got over it. I can only imagine how much it must suck to be on the receiving end of a blow you nearly dealt yourself.

Interestingly, in the past this also would have excited some little piece of my brain that would think "Hey! He might be on another continent, but he's available again! There's a chance that..." But not this time. I'm not sure whether it's the cumulative effect of years of being his relationship counselor via MSN and seeing that he's kindof an emotional fuckwit with ALL girls--not just me--or the fact that I am slightly less single than usual.

Perhaps it's a combination of the two.


Somewhere around this time yesterday (my sleep patterns are all sorts of screwed up right now, yet another side effect of unemployment) I bit the bullet and emailed The Contender to see if he wanted to come over for dinner on Valentine's day. This morning he wrote back saying that I'd beaten him to the punch and he was going to suggest more or less the same thing, only him cooking for me. (Insert collective "Awww" here. Go on. I'll wait.)

So, I'm making him dinner on Saturday and I need suggestions! Dessert is already covered, as there's something I've been looking for an excuse to try for ages (and I can take the remainder to the Lovely A's birthday party the following day), but I'm trying to figure out what to make for the actual meal.

There are several things I am particularly good at, some of which (a whole chicken, a roast beef) are perhaps a bit extravagant. However, Lasagna (or anything Italian, really), some sort of stuffed chicken breast or pork chop, or comfort food like meat loaf and homemade mac n cheese, I am also pretty damned good with.

So the question: Comfort food, or culinary prowess? Which skill do I flaunt?

Cast your vote in the comments. I'm off to attempt sleep. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh for the love of...

Email from The Bad Date (whom I haven't spoken to since):

is it okay if we start seeing other people?


Are You for REAL? - Part 2

Facebook message from The Russian Who Never Called (and who sent a second friend request earlier today):

Subject: [name] the douche
so it's been eating at me ever since you left this past summer, but i'm a total douchebag for not keeping in touch and i hope youre doing alright and was wondering how you've been. i understand if you don't feel like replying

My Response:

Well, since you brought it up, it's not so much the not calling, because let's face it, I'm a big girl and it wouldn't be the first time, and I did leave the country a month later. The *true* douchebaggery lies in the fact that I get all of your promotional emails and text blasts.

I'll stop holding it against you since you more or less called yourself out, but seriously dude? Tasteless.

That being said I'm doing fine and all is well, thanks for asking.

Take care,

So he apologized (without actually using the word "sorry," but I suppose "douchebag" will suffice), but still... Fucking men...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Any Last Requests?

Traditionally, Cupid is depicted as a cute little cherub wielding a bow and arrow, but in February, I begin to feel that a semi-automatic rifle would be more appropriate.

In case you've missed the flood of Zales, Kay Jewelers, and 1-800-Flowers ads that have been inundating your regularly scheduled programming; or you haven't seen Couples Week on Wheel of Fortune; or--like all three contestants--you missed the painfully easy Final Jeopardy question last night... the most dreaded day of the year for millions of Americans is fast approaching.

Valentine's Day.

(If I knew how to make that font drip with blood, I would.)

My attitude toward V-Day has varied greatly over the years.

In Elementary School, it brought the excitement of any other holiday. The night before was spent painstakingly selecting the appropriate conversation hearts to enclose with each Thundercats or Gummi Bears themed valentine--"Be Mine" for the secret crush, "My Pal" for the smelly kid. The day itself was spent in eager anticipation of that one hour at the end of the day when educational pursuits would be abandoned and we would bite the ends off of generic twizzlers and use them as straws to suck up sugary fruit punch while feverishly tearing open tiny envelope after tiny envelope, quietly attempting to decode our crush's intentions from Optimus Prime declaring "You're MINE, Valentine!"

In Middle School, the stakes became higher. No longer were we required to give a valentine to every member of our class--500 cards per person would put far too great a strain on the selection at the local CVS--yet my friends and I still took joy in passing what were now deemed "kiddie" cards among one another. Yet a new and unprecedented danger was lurking beneath the surface of this previously loved day. Lurking, to be specific, just inside the doors to the cafeteria.

The Annual Carnation Sale.

White for friendship, Pink for "like," and Red for (gulp) Love, lunch time was transformed from the break between Social Studies and Chorus to a veritable battleground for adolescent girls. In 7th grade, I feigned joy as my friends arrived to our table one by one, bearing the tokens of their admirers. My hands and locker remained painfully empty, yet I persevered, feigning disinterest and supressing the urge to simply buy one for myself so that, to the outside eye, it would appear as though somebody thought I was worthy of a $1 flower.

Come 8th grade, however, the tide had shifted. I had a boyfriend! And not just any boyfriend, but a first love. After all, this was the boy who had left a painstakingly drawn Sonic the Hedgehog bearing a giant red balloon and proclaiming "I LOVE YOU" in my locker, on a normal day! Surely on Valentine's Day, of all days, he would come through!

I dashed to my locker between every class, feverishly checking to see if he'd been there, risking being late for class for the simple opportunity of walking through that door bearing a carnation and letting the whole world see that, at last, I was loved.

Toward the end of the day, it happened. There they were. Three white carnations. Refusing to succumb to panic because white meant "friendship," I simply assumed that white had been all that was left. Besides, I had flowers! Who cared about a stupid colour?

Giddy with the heady rush of finally being someone's Valentine, I caught up with him at the end of the day and breathlessly thanked him for the flowers.

"Oh yeah," he replied nonchalantly. "Some girl gave them to me and I didn't want them, so I gave them to you."

Excuse me?

Here my friends are getting engraved ID bracelets (oh, my 8th grade dream!) and mix CDs and I get fucking second-hand flowers?!?!?

Needless to say, my attitude toward the holiday shifted a bit after that.

Enter High School. Single once more, I took to wearing black and openly announcing my detestation of the holiday, decrying the rampant commercialization that it had come to symbolize and self-righteously announcing that I, for one, did not need some special day to tell me to appreciate the ones I loved.

When I started dating High School Boyfriend it worked out well, as he too was a rabid decryer of the day--though I'm fairly certain his attitude had less to do with commercialization and more to do with it being the day he'd lost his virginity to his ex--and we banded together to pretend it didn't even exist. Though, of course, we always spent it together, finding solidarity through mutual disdain.

Eventually, of course, I realized we were being silly, and once we had gone our separate ways I decided that, while still overly commercialized, perhaps Valentine's Day wasn't entirely evil. Granted I was always single, and during the year I lived abroad my friend and I began a tradition of gathering single girls to go sex toy shopping on Valentine's Day.

My senior year of college I was once again a member of the coupled class on Valentine's Day. Not wanting to make a huge deal of it, I offered to cook The Guitarist dinner at my apartment, my roommate having taken some girl out for a fancy dinner in Washington DC. We hadn't been dating long and I wasn't expecting, well, anything, so when he showed up at my apartment bearing a single long-stemmed rose that he had purchased from a guy on the corner on the way over, well, I was genuinely touched. For all of his faults--and believe me, he had plenty--he was always great with the little things, like buying me Cadbury eggs when he found them out of season, just because he knew I loved them. Those are the sorts of caring gestures that really get me, and which so few men seem to understand.

That was the last time that I was coupled on Valentine's Day. In the years that followed my attitude has varied, but if I'm being honest, generally lingered on the bitter end of the spectrum.

Last year I decided to change that, and simply STOP being "Bitter Single Girl." I bought myself chocolate and flowers, wished everyone I saw a Happy Valentine's Day, and just generally enjoyed the hell out of the day. And it felt good.

And now here we are, with yet another Valentine's Day looming on the horizon, and I find myself stuck in yet another conundrum.

The Contender.

We haven't been dating long--even less than I'd been dating The Guitarist--and everything is, thus far, very mellow and undefined in nature. So... am I allowed to ask him to make plans on Valentine's Day? Should I wait and see if he brings it up? Perhaps more importantly, is he a Valentine's Day lover or hater? If he's a hater, and I bring it up, does that make me look like needy girl who expects dozens of roses and caviar and jewelry and string quartets and and and...

I, for one, exist firmly in a grey area. I'm not against the idea of Valentine's Day, but I do think it is overly commercial and puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on both the coupled and un-coupled alike.

I'm not one of those girls who expects the world to be laid at her feet every February 14th--I learned the hard way at age 14 that such hopes can only lead to painful disappointments--but by the same token I wouldn't mind spending it with a guy whose company I enjoy. Especially considering that, for the first time in ages, I actually have one on hand.

But, after only a few weeks of dating, am I allowed to ask for that? Or is it too much? I personally don't think so, but as a culture we've laid such weight on what should be such a simple day, that I worry...

And so I labor beneath the sensation that I'm standing before a firing squad, blindfold and cigarette in place, wondering just what the hell I should do.

Do I stand passively against the wall and hope it will be over with quickly? Or do I rush in, guns blazing, knowing that, at the very least, I tried?

I, for one, haven't got a clue.

And so it continues...

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Perk of Gentrification

When I first moved into my apartment a year and a half ago, I was one of perhaps three white people living on my block. Since that time, the number has grown exponentially and at a highly visible rate. Modern apartment buildings are slowly springing up between the Brownstones. The incongruously cute coffee shop on the corner is packed from open to close. But the most significant change I've noticed? Is at the grocery store.

It started slowly, with a small section of withered-looking "organic" produce nestled between the okra and jicama. Then, in recent weeks, something bigger has been thrown into motion. Aisles have been stacked with boxes. Workmen squeeze through the narrow spaces to build the shelves up higher.

And then, last week, there it was, atop a shelf in the dairy case like a shining beacon from beyond the void of low-quality imitation cheese...

My brand of pickles.

I nearly wept with joy as I scooped this entirely unnecessary luxury item into my basket and practically skipped to the register.

Today, it was even more apparent.

Previously the selection of "organic" or "high end" packaged foods had been limited to approximately 4 square feet of shelf space. But now? Half an aisle! Of fancy things I will never buy but am so gratified to have available withing three blocks of my house. No more going to Manhattan for Traditional Medicinals tea or Annie's Naturals Organic Ketchup! (Which, FYI, is even better than Heinz and contains no high fructose corn syrup.) And look! Over there! The obscure flavor of Campbell's soup that is my hangover cure-all!

And then... I saw it. The one item I cannot live without, that previously I've had to walk a mile and a half or else travel into Manhattan to procure. Sitting in the aisle, case upon case, just waiting to be stacked in the cooler...

The original, milk-flavoured Coffee Mate.

And it was even fat free.

There, beside the dairy case, I succumbed to a full on joy-gasm.

While the process of gentrification may be negative on many, many levels, I've got to confess...

I absolutely love what it's done to my grocery store.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Fielding relationship questions from drunk people, particularly when you're not certain of the answers yourself, is always awkward.

Last night I went with The Contender to a birthday party for a friend of his. It was at a big, noisy bar on the LES, and I get the feeling that on a week night I would probably love it. Kick ass jukebox playing lots of old punk and grunge rock, decent beers on tap at reasonable--for Manhattan anyway--prices, and a pool table.

And I must say... my pool table mojo has been seriously lacking lately, but last night? I was on frikkin' fire. And it was awesome.

But, back to the awkwardness.

It started with a guy that we'll call Bad Pool Player, or BPP. BPP showed up shortly after we did, while we were playing pool to kill time waiting for the birthday boy to arrive. BPP was also there for the party and so we started playing doubles. A few beers in and BPP starts quizzing me.

BPP: So, how long have you two been dating?
Me: Oh, um, a couple of weeks.
BPP: A couple of weeks... couple of weeks... okay. He seems like a nice guy.
Me: Um, yes. He is.
BPP: Okay, okay, so how'd you meet?
Me: Er, online.
My Internal Monologue: Fuck! Fuck! Why didn't you just lie, dumbass??
BPP: (knowingly) Ah... Which one?
Me: (weakly) Match...

Fortunately the Contender returned to my side at that moment and saved me. It was my turn to shoot and I think BPP was giving him the same third-degree he'd just given me, and all I could wonder was... Why does this guy even care?? Seriously, we met 10 minutes ago, give it a rest...

Later we were talking to another party guest and the Contender had stepped away to shoot. The girl was introducing me to her boyfriend and then pointed out the Contender saying "And this is Froggy's... boyfriend? Is he your boyfriend?"

ACK! The dreaded B-Word!

Avoiding my committment-phobic instinct to shout "NO!!," since he was a few feet away from me, I gave her the "er, sorta, maybe, okay, no, not really, but maybe eventually" wiggling hand gesture... and quickly changed the subject.


I should clarify that I'm not against the idea of a (gulp) boyfriend, or even the possibility of the Contender eventually holding that title... but once such words have entered the picture, any going-of-separate-ways automatically becomes a "break up" rather than an "oh, it just didn't work out," and I'm not quite ready to contend with that possibility.

Shortly after this last awkwardness, the bar began getting painfully crowded. The placement of the pool table showed VERY poor planning on the part of the bar's owners, being set back in an alcove that also housed the floor's only bathroom AND the entrance to the basement where bands were playing, and hence the line to pay the cover charge to get into the basement... and every single 19-year-old-with-a-fake-ID in that line? Completely fucking OBLIVIOUS to the fact that people were trying to play pool.

Now, I am a non-violent person by nature, and firmly believe that violence never solves anything... yet when I've got a pool cue in my hand and people start pissing me off? I have to stifle the urge to get medieval. Seriously. So I made a rule... if I ask you to move three times and you remain oblivious? It's your own damned fault if I hit you with the cue.


So at any rate, when we had both reached our breaking point with the dumbasses crowding the table, we grabbed our coats from the coat check, I bummed us a couple of cigarettes from one of the 19-year-olds-with-a-fake-ID, and we hopped a cab back to Brooklyn.

All in all, I'd say it was a good night. Fleeting awkwardness at the hands of strangers aside, I'm a little wary of how easily this appears to be going, and keep waiting for the axe to drop.

What can I say? Old habits die hard.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pushing Through

It's rough out there.

In the current economic climate, I know there are many bloggers out there who are unemployed, and many more who are worried about becoming unemployed. As someone who has been in that state for nearly a year, I've been thinking about some of the changes that come with long-term unemployment.

First, Motivation. It disappears. Quickly. While I've never been prone to bouts of technical or clinical "depression," as it were, there are definitely days when I simply can't be bothered to do ANYTHING. This includes but is not limited to: cooking, showering, writing, leaving the house, or even getting off the couch. And if, like me, you are not a morning person? You can forget getting out of bed at a reasonable hour. I mean, why should you? If there is no pressing reason to get up before 10am (or, lately, 11am), the snooze alarm looks awfully inviting.

Or perhaps I should say feels awfully inviting, since I rarely actually open my eyes before hitting it.

Granted, this week both my Physical and Intellectual biorhythms are completely bottomed out, so the chances of getting myself going are pretty slim until my energy levels kick back up, but still... I feel guilty about being so lazy.

Housework also takes a serious hit. Right now? My apartment is a disaster area and in desperate need of a cleaning. Can I be bothered to do it? Nope. Not that I've ever been much of one for cleaning, but if the place is actually dirty enough to bother me? That's pretty bad. Unless, of course, spending excessive amounts of time at home has actually decreased my dirt tolerance... the high level of which was cause for many arguments between myself and the Evil Ex Roommate, who just couldn't grasp the fact that the minute level of mess that bothered her didn't even register on my radar...

Lately I've developed the habit of leaving the day's dishes to pile in the sink and then doing them the next morning when I'm still brain dead and therefore don't notice the tediousness of the task. I haven't done laundry in well over a month, which actually isn't all that unusual, but laundry involves a.) leaving the house, and b.) scrounging up money to pay for the laundromat.

Unemployment, which first seemed like a blessing--allowing me time to complete a grueling semester of grad school without losing my mind--has gradually morphed into a curse, a curse that is turning me into a female Al Bundy who never leaves the couch and can't be bothered to do, well, anything.

In short: it sucks.

I did not intend this post to be so Woe-Is-Me when I started it... I mean, in many respects, I'm quite lucky. Unemployment Insurance, plus the remnants of my student loans, have allowed me to remain comfortably in my apartment. Add on my tax return and, barring any calamities, I will be able to stay here until approximately June 15th. That's more than many people can say and I do realize that.

But it doesn't change the fact that I am sick of being unemployed, unmotivated, and seemingly unable to do anything about it.

My final complaint, before I put an end to my whining, is entirely unrelated...

Fucking Fresh Direct sent me Kirby Cucumbers instead of Endives! Hardly interchangeable, and now I can't try the new recipe I was going to make tonight.

Seriously, dumbasses, how can you mistake this:

for THIS???

Barring the fact that they're not even the same colour, one is a squash, and the other is a leafy green! GAH!!

Okay. Seriously. /whining

In other news, I noticed that my Google Reader subscription is up to 71 people... and I definitely don't know who all of you are! Please, say hello!

Also, I do have an award to pass out that the lovely Sequined gave to me... I'll get to that in the next few days! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In Defense of "Juno" [Spoilers!!]

WARNING: If you haven't seen the movie and you intend to, you might want to skip this one.

So, during one of my many hangovers last week (just another perk of my temporary "Social Butterfly" status) I was looking for something amuse me while I lay on the couch in a stupor, and I stumbled across Juno on HBO On Demand.

Now, everyone I know who has seen the movie had had one of two reactions: Absolute Adoration, or Complete and Utter Loathing... with Loathing holding a commanding lead. Never being one to form an opinion without personal experience, I decided that it was high time I checked it out for myself.

So I watched it.


I liked it.


Not Loved Beyond All Limit of What Else in the World*; but also not Hated With the Fire of a Thousand Suns**.

The soundtrack was painfully and pretentiously Indie, but being that it fit in with the overall feel of the movie, I was willing to let it slide (even if my teeth did grind a bit every time a new song began).

I watched with an open mind, trying not to mentally catalog "Things That Annoy Me" (other than the soundtrack), which is what I felt most of the Loathers had done. When it ended, I was left undecided, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, for the most part, I had really enjoyed it.

And then I started thinking about the complaints that I'd heard from the Loathing camp, and there are a few that I would like to address.

First, and potentially most absurd, was the idea that the character of Sue Chin was racist. Yes, racist.


Sterotypical, okay, yes. Not all Asian Americans speak poor English... but some do; and from what I know of Diablo Cody, she hardly strikes me as a racist. I'm guessing that this particular character and incident were based on some sort of personal experience, or a person she's known in the real world. Whatever the source, she clearly had a reason for writing the character as she did; and the director kept the character as written, and I highly doubt that "make Asian people look stupid" was either of their modus operandi.

And honestly, that scene? Going to get an abortion and having one lone protestor outside the clinic? And having it be someone you know? AMAZING! For both of them... because, in that situation... what do you do?

The second complaint I've heard is that the movie is pretentious. At first, I thought so too, but the more I watched, the more I realized that it's not the film itself, per se, but the characters in the film. Follow me?

Juno is a perfect example of a "cooler than thou" hipster youth. Jason Bateman's character is a classic "I'm too cool for this life" adult with a Peter Pan complex. Michael Cera is... okay, Michael Cera. Seriously, that kid is so sweet and sincere it gives me a toothache. Is he capable of playing any other type of character? Could he please try?

Sorry, I got sidetracked. The bottom line on this one is that, at the heart of this movie are several characters who need to grow up... if there was no room for character growth, why the hell would we watch?

And finally, the complaint I find most ludicrous, is that the movie makes teen pregnancy look like a good thing, or that it's not enough of a cautionary tale.

Um, hi. Not meant to be a cautionary tale! (Though the line about kids at school calling her "The Cautionary Whale" was easily the best one-liner in the entire script). Juno is not a "message movie," nor is it an After School Special, or a Lifetime Movie of the Week. It does not exist to preach the morality (or immorality) of teen pregnancy, or make a statement about what one should or should not do in such a situation.

It is a story. It is fiction. It exists, in its entirety, to tell that story in an engaging and entertaining manner. Making choices and forming opinions are the job of the audience, not the storyteller. The film does not exist to tell us what to do.

Keeping all of that in mind, what I liked best about this film is that at its core, it felt honest and genuine.

Not every girl's parents will throw a fit and/or kick her out of the house if she gets knocked up. (We've already got "Quinceanera" for that, which, btw, is a kick-ass movie). I liked that this movie showed supportive parents doing their best to help their kid through a rough situation. And the moment when Allison Janney chews out the sonogram technician? AH-mazing!

Sure, Juno seems awfully blase about being pregnant, but she's a freaking teenager! Of course she's acting like she's got it all under control! That's what we do! And she thinks she's found the perfect solution: give the kid away to a seemingly "perfect," family. Young, wealthy, attractive... what could go wrong?

But when it does go wrong? That's when she makes the most mature decision of the entire film. She sees that her "perfect" plan was perhaps not so perfect after all; that, in effect, nothing is ever as perfect as we want it to be... and, stripped of her fairy tale, she makes a real decision... and it is not easy.

I feel like the course of this movie is less about Juno being pregnant, and more about her learning how to "get over herself," so to speak. And how some of us (Jason Bateman), never do.

I have no idea if I made my point here, nor do I know why I felt driven to defend this movie so vehemently. I guess that, in my eyes, the haters just sort of missed the point.

I'm sure there are many out there who could rebut every point I've made here, and may feel free to do so if that's what makes them happy. I just feel like Juno got a bad rap that I don't feel it deserved.

That's just my $.02.

* Catch that Shakespeare reference?
** Look! Another one!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Close Encounters

Sunday I was on the subway, headed into Manhattan to watch the Superbowl (OHMYGOD THE SUPERBOWL!! My Celebratory blog theme will be staying up for awhile... ahem...) and my ears pricked up when I heard the couple across from me discussing this blog.

At first I was just patting myself on the back because the reference that caught my ear ("Really? Sugar Ray?") was totally random, but then I began thinking... if they read that blog, perhaps they read other blogs.... Oh shit! What if they read my blog? Wait, so what? It's not like they could recognize me. Hmmm... I wonder if they have blogs that I read...

At this point some seats opened up further down the car and they moved so I could no longer hear their conversation, but I kept getting the feeling that the guy was staring at me.

Which may or may not be because I kept accidentally staring at him while trying to surreptitiously check out the girl and see if she might be one of the NYC bloggers that I read.

Pathetic, right?

So, NYC freaders, if you were on the A train on Sunday afternoon, across from a girl in a bright yellow coat who was knitting something blue... we may have had a Close Encounter... of the Bloggish Kind.

Oh my god that was a lame attempt at a joke. I'm sorry. Truly, truly sorry.

I think I'll go hide now.