So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

to wanna be that guy

the year was 1995. Liv Tyler was hot and wild. Renee Zellweger was young and unfamiliar with botox. and i was an angst-filled, 13-year old wannabe.

case in point: i wanted to BE A.J., the impossibly hot artist who pines for the love of Corey (Liv Tyler) throughout the movie. he's the boy to Liv's left in the photo. swoooon.

that year i grew my hair almost to my shoulders, bought lots of grungy sweaters and even a terry cloth shirt like the one A.J. wears in the movie, and memorized the entire Empire Records soundtrack.
thank god my brother bought a copy and didn't notice when i borrowed it to play in my discman for days on end.

needless to say, it was an impressionable age for me. fresh off the heels of My So-Called Life, 1995 also brought us Clueless, which became my other obsession. musically and grungily, however, no film captured that era better than ER did.

i took a trip down this memory lane last night, and Empire Records filled me with the same teenage angst and hair envy that it did 15 years ago. it also filled me with nostalgia for the Cranberries and Gin Blossoms. i'll probably be on iTunes all day buying old music.

here's a lovely scene from the movie to take you back -- or take you there for the first time, if you weren't obsessed with it back then like i was:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

on comments

i really appreciate blog comments.

by that i mean, i appreciate comments i receive on my blog posts. moreover, i like commenting on other people's blogs. and finally, one of my favorite pasttimes as an avid blog reader/follower is reading other peoples' comments on other people's blogs. i hope i didn't confuse you. if i did, leave a comment to that effect.

i often spend more time reading and enjoying readers' responses to blog posts i'm reading than i spend reading the actual post. so that makes me an expert and validates the theory i'm about to share with you. i believe there are a handful of attitudes driving readers to comment on a blog: defensiveness, condescension/know-it-all-ness, and hysteria.

i should preface this theory by saying that i don't think these generalizations apply to personal blogs, like mine or yours, as they apply to news and opinion blogs we all spend so much of our time reading as sources of news and entertainment. personal blogs are a wonderful means of staying in touch with friends, of expressing ourselves, and of simply gaining perspective. news and opinion blogs, on the other hand, have replaced journalism and the objective news outlet, if such a thing ever existed, to become our primary sources of information, but with a twist.

the twist is that we now interact with information. we don't trust it and soak it in the way our grandparents did with the 6:00 news after dinner. we question it, we look for bias therein, we like to laugh at it, and some of us even talk back.

par exemple, this story about an iceberg the size of Luxembourg breaking off of an Antarctic glacier was fascinating and frightening enough to hold my attention for a minute. the comments and discussion that followed, however, interested me for much longer. we don't need to get into the inevitable discussion about global warning (i'm pretty sure that americans are the only people who are still trying to make up their minds about this one, despite the scientific fact that the verdict is in, y'all), but let's focus on my comments theory: defensiveness, condescension, and hysteria.

here's just one of the defensive comments:

sideefx said:

Drown? Who is going to drown???? Why don’t you try this simple experiment in your own home and maybe learn a little science.

Take a glass and fill it half way with water. Put a few ice cubes inside it and stick a piece of tape on it to mark the water line level. Allow some time for the ice cubes to melt and then go make an observation. You will notice that the water level actually DECREASES!!!!!!

Why? Because ice has air trapped inside it which gives it more volume. Stop being fools or sheep and read a book!

and here's a very good example of the condescending know-it-all, who tends to be witty and seemingly smarter than the defensive commentator to whom he often replies:

fergy51 said:

Hey Sideefx,
Before it was an iceberg it was a glacier. Glaciers dont float!!!! Try this experiment. Fill a glass with water half way, put tape on the water level. Drop a few ice cubes in it and see if the water level rises. Then go read a book and write an apology here so we dont think you are a moron.

finally, there's the hysteric. and these comments are always a little bit sad (especially when they contain not even a hint of sarcasm) but also the most entertaining. these comments often come from the Fox News target audience -- you know, people, like my grandma, who are easily thrown into a tizzy about pretty much anything, whether or not the topic has the potential to affect their lives:

Anna123 said:

The polar shift is coming.
No matter what people do to change their habits and consumption of fossil fuels.
Humanity is not worth saving.
The only consolation is the rich and politicans will have to share the same fate.

i admit, global warming -- or cyclical climate change, for you republicans in the audience -- is a divisive topic, albeit against all reason. but i think that these same comment categories apply to a range of blog topics. in the past i was a frequent commenter on Towleroad, where i noticed these few attitudes over and over again, in response to blog posts of all types and tones.

what do you think about my theory? or, if that's not worthy of commentary, tell me your thoughts on global warming.

Friday, February 26, 2010

curse you, Target!

just another installment of "Things I Didn't Need To Buy."

this segment of our programming could also be titled, "Things No Human Has Ever Needed But Which Advertisers Have Convinced Us Are Essential."

freud says...

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

if i hear the word "snowicane" one more time...

some folks, in anticipation of a winter storm, hoard bread and milk and bottled water. some people buy canned foods and dried goods that require no electricity to make edible. i don't do any of that silly stuff; however, i'm guilty of my own brand of pre-snow panic.

when i hear that a storm is coming, i feel compelled to clean. launder bed linens and all potentially dirty clothing. wash all dishes. vacuum every vacuumable surface in the house, including the sofa and chairs. and most importantly, get down on my hands and knees and scrub the hardwood floors.

i'm not sure why that last one is most important. that's something that i could actually do without electricity. even without running water, for that matter (
thanks, Swiffer Wet!).

maybe i'm just being irrational. shaunice assures me that, since we live in a posh building with a door man and a gym and elevators, our electricity cannot possibly go out. she feels confident that this place will be lit up like Christmas, thanks to powerful generators located who-knows-where. i am skeptical, but it's a nice idea.

tonight another crazy winter storm is going to bury my city and yours (
probably, since most of my readers are in the Northeast U.S. here and Ireland, for some reason. (say hi!)) under water, in various forms. snow, ice, rain, floods. fun!

my floors are spotless, my carpet is vacuumed, and there's a big box of white wine in the fridge. not to mention we still have almost two dozen of Ina's Maple Oatmeal Scones left. i. am. ready.

now i'm tempted to take a walk to the grocery store just to wander around and watch crazy snowspiracy theorists fight over the last loaf of multi-grain bread and then make concerned small talk with the checkout boys about the impending doom.

at any rate, i wanted to wish you all a happy snowstorm. e-mail me if you need anything. the generators will keep my computer lit up.

quote of the week, thus far

"No, I don't think he was gay. He didn't have that creepy vibe that most gays give off."

-a very homosexual friend of mine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

haircut inspiration

except -- you know -- not silver.

Monday, February 22, 2010

you say potato, i say fritatta

Q: what could be better than a cheesy, potato-filled, hearty meal on a hung over sunday afternoon?

A: nothing.

on a recent episode of Barefoot Contessa -- one of my Food Network faves -- Ina made a delicious looking "Omelet for Two." that's what she called it, anyway. i would definitely call it a fritatta, but i don't have my own cooking program. yet.

so tempting was this recipe that last night, my buddy A and i decided to take on the frita-- er --
omelet project. here's what happened.

first of all, Atticus was a big help, as usual.

like a bunch of teenage girls after a Tori Amos concert, we did a LOT of cutting. a pile of red potatoes, one huge red onion, chunks of jalapeno cheese, and vine-fresh (
in February? really?) tomatoes...

we swapped the bacon in Ina's recipe with some healthy turkey (A's very good idea) to cut down on cals.

then we doubled most of the ingredients to
double the cals!

aside from the cutting, the entire recipe is about as easy as pie. or quiche, rather. cut, mix, fry, bake. easy squeezy.

i will say, the tomatoes weren't a great idea. i guess that's why Ina didn't include them in her recipe. they were my bad idea. and the cheese should've been shredded -- also part of her recipe. if only Shaunice had a shredder in the house, like i was certain she would have.

at any rate, the finished product was hearty and pretty good. if i had to do it over, i'd probably add some diced peppers and nix the boring tomatoes. maybe i'll make another. i do love a project.

it looks kinda like a pizza, right?

next up: Paula Deen's scones!! the Food Network is obviously very dangerous and addictive.

in completely unrelated news, thanks to Grammar Girl for helping me decide whether to use the word "addictive" or "addicting." it's conundrums like that one that make me thank Jesus and Al Gore for the internet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


i am thinking of your voice....

sunday morning. sipping coffee. listening to some old favorites.

here's one that never gets old, although it makes me feel old to see that this was released in 1990. i remember being obsessed with this song.

and so it is

just like you said it would be.

life goes easy on me... most of the time.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

educational, too!

So go ahead and put away your rhyming drunken proverbs while you read this, and that cup of coffee isn’t going to help. I’m sure you all have your own rituals, but no rain-dance is going to make that headache go away. The best trick to getting over a hangover while avoiding every old wives tales in the book is to drink plenty of fluids/electrolytes and get some sleep to get ready and get back at it again.

from a fun article at

Friday, February 19, 2010

outta my, outta my head

love this song. so much.

but i don't

i could spend all day in bed reading a good book.

i could spend hours playing with and chasing that crazy cat.

i could go to Whole Foods every day and still get excited about the hot bar.

i could listen to nothing but Ke$ha on the iPod and never get sick of that fun album.

i could get used to taking a nap every afternoon.

i could avoid looking at job postings for a few weeks, just drifting aimlessly.

i could go to Barnes & Noble every single day and still find more books i want during each visit.

i could drink coffee after coffee, all day long, necessarily switching to decaf after a few cups.

but i don't.

...or do i?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

thompson says...

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives…and to the 'good life,' whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”

and to that i say, "CHEERS!"

Monday, February 15, 2010


this is my friend David.

before i saw his video, i couldn't figure out the lyrics to Imogen's "Hide and Seek." i think the intense auto-tune throws me off.

now you, too, will know what she was singing.

you're welcome.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

valentine's dates

what is a hopeless romantic to do on this most sacred of holidays when he finds himself dateless?

that's what i asked myself as today approached. no stress. no pressure. just a thought that nagged me for a few days.

now, as the day comes to an end, i can answer that question and also assure you - and myself - that i handled the day quite well; in fact, i celebrated it. and why not? in times like these, we ought to celebrate at every opportunity to do so. no, i didn't have a valentine's day date. i had three.

my celebration:

date 1: a long phone chat with my bff&e (forever & ever. obviously.).

date 2: a nice afternoon chilling and chatting with my good buddy B.

date 3: dinner and drinks with a now dear friend who also happens to have been one of my great loves.

dateless \ne \!\,

i've got so much love.

Valentine's Day secrets

that's the theme of postsecret today.

big surprise.

happy VD to you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

how else would we know?

We were meant to lose people we love. How else would we know how important they are?

-TCCOBB. obvi.

for the record, i did not like this movie, save for about 15 minutes of it while the leads were both the same age. and the end, as she was walking the baby. not to give it away or anything.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

quote of the week, thus far

All this time, I've been viewing unemployment as a lack of opportunity, as life's way of saying "no." Maybe it's just the opposite: a rare and expansive opportunity to uncover life's many yeses.


to this i say, "amen."

watch it again.

it gets cuter each time.

will be

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

lovely day

it's only 500 pieces, but it took two of us - no joke - 6 hours to finish it.

now i need to go buy a new puzzle.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

humanitarian mission

i've been thinking a lot lately about how i can best use my sabbatical (yes, that's how i've decided to spin this unemployment. when life gives you lemonade...) not only to be a productive citizen, but also to make the world a better place. dream big or go home, that's what i always say.

one unemployed friend of mine is volunteering for a political campaign. another is reading to local poor children at the Philadelphia Free Library. i have some pretty awesome friends. talented friends. passionate friends. creative friends. but somehow, i share none of their interests.

so what can I do to make a difference?

after much thought and countless $5 footlongs (i LOVE Subway) over the past weeks, i had an epiphany.

i'll admit that my great humanitarian mission began somewhat selfishly. i asked myself, "M-Unit, what is one of your biggest pet peeves? what is the one senseless wrong in our society that you think simply must be righted?"

is it hunger? no, everyone wants to be thin. is it abortion? no, i love abortion. is it societal apathy? meh. who cares?

"that's it," i answered myself. "the Subway smell."

the Subway smell is that aroma that you find welcoming and pleasant while you're inside the restaurant, but which turns out to be a heinous stalker hours later. the decision to walk into a Subway sandwich shop ultimately affects you for hours -- DAYS, even, depending on your laundry situation. after a mere 3 minutes of exposure, that bready smell simply will not leave your body or the threads of your clothing. many times i've thought to myself, "something must be done about this."

before you label me as selfish or superficial, know that my new mission is to help not myself and other Subway customers, but the true victims in this epidemic: the Subway employees.

the sandwich artisans, if you will. they spend hours every day toiling at the front lines of sandwich delivery, and how are they repaid? hours, days, weeks, YEARS of smelling like that delicious honey oat bread. no matter how many showers, no matter how fragrant their choice of laundry detergent (btw, i'm so into my new Tide with lavender, i can't even tell you), they must be haunted by the Subway smell to no end.

so now i am on a mission. i shall solve one of life's greatest mysteries ("why does that smell stick to me, and why can't Subway do something about it?") ever to plague mankind (well, it plagues THIS man. kinda).

i'm open to suggestions, tips, sponsors (ahem. FEBREZE!) to help me along the way. i am overwhelmed yet courageous. i'm out to change the world.

i have but one question: will you join me?

for some reason i can't explain

Once you'd go there was never, never an honest word.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

"I d*n't need to see that!"

hey, remember that Armani Exchange ad that i liked so much? well, i liked it even more up close and larger than life; i saw it filling the entire A/X storefront window the other day as i strolled down Walnut Street.

apparently not everyone likes this sexy ad campaign as much as i do. a socially conservative group called One Million Moms had this to say about the ad (ridiculous punctuation theirs):

A|X posters are appalling

OMM typically focuses on issues that air on television, but there is one other issue we cannot ignore any longer: fashion designers using scantily dressed models in advertisements who have recently put their focus on threesomes or same-s*x couples. This is not okay!

Malls, where teens hang out, have retailers whose window displays poison our children with 10-foot posters that are nothing but soft p*rn. In particular, Armani Exchange has recently displayed Valentine's posters with partially dressed "couples" holding one another. These couples consist of two men, a man and woman, and two women. The women are scantily dressed while it is questionable if the men have any clothes on at all. Two of these models are used a couple of times to represent bis*xuals. If it could get any worse the text written is "SHARE THE LOVE."

okay. normally i'm all for moms protecting their children and not leaving that job up to the FCC or Obama or the rest of us. in fact, normally i'm a big fan of moms in general. i have one. i like her. i think i'll keep her. i like my friends' moms. moms are just good things to have around.

but in this case, i'm quite skeptical. in fact, i don't think this is about children as much as it is yet another homophobic tirade championed by a bunch of Christianists.

why would i say such a thing? because One Million Moms isn't just a group of caring, concerned mommies. it's yet another arm of the American Family Association. if you don't know already, the AFA is one of the most politically powerful and outspoken groups to fight against pretty much every attempt to pass pro-LGBT legislation, especially same-sex marriage equality. the group promotes, above all, conservative Christian(ist) values.

and by "above all," i mean above notions of equality and justice. above basic protection from discrimination for everyone. above the US Constituation. yeah, this group places Jeezus first not only in their hearts and souls, but in national politics as well. separation of what and what?

they don't hate just homos, though. they also hate jews and muslims! anti-semitism? bigotry? FUN! sign me UP!

long story short, sometimes it's really NOT about protecting the children. sometimes it's just another avenue to remind the world that everyone, save for god-fearin' Jeezus folk, is going to hell in a handbag. a gorgeous Armani handbag.

oh, wait, this is just Armani Exchange, so... we're all going to hell in a tight muscle-accentuating t-shirts and heavily structured euro-chic jeans.

hat tip: Towleroad.

but maybe in the future...

I still feel you on the right side of the bed

And I still feel you in the blankets pulled over my head
And I'm gonna wash away
Oh, I'm gonna wash away everything
'Til you come home to me

lovely song. i also really like her song Keep Breathing.

thanks to Kimmy Sue for the suggestion.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a semi-hard morning

i spent the morning in tears, doing a lot of cutting, followed by some intense scouring of my hands. no, i'm not grieving Old-Testament style. i have been busy in the kitchen all day!

if only i could blog an aroma, i'd share with you the hearty scents filling my home (and probably the hallway outside my door. take that, indian neighbors! for once i've expunged the scent of curry coming from your kitchens!). since the internet wizards have not YET invented a way to share smells via computer, i'll walk you through it.

close your eyes. imagine th-- wait. open your eyes. you have to read in order to make this work. obvi. what was i thinking?

imagine this: first the scent of oregano hits you. a hearty soup is on the stove. as you approach it, though, oregano gives way to cayenne pepper stabbing your nostrils. in a good way, though. my (semi-)homemade lentil soup, flavored with freshly minced garlic and a big bitch of an onion whose nasty stank refuses to leave my fingers, simmers on the stovetop for its third hour.

crack open the oven, and you'll immediately forget all about the vegetable soup. t
he entire room is suddenly filled with the rich and inviting scent of freshly baked banana nut muffins, my (kinda) own recipe.

if Sandra Lee is the queen of Semi-Homemade, then i'm the king of it. the KING, i tell you! no matter what i'm preparing, no matter how simple or complex the directions on the box or in the recipe book, i always make the recipe my own. in high school, i found ways to transform ramen noodles into a legit pasta dish.

my skills and tastes have matured since then, and today i might, for example, add scallions to boxed white cheddar macaroni and cheese. yeah, i know: bold. italicized, actually. because i say NO, Betty Crocker, i am simply not satisfied with the ingredients you've chosen for these muffins. NO, soup company, i will not allow you to dictate the flavor profile of my soup. MY soup!

a quick aside: i do not appreciate those jelis h8ers out there who call Sandra Lee a lazy booze-hound. i think she's fabulous, and i initially fell in love with her show because she drinks during each episode. further, she's not -- we're not lazy just because we're using the ingredients that mother nature, via Kraft, created for us. we're efficient, and we're realistic. we don't all have the unlimited time in each day to gather our own herbs like Martha S. or Ina G. seem to have.

i wish i could share with you my wonderful semi-homemade muffins and hearty lentil soup. i wish i could warm you up on this frigid winter afternoon; unfortunately, without giving you my address and thereby more or less asking to be raped and burgled (yes, that IS a word), i cannot share this with you.

Shaunice, please come home soon! i won't feel content with my morning or my life until someone tells me that this food is delicious.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a glimpse into my soul

...whether you wanted one or not.

the video below contains so many things that i treasure:
  • Adventures in Babysitting, my favorite childhood film and still a favorite today.
  • Elizabeth Shue. i fell in love with her when my parents inexplicably allowed me to watch Cocktail when i was young, and she remained at the top of my list through The Saint. she's amazing. or at least she was. i don't know anything about her nowadays.
  • the '80s. if you came of age during this decade, you must have a special place in your heart for many of its icons and fashion horrors.
  • finally, The Crystals' "And Then He Kissed Me." today this song is one of the most played in my iTunes library, as it never fails to improve my mood and general outlook on life and love. give it a listen. you'll find yourself smiling, i promise.

this truly is a glimpse into my heart and soul. enjoy.

thanks, Tylenol PM!

last night i had the most bizarre and vivid dreams. i can't figure out why i remember them so well today, so many hours after i awoke. that's unusual. maybe i got no REM sleep whatsoever?

i remember one dream in which my roommate bought a case of Mt. Dew, and i stood staring into our refrigerator, in disbelief. it wasn't even diet. if you knew my roommate, you'd understand why this dream was absurd.

then i dreamed an entire episode of Sex and the City in Spanish. it was the episode in which Samantha tells Smith to say on MTV that he's not dating anyone special. Samantha sounds exactly the same in Spanish, so i know it wasn't just dubbed. you're more likely to know this episode as the post-it and pot smoking episode. i've watched it far too many times.

finally, i dreamed a bunch of random, disconnected screen grabs from the movie Death Becomes Her. how twisted!

i must've watched this movie a hundred times as a pre-teen. my mom should've known then...

but back to the point of this post -- what the eff is wrong with me?? what do all these dreams say, if anything? i am so gay in my sleep! i'm afraid of high fructose corn syrup! tengo tanto miedo de HFCS!

let's pretend it was all just a bizarre side-effect of Tylenol PM on a stomach full of Kashi cereal. i should also add that i'm not an addict (at least not re: pills). i took a nap yesterday and knew i'd need an extra nudge falling asleep.

now that i know this little blue wonder drug is hallucinogenic, maybe i'll take it more often.

Monday, February 1, 2010

an FYI on Christianism

every time i use the word "christianist" someone asks me what it means or why i'm using it. i picked up the word from A.Sull. over at The Daily Dish. from the first time i read it, it struck me as so perfect a term for that ugly, mean-spirited, and very visible faction of American conservatives often referred to as "the religious right."

to me, a Christianist is a person who has stopped following Christ and has started following Christianity as a movement, a source of guidance in all areas of life but especially political decision-making and activism. in a nutshell.

to Andrew Sullivan, Christianism is much more personally offensive. an excerpt from his 2006 Time Magazine article entitled, My Problem with Christianists:

So let me suggest that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque... I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.

That's what I dissent from, and I dissent from it as a Christian. I dissent from the political pollution of sincere, personal faith. I dissent most strongly from the attempt to argue that one party represents God and that the other doesn't. I dissent from having my faith co-opted and wielded by people whose politics I do not share and whose intolerance I abhor. The word Christian belongs to no political party. It's time the quiet majority of believers took it back.

idiotic quote of the week, thus far

"I don’t believe that gay marriage is in line with God’s Word, which is found in the Bible. So, what I think doesn’t matter; what I believe is what’s in the Bible and the Bible says that gay marriage is not acceptable."

-outspoken Christianist Stephen Baldwin's take on marriage equality.

Baldwin became born-again in the wake of 9/11, which the washed up actor says was a sign from God. i hope those thousands of tragically ended lives were worth SB's conversion. i'm sure they were. sometimes it takes a really big bang to get through to a person. especially a person like Stephen.

i'd love to ask this dim wit to show me where - anywhere - in the Bible gay marriage is referenced. spoiler alert: it's not. nor was the concept of what we call homosexuality. nor was the ideal of separation of church and state. nor was the concept of equality of all peoples, such as females of the species. there are a lot of things that are nowhere to be found in the Bible, let alone thought of during biblical times. gay marriage is just one of them.

when is this so-called fundamentalism going to stop having such a harmful stronghold over our society? i mean, it might be funny when a slightly retarded "celebrity" says stupid shit like this, but when most of our elected federal officials would agree, it's a sad day in the supposed greatest nation on earth.

well, that's my rant for the day.

thanks to Towleroad for the story, and for getting me all heated on this frigid winter morning.