Monday, June 21, 2010

The Suburban Incident I've already neglected my 28 day challenge and haven't blogged for the last two days. Well, I was fishing all day Saturday (I caught my first fish EVER!!!) and Father's Day is kind of a bummer, so I'm just going to skip those two days and pick up where I should have been: Day 6: "A moment you wish you could relive." BUT...I'm also going to combine it with Day 9: "A photo that you took" (I can do that, right?)

Anyhow, this particular moment takes me wayyyyy back, a whole 4 years to my junior year of college. One of my bff's, Ms. Emily Jackson (or how you've seen her referred thusfar, Emj), had just returned from an entire semester at sea, and was going through what she coined a "semester at sea hangover"--which was clearly a euphamism for "I've been all around the world on a boat, and now I don't want to do schoolwork, I just want to get drunk every night with my friends and cherish my college years."

Did I also mention that this was when Emj went through her emo phase?

So, being the good friend that I am, I decided to indulge in her wishes for awhile, assuming that she would run out of steam after one or two nights. Clearly, I was mistaken. It became a weekly, nightly ritual that we would go over to our friends' house (the good sports: Blake Martin, Rob Purple, and Chris Chugden), consume wild amounts of alcohol and then play guitar hero. I was usually ready to go at a decent hour since this was typically on a weeknight, but the Emj's "abroad hangover" had exacerbated to the point to which Chugden would have to blast Semisonic's "Closing Time" right before he had to physically push Emj out the front door like it was last call just to politely remove Emj from his home.

But, as you can see, Emj was not ready to leave the party yet.

Yes, I did take that picture, but that is not the infamous picture, nor does it capture the infamous incident that occurred about an hour after this one was taken. For some reason, on this occasion Emj had been even a bit more "overserved" than usual. She insisted that she be allowed to play guitar hero, even though she was swaying back and forth like a palm tree during hurricane season. After much persuasion, Emj was allowed to play a little "Carry on My Wayward Son." However, moments after the song started, we all realized that Emj was not actually playing the song, just blindly banging on the buttons like Ray Charles on a piano (minus the skill and harmony). As a result, Purple and Chugden decided to "help her out." And here, my friends, is the picture I took:

And by "help her out" I actually meant PLAY THE GAME FOR HER, whilst Emj jammed out like she was at a death metal concert.

I wish I could tell you the story ended there, but then this awesome anecdote would not include the moment I wish I could relive. About 20 minutes after "Closing Time," it was customary for me to walk Ms. Drunky McGee safely back to her dorm room across campus. However, tonight Emj was feeling extra saucy, and decided she wanted to play "catch blackout Emj" instead. And here's where it happened...

Emj did run track in high school, and I can safely say she would beat me in any kind of race. Sober. I can also say that from experience, I will give her credit that she can smack-talk with the best of them (which is always fun when she's on your beer pong team). However, this girl cannot combine both of these skills simultaneously. And when she tries, the situation takes a turn for the worse. Or, for the better if you were me that night and got to witness this rare event.

So as Drunky McGee is running down the street and jibber jabbering some incoherent smack talk, she didn't realize that she was now running in a perfect, diagonal line. When I say jibber jabber, she sounded like a cross between The Muppet's Swedish Chef and someone who was playing Chubby Bunny for the first time. I literally had no idea what she was screaming at me. Well, I'll give her credit, she made it a good 40-45 feet ahead of me before I heard a sickening THUD. Did she fall down? Did she hit that elusive curb that somehow seemed to pop out of nowhere for her every once and awhile? Oh no, that would have been too simple. In fact, she ran into this:

Yep, smack into the back of a suburban.

She hit it with such force that every light in the vehicle came on. She also hit it with such force that I watched her sink like a wet noodle out of a boiling pot onto the street. I have never seen anything like it. Since I'm so incredibly mature, the first thing I did was fall to the ground and almost pee my pants. And luckily, Emj did the same thing. So there we were, on the street, both peeing in our pants simultaneously. After rolling around and laughing until I couldn't breathe I diagnostically assessed the situation and realized there was no permanent damage, I walked her back to her dorm room.

Incidentally, I did not remember this last detail until recently when I retold this story to someone else. On our "walk" (if you want to call Emj's post-collision-elegant-two-step "walking",) back to her dorm room, Emj looked up at me with all sincerity and states with (somehow) coherent conviction:

"Thank God I have this puffy vest on. Whew."

To this day I still cannot tell this story without dying laughing, and my only regret is that I was the ONLY one who saw this happen, and that I didn't catch it on video. So yes, minus the (pain?) that Emj (may?) have experienced whilst slamming into the back of an SUV like a wrecking ball, I do honestly wish I could relive this moment in college. And since all of us are now adults, none of us drink like THAT anymore...right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Funny how? Funny Like a Clown?

Day 2 of Blogging Rehab:
Okay so I didn't realize it until this morning, but figuring out what my favorite movie was was even harder than my favorite song! After a long debate with myself (that sounds incredibly odd, but yes, it was me vs. me), I had to go with my all-time favorite: Goodfellas.

I even have this poster in my bedroom. (Yes...I still have movie posters, lay off). It would be an understatement to say that it clashes with my Kappa Delta frames and nautical pieces--quite frankly if people walked into my room they might think I had multiple personality disorder. Or that I was a sorority girl who maybe sails and then moonlights as a hit-woman.

Either way, Martin Scorcese is easily my most favorite director of all time. And I think he captured the original non-fiction craft of Nicholas Pileggi into nothing short of a masterpiece. I read his original book, "Wiseguys," and there were a couple of tweaks but overall it was pretty true to form. I think I'm also a little biased because most of the movie took place in Bensonhurst (as do most Scorcese movies), which is where most of my family grew up. And really, I'll be honest, I'm just fascinated by any and all mob movies.

What's so intriguing about Goodfellas though, is that Pileggi never paints these men as actually good OR bad, just born into a life that seems not only normal, but very respectable to many in the neighborhood. That's not to say the life of a gangster is completely glamorized, I mean they do show the scene where Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro have to dig a hole themselves to bury their recent hit, and Liotta repeatedly pukes. (As many times as I've seen this movie, I don't handle vom well, so to this day I still fast-forward through him heaving up his capicola and prosciutto).

I can't tell you exactly why, but my favorite dialogue in the movie is where all three of them come home to Tommy's mother's house in the middle of the night, and she cooks for them and they enjoying their post-whacking feast:

In the middle of dinner, his mother whips out an oil painting she just finished (Tidbit of trivia: Pileggi's mother actually painted it!), and she and Tommy go back and forth concerning this obvious masterpiece:


MOTHER: Have some more. You hardly touched anything. Did Tommy tell you about my painting? Look at this.
JIMMY: It's beautiful.
TOMMY: I like this one. One dog goes one way and the other goes the other.
MOTHER: One's going east, the other’s going west. So what?
TOMMY: And this guy's saying, "Whaddya want from me?" The guy's got a nice head of white hair. Beautiful. The dog it looks the same.
JIMMY: Looks like somebody we know.
TOMMY: Without the beard! Oh no, it's him! It's him. (They hear a loud thumping through the open window from the trunk of the car parked outside--the last guy they "whacked" isn't actually dead.)
TOMMY: What's that?

Just listening to their back-and-forth makes me die laughing every time. Not to mention the fact that they're enjoying their pasta while their latest hit is still half-alive in the truck of the car parked in the driveway.

There's also the famous scene where Joe Pesci grills Ray Liotta for telling him "he's funny." I would type out the whole dialogue but just reading it without Pesci's inflection and voice would not do it justice.

The whole movie is based on this "world" of organized crime, and although there are some dark parts, there are so many quick one-liners sprinkled in that you can't help but laugh. Pesci adds to the levity, and this was the movie that made me fall in love with both Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro as actors. Again, I think I just love Robert DeNiro because some of his facial expressions mimic my grandfather to a T. And yeah, Ray Liotta has that AWFUL acne scarring and it looks like someone took meat-mallet to his face, but, I'm still a sucker for blue eyes so I can't help it.

I think this is just one of the few movies I own that I can watch over, and over and over again and never get sick of it. It has just all of these simple aspects that I love: Scorcese, Brooklyn, Italians, organized crime, and a lot of thinly sliced garlic. After typing this post, I might just now have to run to Publix, get myself a big Italian sub, and pop in this classic.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge aka Blog Rehab

So after I posted my rant about Drake's new album (I re-read it this morning and I sound like a jerk on a soapbox!), I decided I would lighten things up a bit and try this challenge that I found over at Preppy Perfection. Maybe this will force me to post a blog everyday! So here's how it works:

Day 1 — A favorite song
Day 2 — A favorite movie
Day 3 — A favorite book
Day 4 — A favorite television program
Day 5 — A favorite quote
Day 6 — A moment you wish you could relive
Day 7 — 5 things you could not possibly live without
Day 8 — A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life
Day 9 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — A song that you want played at your wedding (or was played)
Day 13 — A guilty pleasure
Day 14 — A vacation you would like to take
Day 15 — A person you admire
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry
Day 17 — An art piece
Day 18 — A time when you felt passionate and alive
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — Something you know you do differently than most people
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A way in which you want to be remembered
Day 24 — A movie no one would expect you to love
Day 25 — A recipe
Day 26 — A childhood memory
Day 27 — A physical feature you love
Day 28 — A scar you have, and its story
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — A motto or philosophy

This 30 days of blogging kind of reminds me of Sandra Bullock's movie: 28 days, where she enters a rehab facility (for, SURPRISE! 28 days) to work on her little problem with knockin' back the sauce.

She just needs some blogging rehab. 

Lately, I've had a problem with some of my "creative juices" flowing (when you renovate a house you can only talk about rearranging papers, frames, moving things, and painting so many times before you bore even yourself.) Or you just get irrationally angry at harmless Canadian rappers. And so, in an homage to Sandra, I'm going to consider this my "Blog Rehab," so I'm actually only going to do 28 posts. Alright so without further adieu (ado? adeu? I have no idea), here is my first day of blog in-patient treatment: My Favorite Song.
This was a tricky one, because off the top of my head I can think of at least 20. I will tell you the two runner-ups: "You Got Me" by The Roots featuring Erykah Badu, and "Everything" by Mary J. Blige--my cousin Ashley got me HOOKED on that song, and no matter how many times I hear it, I think of her. (strange association since it's supposed to be about Mary's love of her life, but let's face it Ash, you're stuck with me for the long haul anyway)

Ash looks confused and I look like I need the restroom. Clearly, nothing has changed.
But there is one song that I can think of that puts me in an incredible mood whenever I hear it. I don't even think it's the lyrics that do it for me, because they're so simple. If you watch the vintage "Old Spice" commercials they state that "Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory" (which I completely agree with,) until I hear Tony Bennett's "Stepping out with my Baby"
If I seem to scintillate
It's because I've got a date
A date with a package of
The good things that come with love
You don't have to ask me
I won't waste your time
But if you should ask me
Why I feel sublime

Steppin' out with my baby
Can't go wrong 'cause I'm in right
It's for sure, not for maybe
That I'm all dressed up tonight

Steppin' out with my honey
Can't be bad to feel so good
Never felt quite so sunny
And I keep on knockin' wood

There'll be smooth sailin' 'cause I'm trimmin' my sails
In my top hat and my white tie and my tails

Steppin' out with my baby
Can't go wrong 'cause I'm in right
Ask me when will the day be
The big day may be tonight.
For some reason, this song was on heavy rotation one summer we spent in the Hamptons; I think I might have been around 10 or 11 years old. Literally every time we got in the car to go ANYWHERE, we had to put this song on. The light piano in the background, Tony's snapping, his voice; the whole song just puts you in a good mood. Even though my grandpa got utterly sick of this song after hearing it about 15 times a day, I always associate Tony Bennett with him. (If my grandpa could have been a hybrid of any three celebs, I believe anyone who knew him would agree that he would have the abbrasiveness and delivery of Jack Nicholson, the laugh, wit and facial expressions of Robert DeNiro, and the moments of charisma that Tony Bennett seems to exude constantly)

This son of a gun. (For the record he's wearing my hat. I was like 9).

Not to get all Mr. Rogers on you, but this song will always be tied to my grandpa,  so that's why it's my favorite, and I think that's why I'm so emotionally attached to it.  He really was an amazing man and one of the most important people in my life, so he'll probably pop up again and make another cameo in my 28 days of Rehab Blogging. I'll have to be thinking of my favorite movie for tomorrow...and THAT, my friends, will be an even bigger challenge.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My First Cooking Post!

Okay, so I know I said in my first post that this was not going to be a baking blog. But after breakfast this morning I figured, this is such a simple delicacy that everyone can enjoy--why be selfish and keep it to myself? Do not be daunted by the intricacies of this recipe, it's quite easy, I assure you.

This is my recipe for my FAMOUS Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches. Just follow these easy steps, I've also included pictures to aid in your cooking adventure.

1. Remove the tasty morsel from the box shown here:

Only 290 calories per serving!

2. Carefully remove the sandwich from its protective plastic lining. Much like a condom, it keeps all of the important contents within its walls.

3. Place the frozen sandwich within the very center of a paper towel. Make sure it is directly in the middle, or the consequences of an unevenly-thawed breakfast sandwich could be dire.

4. Wrap up the sandwich, place it in the middle of the microwave, and hit "defrost" for a total of 1 minute and 40 seconds. Do not exceed this time limit, or your sandwich will taste like bark.

Placed perfectly in the middle. (I know, I make it look so easy).

On my microwave, it's a little tricky: you must hit "Time Cook" TWICE before it allows you to find the hidden "Defrost" option. Don't let this fool you, nor let it intimidate you. I assure you, the button is there.

5. This step is crucial--you must next FLIP the sandwich over once it has finished defrosting. The sandwich may be hot, so much like ripping off a band-aid, the quicker the better. I've mastered the art of the sandwich flip. In time, you will too.

6. Next, you must COOK the sandwich (not defrost) for 50 seconds. (Maybe I shouldn't be so presumptuous with such a difficult recipe, but I'm assuming most of you know how to hit "time cook" and type "5-0") so I do not have a manual picture of this step.

7. CAREFULLY remove the steaming sandwich from the microwave and unwrap your decadent breakfast. Smell the sausage, revel in the scent of the melted cheese (much of which may be still stuck to the napkin).

8. Enjoy your meat-egg-and-cheese masterpiece between a croissant! But wait a good two minutes before biting in, or you'll be stuck doing that awkward wide-open-mouth, reverse breathing motion when you place something in there that's too hot.
So as my Italian grandfather would say before every one of his savory meals: "Mangia!"

Disclaimer: Now clearly, I cannot cook to save my life. But, if you want some actual, cooking recipes, check out my friends' blogs who actually CAN bake! Take a little gander at J-Stan's Bakery or at Emj's Blog. Both have some recipes that are absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tortuous Tuesdays

Since I've failed miserably on delivering new and exciting movie reviews every Monday evening, I've decided to instill "Tortuous Tuesdays" (because it's my blog, and I'll do as I wish.)

I've so fondly named it "tortuous" because there are few words that begin with the letter "T" that could describe this fine creature below me:

Because just looking at him is torture. I could have used "titillating," but that word just makes me uncomfortable.

I know many of my friends who have celebrity crushes, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. And any girl (or guy!) who is reading this, I know you have one too, so please refrain from raising your nose up in distaste. For me, it's Bradley Cooper. Even with his God-awful frosted tips and frat-tastic behavior (these two attributes should never go together) in Wedding Crashers, not to mention that awkward baby seal impression...I still just cannot resist this All-American boy.

"And I was holding this tiny baby seal and it looked up at me and went 'arr, arr arr! and then I wiped its little nose and it went 'arr, arr arr arrr arr"'

FYI: Sean's celebrity crush is Rachel McAdams. Ironic, no?
We are officially not allowed to watch Wedding Crashers together.

...Or any other movie for that matter where her gorgeous smile, bright blue eyes and bee-stung, red lips make me feel increasingly inferior with every perfectly contrived giggle that escapes them.

It's sad because I really do love her as an actress, but both of us drooling over the television screen in perfect harmony is not a sight I'd like to see.

Plus, I think it would end in both of us feeling severely insecure by the end of the movie.

But enough about Rachel. This is about Bradley. And all of his glory:
There's nothing lazy about this river I TELL YOU WHAT!

I was informed the other day that for some reason he was in Pompano Beach, FL. We were in the process of painting all of the baseboards in my house, so when I was relayed this information, I had to suppress every urge to jump into my car and troll every inch of Pompano for this Adonis-like specimen, I picked up my brush like a responsible and controlled adult, and kept slathering on that white paint onto the bottoms of my walls. Because I am an awesome daughter helping my mother with her house. And because I can't find my way out of a paper bag...leaving me about a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of finding him anyway.

So friends, I will leave you with these "tortuous" photos:

And yes...I know he played a homosexual camp counselor in the cult comedy "Wet Hot American Summer"

..and an embarassing role in "The Midnight Meat Train" (Believe it or not, it's actually a suspenseful thriller despite the suggestive title.) It was awful. Everybody gets one:

OK, maybe two. Enter "All About Steve" (for which he received a Razzie):

Poor Brad, he just can't stay away from the frosted tips.

Oh well. I'm a sucker for a guy with blue eyes. Maybe that's how I got so lucky and landed my Knight in Shining Guy Harvey :) 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Unnecessary Luxuries

Totally within my price range My newest obsession from Anthropologie:

You can't really see the details, but if you want a better look, click here.

The perfect summer dress. If you happen to catch me in a bathing suit with scars on my back, and possibly limping, you'll know where I got the money to purchase said dress. And no, I won't be limping because of  my personal lack of skills in walking in heels--I will just simply be down one kidney. Hey, that's why they gave us two, right?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Paranoid Ice

So this past weekend Sean and I ventured to Memphis for Memorial Day weekend! We stayed at my friends Katie & Rob's beautiful house on Mud Island with J-Stan & Ben, who graciously relinquished the guest room to stay in Rob's Man-Cave upstairs. We had some lunch at Fino's when we landed, and then headed over to Rhodes to give Sean a tour, hang out at the Kappa Sig house, and basically pretend we were still in college.

Me, Katie & J-Stan

I mentioned last week that Sean had a target on his back for a little game of BrosIcingBros. Well, he got iced for the first time just an hour after landing. Thanks to a little game of Bocce ball and some clever planting, when Sean was asked to go over to the bushes and move a ball, he found something else...

SURPRISE! That's no Bocce Ball!

Once Sean was no longer an Ice-virgin, he quickly turned into a deadly Ice assassin. As did everyone else. By Sunday, "BrosIcingBros" turned into "How paranoid can I make my fellow brethren?" Did you try to use the restroom? Hope not, because there was a lovely Smirnoff Ice in there, the bowl protected by saran wrap. Want another beer? Don't stick your hand in that case! I have to give them credit though, as the weekend continued, the Icings became more and more creative, naturally making every male a little more paranoid.

"Can I open that door? Can I open the fridge? Is there one right behind me!? Am I actually holding one?!"

Was their paranoia warranted? Absolutely. On Sunday we had a yummy crawfish boil. I learned you have to first purge the crawfish of all of their impurities (gross) before you can actually boil them. In order to do this, you have to pour copious amounts of salt into the water where the little critters are being held. As a result, the water turns this ugly, brackish brown color. Rob went into the cooler to start the first round of boiling. Instead, this poor soul got not only a batch of live, purged, crawfish, but another surprise as well:

Crawfish Iced!!! Ew.

That morning, Sean woke up with an Ice and a note that said "Pillow Iced!" Ironically, it was for Ben from the night before, and I actually slept on the Ice the entire night and didn't even feel it. Oops.

Now, the game is called "BrosIcingBros," so after witnessing all of this testosterone-only paranoid fun, I felt left out. The very well-hidden feminist part of me wanted to shout "Why can't I play!!?" (after actually having to chug an Ice, my feminist side said to me "shut the hell up, this isn't the women's suffrage and that drink is disgusting, you moron.") However, until I was thinking rationally, and not like a feminazis, I really wanted to ice someone. Sean had successfully silent-assassin-iced quite a few people on Sunday, so someone had to get him. And that someone was going to be ME. But how could I do it? What advantage did I have over Sean that he just did not possess? One word:

That's right. Cleavage.

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but it was the combined effort of Alex, Katie, & J-Stan. I simply had to take the Ice, my pride, and my apparent spurt of irrational feminism, and shove it right down there in my bosom. All he had to do was casually look down at my plunging neckline and BAM...Boob iced. this little game, you can "ice block" if you get iced. If you're carrying an Ice with you when you get iced, you can give them your ice and you both have to take a knee and chug. Clearly I did not plan this very well, because just as I yanked the condensated Ice out from between my sweater puppets in a victorious glee....I also remembered that I had JUST TOLD Sean about 5 minutes earlier that there was one more Ice from our six pack, hidden in my purse. 


Once I pulled my weapon out from my arsenal airbags, he looked me square in the eye....and pulled one right out of his back pocket. It was like a duel, and I had clearly lost to this malt beverage bandit. Damn it. Foiled again. But at least he had to drink with me.

This is probably the most unflattering angle of me possible, but I'll suck it up for the game's sake. Plus, I chugged like a champ. And I've realized that no matter what picture I'm taking, my hand has become a permanent fixture on my hip. Do I think that looks good or something? Interesting.

The rest of the day we played some drinking games, ate some crawfish, as well as some other amazing appetizers--I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in Katie's sausage pinwheels. This awesome weekend flew by, and we flew out on Monday evening, only to miss our connecting flight from Memphis and get stuck in Houston (not so awesome). Then I was terrified we were going to have to spend the night in the Houston airport.

Maybe Tom Hanks can pull it off. But just a shot in the dark here, I doubt Ambien and Airports mix very well. I would probably get arrested for trying to break into the barred Starbucks and eat the muffins.

Luckily, because my boyfriend is fantastic and is actively serving our country in the US Coast Guard, on this fateful Memorial Day the ladies behind the ticket counter gave us a free voucher for a one-night stay at the Holiday Inn near the airport. (pretty awesome). The next day we were both exhausted and ready to leave the Lonestar State ASAP.

Someone looks a little sleepy. Handsome, but sleepy.

All in all it was a great weekend! By the time sanitation visited Katie & Rob's, I'm assuming they must have thought that over Memorial Day weekend, there must have been a lot of fun, a lot of crawfish, and possibly statuatory rape of 16 year old girls...since they are usually the only demographic who actually drinks Smirnoff Ice by choice.