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, May 30, 2010

monroe says...


I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at me worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

rule for life #96


if you want to lose weight, stop eating food.

if that sounds too extreme to work for you, though, you could try The Public Humiliation Diet that i found on the sports blog Deadspin -- okay, let's be honest, i didn't just stumble upon this article, as i don't frequent sports blogs. that's not the point.

in the article, writer Drew Magary describes how he lost 60 lbs in only five months (i want to lose 60 lbs by November!!! 110 is my perfect weight!), by following just a few simple rules. Magary also adds a heaping dose of humor, which always helps the medicine go down. for example, Drew's rule #5:

5. I didn't have seconds. I used to eat two plates at dinner, minimum. I'd spend my first helping thinking about my second, which is idiotic. It's the SAME FUCKING FOOD. Then I'd finish my seconds and hover over my wife's plate like a goddamn buzzard. Hoping she wouldn't finish so I could eat her food. I even ate her food a few times before she was done. Wives get fucking PISSED when you do that. I also had to get over my hatred of throwing away perfectly edible food that other people didn't eat. Nothing pisses me off more, but it's not like a Rwandan AIDS baby will get to eat it if I pass it up.

ignoring the writer's potty mouth, i think he touches on an experience common to many dieters and non-dieters alike: obsession with food. not in a foodie way, like "I love great cuisine," but in a way that you probably understand if you've ever been on a diet or had body image issues. thinking about food all day, almost as though it's background noise. planning what you're eating for dinner while you're still finishing lunch. shaming yourself for wanting something tasty but "bad," yet not being able to get that snack out of your mind.
sound familiar?

i'm learning that in our culture, dieting isn't necessarily related to being overweight. many people are simply obsessed with food and eating. i'm still working on the details of my Americans-food-obsession theory, but for now i will posit that it is a type of psychological epidemic in our culture, but seen especially in people who have body image issues or who diet habitually for other reasons (sports, healthy weight loss, even weight gain, which caused my jock brother to obsess over food).

i, for one, have been on one diet or another pretty much every week since i was a high school student -- despite the fact that back then i was rail thin by nature and would not need to diet for another 6 or 7 years (of course, when my family told me that, i'd just roll my eyes or argue that i was fat; now i'd kill to have that metabolism back). that adds up to a decade or more of thinking about food all day, every day. this won't surprise anyone who has lived with me or dated me. and i'm far from alone.

i recently read a book entitled "Thin Is the New Happy," by Valerie Frankel. the surprisingly comical and enjoyable memoir chronicles Frankel's lifelong struggle with not only her waistline (which was never that large, frankly ... or frankely. ha.), but also her relationship with food and her obsession with dieting. despite the fact that Frankel is a middle-aged mother of two, i greatly sympathized with her. i appreciated her struggle with an almost sub-conscious habit of constant dieting and obsessing over food. this same struggle has been the subject of a recent episode of Oprah, as O has been promoting a book called "Women Food and God," which deals with that cycle of food obsession, dieting, and shame that Frankel chronicles. i haven't yet read that one.

"What's all this sudden weight talk about?" you might be wondering. well, these days i'm trying to focus on healthy eating and daily exercise, while also trying not to obsess over what i'm putting into my mouth, or be preoccupied with what i might put into my mouth later, or curse myself for what i put into my mouth last night (stop it!). i'm trying to stop thinking about food all day long. i'm also trying to stop viewing myself as morbidly obese, and remind myself that i'm still wearing my 30 waist Diesels from 4 years ago, and my 31 waist Sevens are even kinda big if they haven't recently been washed. ...all while trying to be more healthy and, frankly, to lose my beer belly. the first step is to stop drinking beer. maybe that should've been today's rule for life. i'll make that the next one:

rule for life #97

if you want to lose your beer belly, stop drinking beer.

vodka is less filling anyway. cheers!


Monday, May 24, 2010

quote of the week, thus far


last night i told A that My Sister's Keeper was a lot like Marley & Me, meaning that it made me sob and satisfied that slightly sadistic tear-jerker movie craving in me. his response, via text:

"So she wreaked havoc on the house and provided her dad with a wealth of material for his newspaper column? Did they have to put her down?"

totes inappropriate.


missed you horribly


You'll say, "It's really good to see you."
You'll say, "I missed you horribly."
You'll say, "Let me carry that. Give that to me."
And you will take the heavy stuff, and you will drive the car.
I'll look out the window and make jokes about the way things are.



Saturday, May 22, 2010

a few of my favorite things


i've shared my favorites lists in the past, but this time i'm sharing just one favorite thing, a thing that is bringing so much joy and humor into my life. that thing is called a Richard Lawson.

if you're a fan of reality television, and you like to laugh until your hidden abs ache, you should keep up with Gawker writer Richard Lawson's tv show re-caps. his reviews of this season's American Idol performances and performers have been spot-on and hilarious; he had me laughing until i cried after every installment of High Society; and now i find myself with tears in my eyes as i read his review of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York. normally i just talk about Lawson's comedic re-caps with A, but since A is out of town and doesn't watch RHONY anyway, i have to share with you.

i could post pages and pages of my favorite Richard Lawson quotes, because he's full of brilliant golden nuggets, but for now there's one example i simply must share. it comes from his review of Thursday's truly mind-numbing RHONY episode. if you didn't see it, ohhhhh it was a doozie! in a nutshell, Kelly loses her mind. the end. watching the scene unfold was somewhat frightening to me at the time, but RL's review turns the terror into laughter. if you saw the episode, you'll notice that RL doesn't have to exaggerate much when tv is this insane.

Ramona had passed out on the table the night before so she just kind of seal-shuffled her way off'a there and into a chair. Sonja had just finished washing the blood off her hands when she heard the breakfast bell and came running. Bethenny was checking her email on a tiny computer, and Kelly... Well, Kelly didn't want to eat breakfast because she'd just eaten a bunch of pills in her stateroom, so she wasn't hungry. But she came to the breakfast room anyway, crashing her way through walls the whole way there, and was all jumpy and squiggly and itchy. This did not spell good things.

At first the breakfast was going fine — Ramona was vomiting up pinot grigio in interesting shapes, Sonja was rubbing at a dark red spot on the cuff of her white shirt, Bethenny was getting some good tiny emails — but then Beth had to go and sit down and start talking about how Kelly had called her a hobag the night before and then she mentioned that she was a chef and Kelly darted in, blurted, "Cook!" Meaning Bethenny is a cook, not a chef. (Like Rachael Ray.) Bethenny was all "Oh helllll to the no," and started mixing it up with Kelly, who was just opening and shutting her jaw continuously at this point, turning her head back and forth and saying "Gnyah gnyah gnyah..." And then of course she would say "Cook! Cook. Cook. Coooook...." just to bother Bethenny and the other girls sat there being all "WTF?"

later that day
While the girls were off on their really professional swimshoot, Bethenny was home in the creepy mansion putting together SkinnyGirl giftbags. They were cute canvas giftbags with all the girls' initials on them. She even made one for Kelly! Isn't that nice? Well, no, apparently it's not. When Kelly came back to her room she saw the bag sitting by the door and made a grunting sound and brought it inside. "The fuck is this??? The fuck is this?????" she bellowed. She rooted around in the bag, saying "Where's the pills? Where's the powder??" but there were no pills, and there was no powder, there was only booze and a SkinnyGirl brand men's grooming kit. Kelly was horrified. Kelly was horrified to tears. Yes, she started crying.
and later, at dinner
At one point Bethenny got up to go cry or vomit or both, leaving someone else vulnerable to a Kellyattack. That person happened to be Alex. Poor, unwitting, turnip truck Alex. Alex started talking about the day's photoshoot and how Kelly had made her a little nervous with the camera and Kelly was just full on full-body buzzing at this point and she just lashed out at Alex. "You're a vampire!" she declared, teeth falling out of her mouth like hail. "Huh?" everyone in the world asked. "A what?" "A vampire," Kelly declared again and then started dancing in her chair. Sonja and Ramona both took big lumberjack gulps of Patio Pinot (lumberjacks love that shit) and prayed for a lightning strike or something.

you should definitely keep an eye out for Lawson's news posts and tv show re-caps, which are more entertaining than the actual programs themselves, on Gawker.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

outta my, outta my head

Dear Robyn,

You are breaking my heart. On repeat.

I've said before that I heart you, and today my love is renewed. This song is ridiculous and great:



Can't wait for the album.

Love,

M

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the heartbreaking effects of this recession


the last time my BFF went through a post-break-up mini depression, we took a last-minute, 5-day heartbreak cruise to Mexico and other ports about which we were too drunk to care. but IN THIS ECONOMY, all i can really do to cheer her up is a 3-day vacation at the family farm in Amishville. instead of mojitos on the lido deck, we'll be sipping white wine on the back porch facing a corn field.

"Can I get you another Corona? I'll get it. Stay in the pool," -- the pool being the kiddie pool my mom usually uses to wash buckets of tomatoes before canning them.

but none of that is important. what's important is that two best friends are going to spend a few days enjoying peace and quiet and alcohol. not to mention a lot of time to talk. because we all know that there's one thing that you cannot get enough of during a break-up: venting. who did what wrong, and lied about what, and oh god another text message, why can't he just leave me alone, i think he's a sadist, this is all a game, yeah, you really dodged a bullet there, etc.

over the years i've learned that there's not much that you can say. it's best to agree, occasionally call the ex an asshole, and try to add humor to the situation. humor and fun, to which end i spent the past hour making an up-beat, who-needs-'em break-up CD for the car ride and/or late night dance party (of two) in the basement. thank god the adults are all out of town this weekend, though it would've been nice to have a designated driver just in case. at any rate...

operation cheer up BFF commence!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

quote of the week, thus far


I said to my mom, "My neck hurts. Can I have some of your sweet nectar of the good stuff, the liquid oxycodone?" We both laughed and I said "No, really. Can I have it?"

-just one of my prescription junkie friends. just kidding. no i'm not. just kidding.

love me more


i'm starting to realize that there comes a point in every relationship when we're asked to compromise ourselves. inevitably there will come a watershed moment that, big or small, determines our commitment to the cause. to the relationship.

it might be a "big" issue, such as whether you will move for a partner or whether you will move in with him finally -- a huge life choice that should never be made capriciously, and should never be made for someone else, but one that will most likely be made to please that someone.

or it might be a "small" issue, such as being asked for a simple commitment, for a promise, or for effort. these are the compromises that get me. they're seemingly so easy to oblige. just to see someone smile. just to make someone happy for one more day, to steady the rocky boat just a little while longer. yet i have a track record of being bad at the small compromises. it's difficult for me to say the words that will make someone else happy when i know that i don't truly mean them. it's painful to make promises that i suspect i won't keep. in the end, i appear to be the selfish guy or the bad guy; but i mean no harm.

you see, the decision not to compromise isn't intended to hurt anyone, or to be a reflection of the love between two people. it's simply the result of a balancing test that doesn't quite add up, a rational consideration of whether this is the appropriate time or place at which to compromise. or the appropriate person for whom to do so.

my few loyal readers know that i am a romantic. i love love, and i'm a fan of relationships, in all their ugliness and beauty. i want to be and find a husband just as much as -- if not more than -- the next guy, and i'm willing to do just about anything in the pursuit of that truly great relationship. but in addition to being a silly romantic, i'm also an idealist. compromises are difficult for the hopeful, for the idealistic.

some day, at the correct time and place, when the scales are tipped far enough in favor of doing everything to make it work with someone too special to risk losing, i hope that i will make the appropriate commitments and compromise everything. but until i'm sure...

in the words of the great Samantha Jones, "I love you. But I love me more."


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

rule for life #301


when preparing for an interview, it's imperative that you try to re-straighten your teeth -- even if you haven't worn your retainer since college, when you realized how embarrassing it is. potential employers have an uncanny ability to notice a bite that is slightly off.


also, it's great to know that, 11 years later, these babies still fit! in this economy, that's a great return on an investment!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

you suck, brain!


i don't know what i did to deserve this, but i woke up with this wretched song (don't click that!) spinning on repeat inside my brain. karma is a mysterious bitch, and i must have done something terrible. maybe i kicked a baby in the face and forgot about it, or maybe i dropped a deuce under my roommate's bed while blackout. god only knows!

i just can't think of a worse tune to have stuck in my head. how bizarre! i probably haven't even heard that song since high school, when it was overplayed on the radio.


i'm going to listen to this sweet Alphabeat song on repeat all day in order to cure what ails me. i suggest you do the same.


that's all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

pass it on, or you will have 7 years of bad luck


i saw this "Bucket List" over on Colleen's blog, and for my own entertainment i decided to go through it and tally up what i've done in my first 27 years -- and then figure out what i've yet to do.

it reminds me of an old-school e-mail chain quiz (which i loved with all my heart when the internets were first invented), or a Myspace post that everyone would do except that one, too-cool-for-school friend. does Myspace still exist? i don't feel like Googling it.

at any rate, i'll highlight those bucket list items i've done thus far. unless i get bored with this halfway through. then i'll just stop. 100 is a lot of THINGS.


1. Started your own blog. obvi.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. does the school band count?
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower. high school there was a big one. or was that a comet? whatever it was, i watched it while lying in the grass with a girl. ICKKKK.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. remember when i rented that African child for a couple years, despite having no income?
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain. like Colleen, i have climbed volcanoes.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang/played a solo. NO. duets, yes.
11. Bungee jumped. bitch, please. i don't even like rollercoasters.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. complete with tornadoes alongside our ship. yikes.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child. kinda. in Africa. via mail.
16. Had food poisoning. does every time i eat Taco Bell count?
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables. farmer Joe here.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train. I WANT TO TAKE A TRAIN TRIP!
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked. rapesville.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. regularly.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb. but never eaten it. maybe because i have held one...
26.Bathed in a river. while camping!
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice. too 'spensive/molto caro.
29. Seen a total eclipse. only of the heart...
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community. my neighborhood growing up.
36. Taught yourself a new language. kiinda. italiano. intro level.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person. does the one outside the Uffizi count?
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant. does a first date count if we "met" on the internet?
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. i did more than WALK... bow chika bow owww.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing. ew. almost, in high school.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. snorkeling. PANIC ATTACK. had to go back to the boat where an old woman told me i'd need to practice "en la piscina."
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater. with Cass in high school and college. SO FUN. good clean fun. god only knows the trouble we'd get into if we did that nowadays.
55. Been in a movie. YES, but only in the Special Features section.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen. yeah but the men weren't so much homeless as they were addicts. i don't know if that counts.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. yeah, but won't donate blood again until the idiotic and discriminatory laws are changed. don't get me started on that one!
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a check.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. dog. still have him, along with all my old toys at home.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper. many, many times. my mother....
85. Read the entire Bible. sadly, yes.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox. nope. and i hear that's scary because i can get shingles as an adult? great...
89. Saved someone’s life. PROBABLY.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Made a baby. i just made a food baby with some pizza.
95. Seen the Alamo in person. the one at the airport.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit. Not as a party, but as counsel.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Built a house out of mud! tsk. that's so stupid.

if you read through all that, congratulations on being totes bored just like me. i almost couldn't finish it.

on the upside, i feel like i've done lots of things on this list, and i don't really want to go to Russia or China, or to break a bone, so...


a new approach


after years of being a restaurant snob, i'm changing my tune. i've decided that one of the best places to take a date is Chili's. seriously!

ever since i moved to Philadelphia and became a serious serial dater (during those long stretches of time between my serious monogamous relationships, that is), i've been a restaurant snob. but only on dates. the truth is, i'd always prefer greasy Chinese take-out or my friendly neighborhood cheesesteak and pizza joint for myself. but when i'm taking a nice fella out to dinner, my taste becomes much more refined. i temporarily become a foodie.

my scheme has long been to find an interesting new restaurant where the guy has most likely not yet eaten. i'd scope it out ahead of time. read reviews online. check out the menu. then when it came time for the date, i'd be all: "I've heard their flatbread is fantastic" and "The Inquirer gave it a great review." not only does this impress some guys, but also if a relationship develops, then we have both a good first date story and a great restaurant to return to or to call "our place."

i'm not saying that this routine isn't successful or that it shouldn't be used; you should definitely try it, especially if you're an indecisive woman who can't choose a restaurant. believe it or not, men like being told what to do. anyway... all i'm saying is that last night i tried a very different approach, and it worked quite well.

i told the guy that i wanted to go to Chili's. and he was delighted. DISCLAIMER: Chili's will not suffice if you have a date with a major foodie; but then, neither will my old plan, as he will already have read every review of the new restaurant, will probably have eaten there the weekend it opened, and will not be impressed. i've dated several foodies like this. i simply let them choose the restaurant.

so, why is a big boring chain restaurant a good bet on a date? first of all, it's not going to bankrupt you; that way, if you pay for dinner but get no action afterward, it isn't such a huge waste of money. that's a huge priority in this economy! in the same vein, these restaurants give you such massive portions that you'll feel satisfied regardless of how the date goes. if it goes poorly, you will have preemptively eaten your emotions.

further, since all big boring chain restaurants are basically the same, you won't be reminded of this person, and whatever relationship did or did not develop, every time you set foot inside the local TGI Fridays. you probably won't even remember where you took Mr. X on your first/only date.

also -- and this comes as a surprise even to me -- i appreciate seeing those horrible calories listed beside my entree. i hated this at first, but now it just helps to know whether i worked out enough before the date, or exactly how much i'll need to punish my body the next day.



finally, there's one thing i love about every TGI-Chili-Applebee-Carrabba's chain restaurant: STRONG DRINKS. no matter which of these restaurants suits your fancy, you can bet that the fruity drink pictured (yes, they're always photographed) on the menu will knock you on your ass. i went to TGIFs with my mom once in Pittsburgh, and we each had an electric lemonade. after only one, she was completely wasted and i was happily ordering another lemonade and more french fries "for the table." i always turn into a total fat kid after a couple drinks.



so there i sat last night, about to have a huge, fairly healthy, and relatively cheap meal at Chili's. that is, until i foolishly asked the server, "What is fajita-rita Monday?" fast-forward to an hour later, i was buzzing on the mixture of beer and huge, cheap margaritas (only $4.99 for 16 ounces of STRONG margarita!!), and reaching over to share my date's much less healthy meal after giving up on my boring salad. as usual, i started out with good intentions.

i think the date went well. although we ultimately hugged and said our see-ya-laters on 12th Street, the date was still a success. i'm certain that he was impressed by both my restaurant choice and the amount of tequila and nachos i could put away yet remain energetic and sober.


Friday, May 7, 2010

post(ing)secret(s)



reasonable expectations


via text:
Me: What time r u getting to town tonight?

BFF D: Leaving Baltimore at 6:30. See u by 8:30!

D: Attire???

M: Yes, please.

D: You KNOW what I meeeean!

M: Well I don't know how to answer that. Just look girly and fabulous. obvi.

D: What are we doing tonight? Chill? Dancing? Heels? Flops?

M: Heels. Even if we go to a dumpshit dive bar that serves only $2 pitchers of Busch Light, I want you in heels. If we go dancing, I want you in heels. OK?

D: OMG, quit screaming at me. I'll wear heels! I always do anyway.


i just know what's best for my girls. that's all.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

congrats!

i just wanted to give a quick shout-out to my friend Colleen, whose blog, Collology, you've hopefully visited a time or two. Colleen is pregnant, and she and her handsome husband are going to have the most adorable little baby!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

i'm excited to see the turn her blog takes once there's a little monster ruling her everyday life.

hmm maybe i should get one -- you know, for the sake of the blog.

beyond our means

"I just realized that we have half a job between the three of us," my buddy A remarked as the barkeep at the Ritz-Carlton delivered our third round of Ketel martinis. we three amigos spent last night livin' large, which is just slightly inappropriate, considering A and i are both on "sabbatical," and Shaunice has only a part-time job while she's attending an expensive law school.

i'm not sure how we got to that point, or how we spent hundreds of dollars on beer and vodka. the night started off with good intentions, but i guess it got out of hand. where do i begin?

let's begin with our good intentions: a cool new "asian street food" restaurant called Sampan opened up in the middle of the gayborhood, and lucky for us the place has super cheap happy hour food and drink specials.
you can't beat delicious $2 appetizers or $4 beers anywhere, but Sampan has an awesome (and handsome!) chef and a chic interior. the walls change color, and the red light bathrooms have scenes from popular movies piped into them. fun! i would give it a great review, but that's not the point of this post. come to think of it, i haven't reviewed a restaurant since about a year ago, when the same three amigos went to Kanella.


after our thrifty happy hour in the g-hood, we sort of lost control. Del Frisco's is really just another expensive steakhouse chain, but the one in Philly is worth visiting.
it's located in what used to be a monumental bank in Midtown, so the interior is spectacular. even the photos give you an idea of how ridiculous the place is. everything is huge, with staircases and columns and a 4-story wine rack/cellar.

the place is also fabulously colorful, which was a trend in our night. like i said, the walls of Sampan glow shifting colors, and we ended up at the very very pink Ritz hotel lobby. notice the pinkness in the photos below.

but back to the food. lucky us once again: $5 plates and $4 beers on select evenings at Del Frisco's. i'd have to hide my head in shame if i told you how much delicious, hearty food we ate (steak,dumplings,potatoes,truffledgnocchi,lemoncake,omg), so i won't even go there. we were still being frugal, though our consumption resulted in a pretty hefty bar bill... so why stop there? let's head to another bar at which we can't afford to hang out!

there were no drink specials whatsoever at The Ritz, but after 5 hours of drinking, nobody really cares. AmEx pays for it all, it seems. and i'm so glad we went. meeting and hanging out with Top Chef Jen made it worth the $15 martinis.

"She doesn't normally come out of the kitchen and socialize," the super-friendly bartender told us. i guess we were special, because all it took was obnoxious A screaming "HEY! JEN!" across the (massive and very echo-y, also formerly a bank) hotel lobby to ge
t her to come talk to us.

she was sweet and very friendly; she happily indulged A's many questions about her Top Chef experience. very cool, but that wasn't the best part. the best part was probably when, about fifteen minutes after Jen ended our nice chat and went back to the kitchen, a couple appetizers mysteriously appeared before us. grilled octopus, plantains, and chick peas, as well as soft pretzels with dipping sauces. or maybe the best part was when, about fifteen minutes later, several desserts also mysteriously appeared on the bar. i don't remember what they were, but i remember enjoying them. all compliments of the fantastic Top Chef.

in a way, the three of us -- with half a job between us -- did an admirable job of being frugal while also indulging our epicurean desires. we chased happy hour specials, we ate cheaply and shared everything, and we chatted up a celebrity chef until she gave us a bunch of free food. how many struggling twenty-somethings put that much effort into saving money during a night on the town?


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

outta my, outta my head



Come on, I lied.
So what?
I lied to me too.
Come on, I lied.
So what?
I lied to me too.
Hold out for the ones you know will love you.
Hide out from the ones you know will love you.


gawd, i'm feeling like such a lesbian tonight. this song is fantastic.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alaskan dreams


the other night as i was watching tv, a Brawny paper towel commercial came on and i noticed that the old, familiar porn-stached Brawny man from my childhood has been replaced by a new, slightly metrosexual woodsman.


i immediately appreciated the change. instead of being reminded of one of my rapey-eyed uncles, i now think of my 6'2" 250-lb future husband every time i see these paper towels.

i thought about asking you guys, "Has anyone else noticed that there's a new Brawny man in town, and that he might be gay?" but then i searched for photos of the new logo, and i quickly learned that, yes, people had taken notice. several bloggers beat me to the punch by more than a week. nothing goes unnoticed in today's media-connected world. if i knew how to work Twitter, i'd search for #@&Brawny or whatever and i'm sure a million twats would come up.

i guess i hadn't noticed the paper towel commercials, probably because i have DVR and fast forward through every pre-recorded show, rather than watch commercials. we've got it down to an art in this household: we wait until 18 minutes past the hour before beginning hour-long shows. that way, we needn't watch any commercials, but we're caught up before the show's final moments, which is especially important when watching reality television.

or maybe i finally noticed the commercial because i was sober that evening. i've been sober a lot lately, i'm not sure why. i think i need a new drug, as beer and vodka are getting old. (anyone have access to horse tranquilizers? let me know!) but i digress...

the new Brawny man is on my mind a lot today because my dear friend Casshole wants us to move to Alaska and meet big burly men and raise babies and/or reindeer together. ever since i told HER that MY mom told ME that in Alaska, men outnumber women 10 to 1, she's been eager to move there. i'm not sure how my mom knew that factoid. i should ask her about Alaska's homo population, since apparently she's knowledgeable about Alaskan demographics.

in order to better inform me about starting a great new career in Alaska, Cass sent me this "helpful" article published by the AK Dept. of Labor. it's actually quite humorous. in a nutshell, it says:
A lot of people attempt to fulfill their American dreams by moving to gorgeous Alaska to find an exciting job in an exotic locale. Unfortunately, many of those people starve to death. Our unemployment rates are super high, the oil has dried up, and the fish are all poisonous or already floating belly-up. Many of our cities can't be accessed via highways, so absolutely you need a boat or a helicopter to get around. The weather is harsh, and unpredictable even in the Summer. We recommend that you vacation here instead. LOVE YA! --AK

soooo yeah... i don't think i'll be stealing my roommate's extensive collection of Patagonia fleeces and moving out of the lower 48 to find my own Brawny man any time soon. that said, i remain open to the whole wide world of possibilities. i just require a little bit of certainty, and preferably medical and dental coverage, before making a huge leap.


p.s. Cass, i checked the AT&T coverage map, and AK residents can't get phone service. so, basically, i'd be able to make the same number of successful, uninterrupted calls from the tundra as i am able to make while here in Philly.


Monday, May 3, 2010

hemingway says...


The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

i probably could read A Moveable Feast every month and never find it boring.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

rule for life #92


things that do not relieve a hangover:
1. waking up early
2. spending hours on a blanket in the sun
3. cheeseburgers
4. walking around the city in flip flops

you can run, but you can't hide.

the hangover will find you eventually.

actually, if you're wearing flip flops, you can't even run, so...