Saturday, February 28, 2009

Comments not working?

So I've heard via email from two people that the word verification may not be in working order. For now, I've turned it off, so if anyone still has difficulties, please email me at

I also noticed that, from my work computer, the header-banner thingy is not visible (although it works on both of my home computers). Can anyone else not see the banner, or perhaps have an explanation for it? It really is a fine, tasteful banner, and should absolutely be displayed for everyone, including young schoolchildren, to see.

Update: Turning off the word verification still does not help some, so for the time being I have switched to the pop-up comments window. Holla' at me if that still doesn't work for you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Really? You guys care?

I just got back home from a concert. I'm pretty drunk, thanks for asking. I'm sitting here trying to settle my stomach with an Eggo Blueberry Waffle (I LOVE FROZEN BREAKFAST FOODS) and to kill time, I check my Google Analytics.

Turns out, you guys REALLY like hearing about that time I met Elijah Wood in a bar. Cuz my damn stats shot WAY THE FUCK UP after that post. Well, I'm here to share that nerdgasm with you all. Welcome, new readers. If you like Elijah Wood, I can promise that you'll like my musings on child beauty pageants, Disney, and poop.

Come for Elijah. Stay for the poop jokes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A president you can be proud of

The president's speech tonight was inspiring. It felt so much different from Bush's addresses. I feel like with Bush, all I heard was rhetoric and patriotic phrases, with no real meat. If Bush's speeches were a salad with a nice dressing, Obama's speech was a fucking turducken with bacon on the side.

I found out that I am getting a tax cut on April 1. I learned that people who have lost their jobs (my mother potentially included in that group) will get extended unemployment benefits and health care. I learned that we won't just throw this money to the wind and cover our eyes to where it ends up (like some bailouts I could mention). I found out that our new government is making a lending fund to provide the auto, education, and small business loans that have ground to a halt. I learned that banks will receive assistance, but will be held accountable for where that money goes. I learned that we would have health care reform by the end of the year, and that the government wants the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. And I learned that this education would be made affordable. I learned that our government wants to remove the troops from Iraq, and raise pay for soldiers.

You know what I would learn from Bush's speeches? I would learn that there wasn't really an economic crisis, that the Iraqis pose a threat to our national security, and that terrorists lurk around every corner. I would learn that the wealthy individuals and corporations in this country deserved more federal support than the middle and lower class. I would learn that I didn't need to know where my tax money went.

On a side note, what a totally awesome nod to his wife in the beginning of his speech. I'm pretty sure she mouthed "I love you" to him. Commence swooning.

Outside of political news, I've been out quite a bit lately and subsequently have been too exhausted/drunk/hungover to blog. But I do have stories. I went to a bar with a friend that's in the style of a speakeasy. You make reservations at 3 pm the day of, and when you get there, the door is located in a secret door in a phone booth inside of a hot dog shop. It was small and cozy, and had not even 30 seats. The prices were right, and you could chow down on hot dogs from the adjoining shop (avocado and sour cream hot dog!).

Then, last night I went out to help a friend celebrate a visiting friend's birthday. We were in a small dive bar that we frequent, and who should walk in but Elijah Wood! After much giggling and nervousness, I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder:

"Are you Elijah Wood?"
"My name is Phoebe, and it is a pleasure to meet you." (firm handshake)
"It's a pleasure to meet you too."

Then we asked him for a picture, and he happily obliged. Whadda guy. He even put his arm around me for the picture! SQUEAL!!! And I don't care what anyone says: Elijah Wood is ADORABLE. His eyes are so blue....he gives me a nerdgasm. I can't say as much for the entourage that was with him, though (that's right, hobbits apparently have entourages). They were all scowly and possessive. Pretty high and mighty for a group that's only hanging around the guy for status.

Then we left him alone, and proceeded to have a damn good time.
Below is the picture. Blog-safe, of course ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

VD: Valentine's Day or Venereal Disease? Maybe both.

Valentine's Day gives me mixed feelings, because on one hand I know that it's a stupid corporate holiday that means nothing at all; and on the other hand, I like attention from my boyfriend. So every year I sort of struggle with how we acknowledge the holiday without being stupid and going over the top. Or too lame and cliched. We could not acknowledge it at all, and show how cool and progressive we are, but then I would be a little sad because I want to make up for all those years in high school when other girls got flowers in their locker and candy-grams in homeroom, but I was flat-chested and awkward and got a card from my mom instead (at least my mom choo-choo-chooses me).

For our first Valentine's, I tried to cook a whole ham for Boyfriend. I also tried to make cornbread stuffing, which required placing a cast-iron skillet in the oven. After I took the skillet out of the oven and put it on the stove to cool, I turned away, and then turned back to grab it. I have the attention span of an infant, so in that time span I forgot that I had just removed the skillet from a 400 degree stove. I grabbed it with my bare hand, and spent the rest of the night in unbearable pain. I thought I would be scarred for life (I wasn't, but I swear it was the worst pain of my life). So that dinner was interspersed with many, many tears.

Our second Valentine's was during our long-distance period, and fell on a weekday, so we couldn't see each other. I had a flower arrangement sent to his office, complete with a teddy bear. Yes, he was ribbed mercilessly. But he liked the flowers, and wasn't ashamed to admit it.
I don't care if you have a penis or a vagina; it's still nice to receive flowers. Also, for as much as his co-workers teased him, they were all woefully single and therefore fucking jealous.

This year, I decided to let Boyfriend take the reins. I even sort of forgot that it was coming up:

Boyfriend: What are we doing tomorrow?
Me: Tomorrow? We're cleaning. My sister is visiting, remember?
Boyfriend: No, I mean, it's Valentine's Day.
Me: Oh! Um. We're still cleaning...

So boyfriend woke up way early and went shopping, and made me Surf 'n Turf! Filet Mignon and lobster, mashed potatoes and asparagus. Then he brought me Max Brenner chocolates, and a lovely Merlot. We consumed our totally fucking awesome meal while watching season 3 of Weeds. All of these things caused me to pee my pants in excitement, and because he's so awesome, Boyfriend didn't mind mopping up the puddle.

Also, we took a little walk over to the animal shelter and played with the bunnies. SQUEAL!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just one of those weeks

Just one of those weeks where:

  • Your shoes get stolen
  • Your boss complains about the direction of staples
  • You notice that your headaches occur daily
  • Your pet bunny refuses to cuddle
  • You can't find appropriate replacement boots
  • The pantry is devoid of edibles
  • The idea of doing small things feels like trudging through a sandstorm
  • The future seems bleak and devoid of promise.
On the flip side, it IS 30 Rock Thursday. Liz Lemon + Don Draper 4 eva.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Honestly, who steals a shoe?

My apartment building is set up in such a way that there are only two apartments on each floor, and the elevators open directly into a "private" hallway for each apartment (one in front, one in back). This hallway is more or less unsecured, and can be accessed from both the elevator and the stairwell. When we moved in, our landlord assured us that eventually the elevator could only access our floor by swiping a card, and of course that the stairwell door would have locks installed (the building was new when we moved in).

Fast forward 7 months. The fire department demanded that our landlord remove the locks on the stairwell doors (they also serve as the only fire escape), and of course we have not received the card-swipe elevator (although, without a lock on the stairwell door, what's the point?). Anyway, we still keep stuff in the hallway, like a shoe rack (I don't like shoes in my apartment, especially after tramping around the subway), a coat rack, and a storage closet (containing junk like wrapping paper and sports equipment and artificial Christmas trees). Our apartment is short on closet space, so everyone in the building uses their hallway as storage space.

This morning, as I always do, I paused in the hallway to put on my shoes. Normally I wear boots to keep my legs warm and my feet dry, but the weather has been nice lately, and I thought I might opt for my Skechers sneakers. As I pulled on my sneakers, I paused. Something seemed amiss. I stared hard at the shoe rack. Where...where are my boots?

Someone stole two pairs of my boots. Right out of my fucking hallway. MY hallway. Not a communal hallway. I had two pairs of black, size 7.5 Nine West boots that I recently spent FOREVER finding and purchasing (on sale, mind you! I'm not made of money). They were my only warm, suitable-for-wet-weather shoes. Hell, they're my only nice shoes. I'm notorious for picking out less-than-dressy footwear. Who steals shoes???

I only keep the boots in the hallway; they're too big for my makeshift-Ikea closet. They don't ever come inside. My other shoes were intact; Boyfriend's nice leather shoes (which were far more expensive than mine) remained. The coat rack was untouched, as was the storage closet (as far as I can tell. Honestly, if they took something out of there, I might not miss it). They just. took. my fucking. boots.

My landlord thinks it's a particular neighbor, who hasn't paid rent in nine months. I'm not sure if I'm ready to point fingers (I really like the guy), but I would like to ask him and other neighbors if they noticed anything. We have a security camera in the front hallway to the building, so she promised to check the tape and see if somebody either left carrying my boots or if someone entered the building who does not belong. I've also been frantically checking Ebay all day to see if my boots get posted. So far, no dice.

In the grand scheme of things, this is small potatoes. Total, the boots probably cost me $150, which is a lot of money to me; But it's still not much considering how much worse other people get ripped off (Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, anyone?). But mostly I'm feeling angry and insecure. Why pick on me? Why leave me with chilly and wet feet? Is it someone in my building? Should I distrust my neighbors? If it was someone who doesn't live in my building, will they come back? Will it be worse the next time? Did they try to enter my apartment? Is there something more important missing that I haven't realized yet?

In the meanwhile, I'm putting out an APB for my missing, size 7.5 Nine West babies:

Monday, February 9, 2009

NSFW, if you're a big weepy baby like me

This story made me openly weep at work. I had to stop reading it.

This nine-year-old has a terminal cancer, and he was too sick to go to the John Deere Museum like he wanted. So all of the people in his farming community held a parade of tractors and fire trucks and other farming machinery past his window for him. Then he died. What?! I know it's depressing! Shut up! I'M BLEEDING FROM MY 'GINA SO THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME, OKAY??

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Where I live is cooler than where you live

Sometimes, as the work week trudges on and time drags endlessly, it seems that I live in a completely ordinary place that's no different than any other place I've lived. We get up, go to work, and then come home. We order McDonald's or Chinese take-out when we're too tired to cook. We know what shows are on which nights, and relish 30 Rock Thursdays and Biggest Loser Tuesdays (don't judge. I like to watch it while I eat a big bowl of ice cream, and contemplate the wonders of metabolism).

But then sometimes we leave our apartment, and then we have a night like last night. These nights help me remember why I love living here.

Coraline opened last night, so we made plans to see it downtown after work. I have to say, this was one of the best children's movies I have seen in a long time. The stop-motion animation was a refreshing change from the constant deluge of Pixar computer-animated flicks. The visuals were incredible. The creators constructed a beautiful and detailed world, right down to the cracks on the ceiling in Coraline's bedroom. Aside from the visuals, the movie featured a strong and spunky female heroine, who takes on an evil other-world to save her parents. In these times of damsel-in-distress Twilight crap, I'm happy to see a strong female character. Did I mention that we saw it in 3D? When we chose the theater I wasn't aware that it was showing in 3D, but it was a pleasant surprise. Instead of a hokey, overdone film that is made to showcase 3D technology, it had just a smattering of effects that emphasized the visuals. There wasn't anything ridiculous flying at you; instead, the 3D simply complemented the movie. Tasteful, if you will.

Then we left the movie just in time to hit up a bookstore before it closed. I chose The Glass Castle and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (I'm reading the latter six years too late, apparently, but what young adult doesn't need a healthy dose of teenage angst?).

And then! Then we started to go home. We walked to the 59th street subway, and headed to the lower level to catch the express. There, we saw a group of people at the far end of the platform, encircling two other people. We ventured closer, and then I realized what it was: Subway Theater! For those not in the know, there is a troop of actors in New York who regularly perform entire plays throughout the subway system. The catch is that you don't know when or where the play starts, and you must purchase a ticket to find out that information. I attempted to buy a ticket months ago, but all showings have been sold out for quite some time. So we were very lucky to walk in just a few acts into the beginning. The way it works is that the audience follows a host through the subway to see the next scenes, and the final destination is unknown. After we found the play, the host led us upstairs to the next scene, where waiting actors and live muscians were staging a ballroom dance. After that scene, the host led us to another platform, where she monologued while we waited for the next train. The actors actually move the props onto the train and perform the whole scene there. At one point, a train arrived with the props already set, if that gives you any indication as to the detail and planning of the event. The whole thing almost felt like a game; a scavenger hunt for the next scene. Also, the faces of the people who were on the trains were priceless. Everyone's just sitting in the car, late on a Friday, and then the doors open and 40 people flood in, a guy drags in a desk and a backdrop, and they perform the scene of a play. The doors open, and everyone leaves just as fast as they came in. New York is full of what-the-fuck moments, but this really takes the cake.

The other catch here is that you do not know where the play will finish. Luckily for us, it ended at our exact subway stop. What are the odds, I ask you?!

And today, I'm going with a friend to be an extra in some low-budget fashion reality TV show. This sure beats the weekends of my childhood, which we spent hanging out in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. I have a crush on this city.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Toddlers and Tiaras

For the last year and a half of college I eschewed cable in favor money, and I didn't really miss it that much. But since I've had cable again, I don't know how I ever lived without TLC. I am addicted to this damn channel, especially what I like to call the Sunday night freak-show lineup. This is when TLC airs gems like "Pregnant Man" and "Woman with half a body who gets around on a skateboard" and "Billion-ton elephant guy who eats way too much fried chicken." Oh, and let's not forget the round-the-clock obsession with dwarfism (although at this point, is it really so interesting or exotic anymore? Especially the dwarf-family reality shows. I mean, the only difference I see is that they have shorter countertops. Those shows are really quite boring).

Anyway, there's this series called "Toddlers and Tiaras," and it covers the world of child beauty pageants. HATE. What kind of parent puts their damn toddler out to be judged on beauty and their appearance in a swimsuit? It's a disgusting display of enforcing arbitrary standards of feminism. The parents coach their daughters for hours a day on how to runway-walk, shake their hips (and sometimes chests), and wink seductively at judges. All of the parents defend themselves with the same line: "It builds self-esteem." SHENANIGANS, pageant parents. Judging your child's worth based on their appearance and imitations of sexuality will not make them feel good about themselves and their abilities later in life. All they will learn is that their worth is based on how feminine they appear. This particular featured pageant even has categories for "best eyes," "best hair," and "photogenic winner." The "talent" portion is no more than a token addition. Clearly appearance and femininity are what matters here.

If you want to build self-esteem in your daughter, there are a lot of things that you could base it on that have real and lasting use. Enroll her in a sport so that she can learn how strong and capable her body is. Spend your money on books, so she can start learning how wonderful reading is. Put her in front of an easel with fingerpaints, and tell her how much you admire her creativity. Let her play dress-up and explore her idenitity at home. But for the love of christ, don't make her parade out on a stage in front of judges in a swimsuit, shake her hips, spin, look seductively over her shoulder, tilt her sunglasses over her nose and wink at the judges. That's not how self-esteem is built. That's how you get a girl whose self-worth is overly-dependent on the opinions of others.
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