Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Giving to NPR

It's that time again: the only good radio station in my area, WNYC, is doing their pledge drive. I must say that their advertisements have improved recently. Many feature Alec Baldwin saying vaguely menacing things about Ira Glass, or Soterios Johnson. They've also gotten Jad Abumrad to make some interesting & amusing points about why public radio is important. Overall this drive, I have felt the desire to give them money more strongly than I ever have in the past. I've even visited the donate page 3 separate times.

One of my two problems with the drive is that the smallest amount I can give right now is $60. They have plans to make me a monthly supporter, but as a recent college graduate, I have no idea what my bank balance is going to be from one month to the next. I would love to give them $20 now, & maybe $20 during the next drive, but Brian Lehrer gave me a guilt trip about $60 being the smallest suggested donation, & the radio doesn't respond to me when I yell at it. It's shockingly similar to the TV in that regard.

My other problem with the drive? It means I'm not listening to wonderful WNYC programming on my drive to work.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Website Week in Review

Interesting Crap I have found around the internet this week:
♥ The secret to a long life seems to be in the subtext of this article: be happy, do things that interest you.

♥ If you aren't reading Hyperbole and a Half, then there is no joy in your life.

♥ You've heard of a murphy bed? Well this is a Murphy Desk, which feeds all of my organizational joys. I want to run out & buy one right now, because I know I will eventually need one in my cramped days of city-living. Sure the computer would have to live somewhere else, but this would be great even to hang on the wall next to one's bed, or for an extra work surface in the kitchen.

♥ A short film about a man who does glass embossing the old-fashioned way. It isn't quite as informative as I might have liked it to be, but just sit back & let the pretty wash over you. It inspired me to go back in for some art deco opulence in my art for a moment.

♥ These fuckin' guys! Makes me want to watch the Matrix again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: 2010.10.28

Bunny love

Oh my, is it Thursday again already? Thank goodness for auto-post, or it would be a ghost town around here.

This week I love....

♥ This spot on NPR about words which exist in other languages that should be adopted by English. Reading through the comments section makes me want to expand my vocabulary to include Shil-shom (Hebrew for 'the day before yesterday').

The New York Public Library where I went to kill some time between auditions on Monday. I got to utilize their city-block-long wall of dictionaries to satisfy an etymological question I had been pondering for a few days. They also apparently have a phone line where you can call up & ask them almost anything, & they'll tell you! What a nutty city. :)

Sunlight throught the trees

Fall Leaves. I mean really, how could you not?

Halloween Halloween Halloween! It is my favorite holiday, & I am super-excited to be able to go to a party this year. I am also excited to hand out candy to cute little kids for the first time since I graduated High School! Winning bonus points is "The Walking Dead", a Zombie TV show premiering in the Mad Men slot on the 31st.

Honorable Mentions: ♥ Whiskey Sour Pickles ♥ Tickets to see Brian Regan!!! ♥ Meeting up with Friends at the Theater ♥ Shakespeare Auditions ♥ Intelligent, friendly people at work ♥

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Country Club Charming Customer Awards

Yes Ladies and gentlemen, it's time once again for the charming customer awards! This edition is coming to you live from the Rich and White Country Club, where there are surprisingly few competitors for the awards. Let's take a look at the competition.

First up we have Mrs. ZhouZhou, ordering a Chicken Paillard. She doesn't want her chicken too overdone, but doesn't want it too underdone, either. When asked if that meant she wanted a regular Chicken Paillard, she countered with an attack on the quality of salads previously tendered.
A close competitor in the inane orders category was Mrs. VonSchmaltz who ordered an omlette "not too runny, but not too hard", but was disqualified for actually enjoying her food once it arrived.

In the Just-Order-Something-Else-Category, it looks like Mr. Dividends is going to take the prize this year. His order of a Cobb Salad "with no red onions, avocadoes or bacon,  and with cucumbers, beets and cheese" puts him in the forefront of the competitors trying to turn any salad into a Chef salad.

Lastly, we have the in a hurry competition. Though Mr. Warty marked himself as a stiff competitor when he ordered a grilled cheese to be made now and picked up two hours later after his golf game, the crowd favorite underdog Mrs. Ice will probably take the prize this year in a similar golf situation: in a hurry to meet her friends and go out to the course, she ordered a well done burger and stared accusingly until it arrived.

Stay tuned for more news from Rich and White Country Club, where the competitors in this year's Charming Customer Awards are looking forward to seeing their names on the leader board.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Graduate School

Dear Graduate School Admissions Person-

Well, I guess I'm writing to you because I've heard a lot about you. Some of my friends have already joined you, but I'm not sure yet- you seem too similar to that tiring nemesis Undergrad, from my last boxing match,  to take on right away. My mother tells me not to wait too long to take you on, which makes you sound like a baby. Are you like a baby? Are you going to scream all night so I can't sleep and shit in your pants? Because that's pretty unacceptable.

Anyway, I want to be an artist. I like to draw stuff, but sometimes I like to make stuff too. Will you teach me how to do that? I don't really want an open studio where I am allowed to create. I need a teacher. I guess I'm not that smart.

I also need you to force me to buy photoshop and teach me how to use it, so I can write a webcomic and become internet famous.

Can I also earn a degree in library science in my spare time? I mentioned it to my mother once, and she printed out an application to **** Uni and left it on my desk, and I really don't want to go there, but if I don't apply to you she's probably going to disown me as lazy and stupid.

Oh, and can you guarantee I will have a job as soon as I graduate? Ideally, I want to have my school paid off in the same amout of time it took me to get my diploma, meaning I need my starting salarly to be twice as much as my yearly tuition.

Anyway, those are my requirements. In exchange, I can offer myself as a good worker when I care about the subject, and a law abiding, book ruining citizen of your supposedly esteemed institution.


Bef with an F

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I love Thursday: 2010.10.21

TiLT: 10.21
Bubble Bath
I use The Comforter from Lush, & it smells like a nap! I really don't know how to describe it other than that.

Knitting Again
My needles have been down since... Junior year? I went to the Sheep & Wool festival with my mom on Saturday, & even though I only bought one little thing, I came home & looked at my stash  & picked a few projects right up again. I knit while I wait to go to places at the Haunted House, & it's nice to feel like I'm accomplishing something with my spare time.

Pen Pals
One of my pen pals stopped writing to me, & I got a little sad, because I thought that meant the end of letter writing for me, & I love letter writing. However, then Best Friend sent me a letter from California, & it was off to the races! She is the perfect letter-writer: supportive & encouraging, & makes amusing points about her own life. So... yay best friend!

Board Games
Since dating Boyfriend, I have gotten very in to games- board games, card games... (not so much dice games). I joined Scrabble club last year but quit because they all played words that they didn't know the meaning of. But I still love to play it with Little Sister, & will probably force LS & her new Boyfriend to play with me on Thanksgiving.
Other games I like: Catan (board & card), Quiddler, Royalty (like scrabble but with cards!), Pandemic (it's so difficult!), Cranium, Othello.

Specials Extras: ♥Falling leaves! ♥ Fancy Tea Items! ♥ Mom's New Car! ♥ Drawing Pictures All Day! ♥ Sleeping In! ♥ Some of my Friends Taking up Blogging! ♥ Whiskey Sour Pickles from Brooklyn Brine! ♥ Capitalizing Every Word! ♥

And this guy:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tik Tok (What I Hear Wednesday)

Tick, Tock- Kemoneyha

I arise in the morning feeling not dissimilar to Sean Combs
Put on my spectacles, and leave my abode, I will conduct a thorough tour of my home metropolis.
Prior to my exit I break a bottle across my face,
Because when I lock the door behind myself today, my house is closed forever.

I mean I am going to varnish my toenails, toenails
Take all of my clothes out of the closet and put them on.
Young Gentlemen are calling me with great frequency and vigor,
I am Driving about in a cabriolet and winding up the Victrola,
Pulling up to the parties, and trying to become mildly intoxicated.

Never cease! Crescendo the orchestra!
Conductor, up the tempo!
Tonight I shall brawl
Until the sun wakens from her rest
(Tick Tock, the Grandfather clock in the hall)
But the ball shall never cease, nay.

Big props to my summer coworkers Golf Shop Bitch and David Foster Wallace for their assistance on this one. I introduced the concept of Grammar Pop to them one boring August day, and we spent the rest of the day tearing this one apart.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Monday: Mad Men Season 4

And now a brief chat on a subject which I don't think is discussed enough on the internet: Mad Men.

Peggy's Dress, s4 e3

I began getting the DVDs from Netflix at the end of July when I signed up, and upon finishing season 3 went straight to watching season 4 on my friend's TiVo. The Season Finale last night  also marked the end of three solid months of consuming Mad Men like a junkie, and I am in the beginning stages of withdrawal.

Gushy descriptions of the writing, acting, and design can be found anywhere, so I will resist the urge to do the same (although I have done so to my family many a time, & for that, Dad, I am sorry). Instead, I will give you my fourth favorite reason for liking the show, and hopefully you won't judge me too harshly for it: I use it as a little bit of an History lesson.

I'm very dumb, so when I learn about a series of events in school, I usually have to make myself a timeline and a flow chart to figure out how all of the things relate to one another. Mad Men has helped me fill in the arc of what (white, employed) people were possibly thinking and doing all though the beginning of the '60s. Being a largely left-brained visual person, seeing a continuum of what people were wearing through those years has actually helped me make a little more sense of photos in textbooks.

Normally I wouldn't allow myself this sort of thing. In costume research, we are only allowed to draw research from primary sources: I should actually watch 'Bye Bye Birdie,' not the episode where Sal (I MISS HIM) makes a commercial based on it. But for solely mind-organizing purposes, I have chosen to trust the intensive research of Weiner, Christopher Brown, Camille Bratkowski,  Katherine Jane Bryant, and the whole rest of the crew (art departments, makeup, hair, pattern cutting... wonderful how many people the arts employ), considering the interviews I have heard about the books they keep to track who is wearing what when.

I know the show hasn't gotten renewed on AMC yet, but I don't see why it shouldn't. However, I have gathered from interviews I've heard with Weiner that he doesn't intend to run the show in to the ground, which I am pleased as spiked punch to hear. Even though I can't get enough, it's nice to let things die when then need to (because even 'Cats' didn't have nine lives). But am I going to go out & buy all of the Season DVDs during the Christmas Sales? You bet.

Zoe on a lap

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Outfit

Fall is truly upon us: Oktoberfest in the Fridge and Apples in the basement mean it's time to avoid the asthmatic coma brought on by raking the lawn & obsessing over school supplies.

For the first time in about 17 years, I didn't get to go back to school. I don't really mind having free time, or essentially no curfew, but there are of course things I miss. So this year, for the first time since middle school I bought myself an entirely new outfit. Not just a new pair of pants to combine with my favorite shirt, not just new shoes that will go with some skirts that I already have, but new everything, down to the eyeshadow.

Daily Outfit: 2010.10.14

It's pretty satisfying, actually. I bought the shirt from my very favorite store (click photo for details, this blog is not a catalogue), where I can only really afford to buy one thing a year. I bought this shirt because it has a similar hood to a sweater that I bought for my boyfriend which I steal all the time.

The pants are a concession to the fact that I need more than one pair of pants that I don't hate, especially since that meant I did attic construction last week in Star Wars pajamas.

The boots were infuriatingly difficult to find. Did you know that shoe sellers think women still want to show off their dainty ankles? I can't imagine any other reason they would affix zippers to the sides of every single pair of boots. These were bought in the men's section (these big feet are good for something after all!) where the man on staff only hesitated to serve me because he wasn't sure I actually wanted anything. I've said it once, I'll say it again: I LOVE NEW YORK: what I wear is my business. Well, and theirs, I suppose.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dream Houses

I work at a Country Club, so sometimes I get to listen to rich people talk casually about their things. Usually I don't listen (because I really don't care), but the other day we had two tables and one of them decided to sit pretty much directly on top of the wait station (seriously guys don't do it), so I got to hear the lady talk to her mother about how they are remodeling their Hamptons house. Or something- the patio seemed to be moving west.

It doesn't really inspire jealousy in me, since I'm sure they've earned it, but it did set me to re-imagining my dream house. We all have one, right? Mine has a big piece of property, a zebra striped bathroom, and a huge work studio upstairs with all glass walls.

I walked by a design store in Soho the other day that prominently displayed a chair so orange my eyes were caught and violently dragged across the street with my body behind them, and that was when I knew:

My backyard will have to include an obnoxiously elaborate worktable setup (with somebody to clean up after me as well, of course). The chairs are big (45 lbs) and plastic, so they will need some contrast color throw pillows, which I will be only too happy to knit for them.

I will also have some gratuitously massive installation sculpture, because what is a five acre backyard without some sculpture littered about like tissues that missed the bin? Dog shit can't be the only thing that collects in the yard.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Movie Monday: "Catfish" Trailer

Catfish photo

Most Mondays, My Father & I go to the movies after doing some housework. The matinees are cheaper, & there's practically nobody in the theater.

But I'm not here to talk to you about "The Town," which is what I saw. Oh no, today I'm here to talk to you about the preview for "Catfish."

First of all, let's talk about the tagline. "The last 40 minutes of the film will send you on an emotional rollercoaster ride you won't be able to shake for days." (Rolling Stone? Citation needed) You know what that says to me? That the first half of the movie is something to be endured as I am set up for the ending.

Second, there's the poster: it's a red fish, which says to me RED HERRING. Faulty advertising? Maybe. But not easy to ignore.

Lastly, there's the trailer itself. It's kind of awkward and embarassing in tone: shaky, amateur photography that looks like somebody used a handheld camcorder to record a TV is less than endearing. The trailer is just interesting enough that I want somebody else to go & see it to tell me what it's about. When looking a few things up on the internet for this post, I came across a review that included the end, and was well pleased I will never waste my time or money to see it.

Was there ever a way that they could have marketed this movie to get me to want to see it? Probably not. But the fact that I keep calling it "Red Herring" in conversation is possibly one of the funniest marketing fails I have known in a while.