Monday, February 26, 2007

I don't know what to say. This award comes as such a surprise

I read Red's blog today and was like “Hot damn that’s some banter! I want to be friends with them!” Then I realized it was because half of it was mine. So here I am, reclaiming – for you, the reader – the brilliance of last night’s liveblogging, Special Oscars Edition. (For the nine of you who don’t come here directly from The Tent)

Me: Do you have an Oscar speech?

Red: Yes, it's really dignified. Would you like to hear it?

Me: Yes, please. And tell me what you won for.

Red: First, you should know that I'm wearing extensions that are so real-looking that my hair simply looks like it suddenly became voluminous and wavy. I'm at my 18-year-old weight. The smile eye wrinkles have disappeared.

Me: In other words, you've gone all Hollywood on us. I assume you've forgotten the little people and we no longer speak.

Red: I glide onto the stage as if propelled by invisible wires and the love of the audience.

Me: Awesome. The blogosphere will be agog.

Red: The real Red would throw up and then die. But Oscar-winning Red tears up just enough to be genuine but not too much, so as to keep all make-up intact.

Me: And what witty comments will you make to be the buzz of the Oscars?

Red: I start with the adjectives... the incredible cast, amazing director, and (choke) my wonderful family and my friends who I love so much, and of course my doting husband Jason [Varitek].

Me: You are quite the accomplished couple! The toast of Boston.

Red: What color should my dress be?

Me: Deep navy with some sparkle. Duh.

Red: I already know that when I'm on the red carpet and they ask me what I'm wearing, I'll say blue.

Me: Gucci will take back their swag!

Red: Okay, now tell me... your award/speech/dress?

Me: Ahem, well, I'm assuming that I'll win for Best Screenplay.

Red: Yes.

Me: I'm going to jump on stuff, likely trip up the stairs, then say "I became a writer so I wouldn't have to speak in front of people, and it's backfired horribly..."

Red: I like that.

Me: Then shout out to friends, family, amazing cast, my husband John Krasinski. We met on set. How cute are we?

Red: Jason and John are in their seats with misty eyes, maybe a single tear. But I don't really want them to Chad Lowe out.

Me: From there it'll devolve into a bitter Constanza-like rant about the people I hate, and they'll drag me off, one security guard under each armpit.

Red: Totally! Pull a Fiona Apple at the MTV awards. "This world is bullshit!"

Me: You gotta make a name for yourself.

Red: From then on, anytime people throw fits it'll be called pulling a [my last name].

Me: I'll parlay that into a book deal: "This world is bullshit!: Saying what you feel in a messed up world."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Her life on the G-list

The day is young yet, and I don’t want to get cocky, but I think I’ve got the winner for Most Comical Juxtaposition Involving Work Ethic and Gay Porn:

Gold medal to Kathy Griffin and The New York Post, and condolences to Kathy’s dad, who is now forever linked to the GAYVN Awards in my mind. Just hope there isn't an article written today about Martha Stewart's famous work ethic driving everyone to tears on the set of her jailhouse gay porno "A Good Thing (and by Thing I Mean Gay Sex)"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This space is MySpace

Ok, so I can’t start a sentence that says “You'll never guess what happened on MySpace…” without feeling like a total 11 year old (or like I should be on “To Catch a Predator.” Whatevs.)

Sure, I know, it’s totally legit for someone in his or her 20s to have a page – most of my friends do too – but I can’t shake the feeling that if you’re too old for Tiger Beat, you’re too old for MySpace, with it’s innocuous motto of “A place for friends” totally belying the volume of amateur porn stars who ask if I want to join their ranks.

Mostly though, I just get poetry in the form of comments like so:

*Tuesday baby Tuesday Do u know where ur kids r??? Home Sleep,??? Wrong we at the club shaken dat ass Shaken dat ass, Shaken dat Ass,,
Baby Tuesdays@MARQUEE 27th street & 10th ave Let me know if u want to come???

*Whats up KateIts Friday finally I thought it was never gonna get here but now its right on time.. Its kinda like money, orgazims and drug dealers. If some one owes u money and they r suppose to pay u on Monday but now its Wednsday u get angry, gotta pay bills, ur stressed out then they show up with the money and its right on time u forget all about it being late. Or have u ever had an orgazim that came to late or too early as soon as it cums its right on time... I dont think I need to elaborate on the last u get the idea.. The moral of the story is that all the before metion things only r good for a short time so make the best of it while its here... Come to STEREO tonight and make the best of ur Friday night P Diddy and the Fam. was there last Friday so u know its official.. STEREO 29th btw 10th and 11th ave I will be walking in at 12am if u want to meet me infront u can walk in with me or just talk to TIM at the door and tell him ur on Ellingtons guest list. txt or call me when u get there.

Oh Ellington, you had me in the first line of your sonnet: "Do u know where ur kids r??? Home Sleep,???"

Lyrical. And my kids thank you for your concern.

That said, you’ll never guess what happened on MySpace! Someone stole my “Who I’d like to meet…” line. Ahem… “Other people, is that a trick question?” It’s not all that clever, but it’s in lieu of just a list of people nobody cares about. And I’m betting most people don’t know who David Cross is, and John Krasinski still has that restraining order out, sooooo…

Anyway Thiefy McPlagerizer then tried to MySpace friend me. Oh no you did-n! So I emailed him.

Me: Huh, um, did you steal my “Who I’d like to meet” line?
Him: Why yes I did, sorry it was just so witty and u like me to erase it?

Guess what pal? Look at my face. I’m not LOLing over here. It negates the originality if you (sorry, “u”) copy it, don’tcha think? The mind reels.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I’m sulky!

Valentine’s Day pop quiz.

Let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day. On your way to work maybe your face got exfoliated with ice pellets. (Yeah, that’s not snow, Sam Champion. Put away your snowflake graphic.) Perhaps you're feeling a wee bit cold and unloved. What’s the last thing you’d want a random stranger to put on your desk?:

A. Candy
B. A valentine
C. A copy of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition with Beyonce on a tropical beach looking happy, healthy and, most importantly, warm.

Hibernating Bear: There could not be a more perfect contrast between the day I'm having and the day pictured on the front of the magazine.
Me: The only thing worse would be if she were holding a sign like the Roadrunner saying, “I’m loved and you’re not!”
Hibernating Bear: “My boyfriend's a billionaire and yours doesn't exist.”
Me: Beep beep!

Answer: C. (We also would have accepted mystery answer D: A stuffed frog holding a heart.)

Bonus question:

If you were Crazy Monica and you burned your dinner last night to the point of filling the hall with smoke and setting off the smoke detector, would you:

A. Let your roommates know there is no cause for evacuation/fire department calling.
B. Wait until your roommates had their shoes on and were coming to get you to say, “Oh, yeah, I burned my rice. It’s fine.”

Answer: If you don't know the answer, you still win a copy of SI. Come get your prize.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Starbucks is – as I’ve said before – where I tithe. Sure, any two-bit financial magazine can point out how much you spend a year on coffee and that if you just invested it at a healthy 8% a year and reinvested the dividends…zzzz…sorry, what’s that? I need some coffee before I listen to your lecture. Know what? Sometimes they have free newspapers, so that’s like a crip $1 bill I’ve saved right there. Besides, the first place I’d go if I had skaty-bajillion dollars would be Starbucks. Also, if I didn’t have coffee, I’d never get out of bed, so I’d lose my job. And the circle of life continues.

Some people think Starbucks is burned tasting. To them I say: shut up. No it doesn’t. Then there are the people who are more on the brick-through-the-window spectrum of fans, either because big corporations aren’t cool or because they put your cousin’s coffee bean farm out of business. I’m sure you’ll be very happy at Gimme! Coffee in Williamsburg. It’s right over the bridge there. Subway’s $2.

Starbucks is my first stop of the day, a clean well-lighted place where I pay five times more than needed in exchange for a skim peppermint mocha. I love my Baristas. (Except for the Special Olympian they have working the bagel orders who toasts the bagels upside down, so the insides stay untoasted. We’ve talked about it. He refuses to see it my way.)

They smile when they see me, know my order before I can pay and call me “sweetheart” and “mi amor.” Last week I got a free cupcake. Basically they treat me better than my last boyfriend.

In our post-modern world (que?) it says a lot that people lead such busy lives that they reach out to Baristas for human interaction. Or not, since just about every culture on the planet discovered cafes before us.

The peppermint mocha is simple enough – coffee, milk, chocolate and peppermint. Christmas in a glass. Today I took a big ol’ swig and discovered they left out the coffee. I don’t know what it means, in the big picture of Life, but it has to mean something, right?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Not now Lisa, Daddy's on his high horse.

I think history will remember Jerry Seinfeld as the father of the blog. Without him, nobody would know how funny “someone cut in front of me on line today” could be. Of course blogs – blogs! – are killing newspapers, so I’m not sure if that’s a compliment.

(I’m feeling a bit pontifical today…bear with me.)

I started reading the newspaper in third grade, and the stacks of them have made my room a fire hazard ever since. Precocious brat that I was, I wanted to do a sixth grade report on Butros Butros Gali and my teacher (hi Mrs. Guterriez!) wouldn’t let me because she didn’t know who he was.

Newspapers are on hard times. Readership is down, they’re in the Bush administration’s pocket, uh, YouTube fits in there somewhere. There’s no time for Iraq when there’s a dick in a box. They aren’t a media stepchild. They’re more like the oldest sibling who gets shoved out of the way in favor of a flashier younger sibling who offers brighter colors and sound effects. And dicks in boxes.

When I worked at a newspaper, the immanent demise of our industry was not well received, for some reason. Sure, nobody wants newsprint on their hands, but without newspapers we’re back to nailing notices on church doors. Or finding the nearest town crier and gathering at his feet as he shouts at us. I get enough of that on the subway, thanks.

In a small media market, there’s predominantly slovenly newspaper reporters and don’t-you-know-who-I-am pompous TV personalities. Our reporters would come back from house fires and car accidents shaking their heads that someone would actually tell a police officer, “Excuse me, but I'm allowed to stand here. I’m Stephanie (redacted).”

I shouldn’t laugh too hard at that, because my dad was in TV news, and they really are treated at local celebrities. One year, at the county fair a local entrepreneur made marionette puppets of my father to sell at his booth. (Go ahead, let that sentence sink in.)

But there’s no such glory for a newspaper reporter. I did run across an Ernie Pyle doll once, complete with it’s own typewriter, but I imagine it wasn’t a hot seller come Christmas. I’m holding out for Tickle Me Ernie.

Back in Hometown, if a high school basketball game ran long, the sports anchor would show first-half highlights and then ask viewers to call in with the score. We can get an astronaut to drive 900 miles in adult diapers but we can’t find a better way to get the people their sports scores?

I suppose it was the bitterness of being shoved aside that led our sports department to call the TV station almost every week with made up scores. And with the sure-there-are-weapons-of-mass-destruction school of fact checking, almost every week they’d get on the air.

The saddest thing to me is when newspapers try to hip themselves up. Like your grandfather saying “waaaaaaazup” eight years too late, it’s just embarrassing for everyone involved. Case in point, the survey. TV and newspapers both offer pointless questions because you, the audience, is so important. I do not understand why someone would read this and think, “They NEED my opinion on this matter!”

(It’s like my favorite Simpsons moment of the last few years. The doorbell rings, and Homer leaps up like a puppy, going “I’m needed at the door!” )

My favorite local TV one I ever saw was, "Have you had a flu shot this year?" and the choices were yes, no and I don't know. Almost 10% of the respondents who called in weren’t sure if they’d had a flu shot, but still had a compulsion to share their thoughts.

Here’s the latest cringe-worthy one I saw:

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Where were you on 2/8?

What’s that word for when famous people die and you aren’t really sad or surprised? (Maybe they had an – I don’t know, just spitballing here – lifelong history of drug use.)

I’m coining it Schadenfraud.

Where were you when our generation’s Kennedy assassination happened? I was in the concourse under my building and there was a TV tuned to CNN for the Anna Nicole Smith coverage. Strangers bonded together, wondering what killed her – Trim Spa, her husband/lawyer/baby daddy (for the inheritance. Der. He was also there when the son died), or just plain old 25-plus years of uppers and downers, quaaludes and horse tranquilizers. Someone lit a candle and sang a hymn. In the distance a woman cried out “Dear God!” and fell to her knees.

I even got to hear Wolf Blitzer say “buxom Playboy playmate” in his Wolf Blitzer-y voice, which made my day. Larry King must be wetting himself (more than usual) about his show tonight. So much old footage! And the Supreme Court angle makes it totally legit to cover.

All I know is that there’s one happy diaper-wearing astronaut with adultery and malice in her heart and a smile on her face because she’s not the lede story tonight.

I await the inevitable pile of roses and teddy bears in tribute from people who don’t at all want to be on TV, but just need to express their grief for a stranger/train wreck and if a camera happens to be there, so be it. I assume these people, who posted online in the comments section of a Midwestern newspaper, will be the first there with their homemade (poorly punctuated) signs. Please oh please let them misspell her name.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Uh, Mom?

My mother, generally known more for her concern about the pope's health and her ongoing quest to make sure we all eat balanced meals, forwarded me this little gem with the subject line “Seen these? Cute!”

Mixed in with pictures like this:

And this calendar-worthy entry:

Was this:

If you're unclear what that is, it's a wolf biting — possibly eating — another wolf's face. I don’t think she’s taking this whole empty nest thing well. I’m pretty sure she didn’t find it adorable when my brother and I scrapped over the remote, or my family’s one and only Christmas mancala tournament that culminated with me pinning my sister down by stepping on her ponytail.

How would you feel, Mom, if there was a wolf mother (ha!) sending out email forwards of these golden moments? Wolf on wolf violence? Not cute, Mom, not cute.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A public service

Me: Ooh, crack open your People magazine and smell the Kenneth Cole men’s scent. Yes, I would date a guy who smelled like that.

The Hibernating Bear: I’m actually dating this magazine.

Me: That’s hot. Watch out for papercuts.

Hibernating Bear: Well worth the trouble

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hillary Clinton, Jumanji and other worries

Top five concerns for the day:

* I’m wearing a wide headband, which I’m afraid makes me look like Hillary Clinton circa ’92.

* I accidentally didn’t give my seat up on the subway today for a pregnant woman. My usual rule is that you have to take a pre-natal vitamin in front of me so I know you’re not just carrying some pudge in the middle, but this woman was obviously about to give birth at any moment. She was pretty much doing Lamaze breathing, but I somehow didn’t see her, even though when I looked up to get off, her fetus might as well have been making eye contact with me. I feel sheepish. I know I do a lot of horrible things everyday, but I try to redeem myself by giving up my seat for the worthy cases.

* I am disproportionately attached to my Sharpie Ultra pens. I’m not loyal to very many brands (besides Starbucks, JetBlue and Apple) but I get a little twitchy if my S.U. go missing. They make my handwriting so good! And they’re really nice colors too. Go – as the kids say – cop some posthaste.

* My company’s bookstore is closing. They were supposed to be done with inventory and open up Monday for this big out-of-business sale, but there was a sign yesterday postponing the opening until today. Then today I got there and the sign said “The bookstore is not open. (Thanks ‘cause I couldn’t see the gate was closed, the lights were off and it was empty.) The bookstore will be open when the gates are open.”
Meow! Like they’re having to fend off a torch-wielding mob? We just want some reasonably priced CDs and discount cards.

* My sister is substitute teaching this week and had a kid named Safari (a girl of course) in her class. And then there was Jumanji. Also a girl, which is weird because this is clearly a boy’s name. Also the name of a 1995 movie that is not necessarily a great namesake for a child. Also a silly word. And if we’re going to just start naming kids after Robin Williams movies, I’m naming my firstborn either RV or Good Morning Vietnam. Or if I have twins, Patch and Adams.