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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crazyville



Every fall, we college kids fool ourselves into thinking that we're going to act like the semi-adults we are and actually pay attention in our classes. Unfortunately, the first few chapters of our ridiculously expensive text books are the only ones that get read. Then the slacking starts. Freshman year, we slack off in our core classes and tell ourselves that we'll magically turn into diligent students when we start taking courses for our majors. Then we realize that it's all the same.

Apathy runs rampant on college campuses from coast to coast. I couldn't take myself seriously after I started passing notes to a friend in a particularly boring upper level advertising class in my sophomore year. Daydreaming and doodling are also very popular, I tend to stick to either dreaming of my plans of world domination or drawing random shapes and then filling them in with my gel pen, however some people take it to the extreme.

Case in point: two sheets of looseleaf paper found in the digital classroom of our Communications building. One was a paper with a stream of consciousness that was so random that I actually wanted to find this girl and help her seek pyschiatric treatment, and the other was a list titled, "Things I Want to Do."

Things [she] Want[s] to Do:

  • take dance classes
  • have an awesome apartment
  • have a fun/exciting/good/fuck the world job
  • take up fun activities
Wow. I don't even know where to begin. These things are so vague and elementary that I almost can't even criticize them. Have an "awesome" apartment? See, that's where you and me are different, because I was hoping to have a really shitty apartment, along with a really boring, tedious job. Good luck, sweetheart.

The second piece of paper was decidedly more bizarre. At the top of the page was her name written in bubbly letters over and over, along with what I'd assume to be her current boyfriend's last name because they're going to get married!! lol! Underneath is a daring declaration that "Marist College sucks the giant ball sack" and finally, the words "Larry, I love you."

Welcome to crazyville... population: YOU.




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Monday, August 28, 2006

The Saga of Ms. Creepy



The day I got back from Spring Break last April, I ended up going on an adventure with Marie and Liz. It began with the simple declaration of "I'm hungry." Not wanting to succumb to the banality of Applebee's and bored with the traditional Marist College choice of
Coyote Grill, we made the risky decision to make a left out of the North Entrance instead of the usual right and ended up in Rhinebeck, New York.

It's a cute little town that I usually only go to when my parents are in town- they like the quaintness of it, and I like the fact that for once, when I step off campus I'm not being worried about getting knived, s
hot, or raped (hooray for Poughkeepsie!). As we drove down a road filled with idyllic antique shops and sidewalk cafes and bistros, we saw an Amish man outside of an Antique shop putting art into a garbage can on the side of the road.

After obnoxiously screaming "art in a garbage can" for about twenty minutes, we vowed to go back to the art in a garbage can after dinner. We had dinner at
Terrapin, a restaurant built inside of a renovated church (I love those, apparently).

Then, we go back to the art in a garbage can to investigate. In
side, we find a handful of framed paintings that while ugly and old lady-like, we chose to take with us. Marie and Liz kept an armload full of them, but I only kept one: a framed oil painting of an ugly old lady.

No, I'm not a big fan of grandmas, but I am a big fan of stupid jokes. And the stupidest joke of them all just may be giving an oil painting of an old lady that you found on the side of the road to your friend as a present. However, I didn't gauge my friend's reaction to it correctly.

I gave it to Christine, (my lazy publicist) and I figured that she would look at it, laugh, and throw it out. But no- she kept it. She christened her "Ms. Creepy" and tortured her roommates with it, either putting the painting in her roommate's bed alongside her beloved childhood stuffed animals or giving her a seat on the living room chair and declaring, "Ms. Creepy is watching TV!"

When she returned home for the summer, Christine's father was confused, found the painting, and hung it up for her in her room. Over the phone, she told me that she was bringing Ms. Creepy to our house for decoration. I said things like "over my dead body" and "I'll kill you," but she ignored me and brought it anyway.

Ms. Creepy has officially found prime real estate in our bathroom, right across from the toilet.

So basically, if you're in my house and you're on the toilet, Ms. Creepy will be staring at you, giving a whole new meaning to the moniker "Ms. Creepy." Anyone wanna come over?

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Marriott vs. The Comfort Inn: Am I really that snobby?



I was trying to think of something to write about that happened during my "vacation" to Washington, D.C. and Soloman's Island, Maryland, when I came up with two possible titles. (Blogger Tip #443: Think of a clever title before you think about what you're going to actually write- it helps you keep your focus) One is the title above, and the other was "Puking in the Van: An American Tradition."

Yes, unfortunately, my little brother threw up his Dunkin Donuts on hour four of our ten hour oddessy back to Wester
n New York. But really, setting the gross-out factor aside, this really is what our founding fathers dreamed of- families trekking across the country to see monolithic monuments and then, so overcome by the glory of it all, one of the kids tosses their cookies all over the upholstery of the rental van.

But something about the trip was bothering more than puke: and that was the stark contrast between the lavish, clean JW Marriott in D.C. and the dank, skeevy hell-hole that was the Comfort Inn in Soloman's Island. Now, I'm no braggart, but I've stayed in some pretty fancy hotels in my life. Why, just this past Spring Break, I stayed in a hotel in Jamaica that was briefly inhabited by the Queen of England, the Pri
nce of Camelot (JFK) and the Princess of Hip Hop, Lauryn Hill. So let's just say that having to spend two horrible nights in the roach motel after spending two glorious nights in the Marriott was a terrible fate.

And so, I give you a break down of the two hotels:

Rates: Yes, the Marriott is kind of pricey, $299/night for a regular room, but it's worth it. Sure, The Comfort Inn is $89/night, but if I'm going to stay in such a nasty room, they should at least supply me with a twelver of Bud Light so I can work up the drunken courage to crawl into a bed that has no doubt held many of the derelects of America.

Speaking of the beds: Basically, the Marriott's beds are the most comfortable bed
s I've ever been on. They're WHITE- meaning that they're CLEAN. The daredevils at the Marriott take a big chance having white bedding but it comforts me to know that there are
no mystery stains on my snow white bedding. That's a stark contrast from the Comfort Inn's beds. Upon peeling back the grody comforter that no one in their right mind would sleep on or under, I noticed that on the tan blanket, there was a huge, round cigarette burn. Classy. Okay, I'll just sleep under the sheet, I thought. They change the sheets, right? The sheets seemed clean enough, except for the fact that there was a giant "Q" written on them in black marker. What does that stand for? QUEER? How did they know?

TVs: The Marriott had a giant, flat screen, plasma TV- a luxury I don't e
ven have in my own home. The Comfort Inn had a regular old TV, and the remote was chained to the nightstand. Great.

The Smell: Because my mother is a smoker, even staying in the finest hotels, we're relegated to the smoking rooms, which smell like old ashtrays and old ladies named JoAnn with emphysema. But the Marriott did a good job of masking the smell, something that the Comfort Inn couldn't seem to do. Their best effort was to stick a tree-shaped car air freshner in the air conditioner vent. Mmmm, mmm! Smells like a red neck's truck!

The Help: When people are working for me, I'd prefer that they not speak to me. And if they absolutely have to speak to me, I'd prefer they keep it short: "yes, ma'am" would be sufficient. While the staff over at the Marriott got it right, the Comfort Inn apparently didn't have a corporate training seminar on how to avoid eye contact with the guests because it freaks them out. After I left the "lobby" after I ate the danish and tang that qualified as the "Continental Breakfast" I was greated by the maid in the hallway:

The Maid: You want service?
Me: What?
The Maid: Are y'all gonna leave soon so I can clean your room?
Me: Um, we'll be gone for the day in like an hour. Can you come back then?
The Maid: (rolls eyes) Psh.... fine.

Twenty minutes later, I went out into the hall to go to my parent's room, because there's no reason why a hotel would have connecting rooms, the maid approaches me again.

The Maid: Are y'all leavin' soon or what?
Me: Yeah, soon.

Moral of the story: I will never stay in another Comfort Inn- unless it's for the purpose of casual sex. And even then, I would refuse to take my clothes off, because seriously, that place really skeeves me out.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Town Court: The Theatre of the Damned




When I received my subpoena to go to court to contest my
speeding ticket, I noticed at the bottom that it pleaded, "PLEASE WEAR PROPER ATTIRE: NO SHORTS, CUT OFFS, HALTER TOPS, OR TANK TOPS." I began to wonder how many people dressed insanely inappropriately before they decided to put that at the bottom of every letter. Well, after attending town court for the first time, I have to say that even with that stern request/gentle demand, people ignored it. In an atmosphere where I found myself to be the only person with clean hair and not sporting a mullet, a place where I was so moved to turn to my father and whisper, "Looks like everyone wore their best t-shirt!," I got a little frustrated.

Hey, I don't respect the law any more than you guys do, but at least respect yourself! Sure, I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal, but when I've got a romantic date with the court, I dress appropriately. So, for those of you who find yourself breaking the law [and getting caught] here's some fashion advice:

Black sweat pants are not dress pants: I cannot stress this enough- especially if they're ECKO, FUBU, or South Pole. Wearing jeans would be better than wearing sweat pants to court. It looks like you just rolled off of the mattress on the floor that you sleep on, smoked some crack, and headed on down to court. Sure, that's probably what you did, but at least try to fool somebody!

Don't wear a t-shirt that has an attitude problem: Remember a time when ghetto-fied
Looney Tunes characters were on all of our shirts? Like circa 3rd grade? Yes. Well, you're an adult now. Please refrain from wearing a shirt with Tweety Bird on it that says "BECAUSE I SAID SO." Likely, you're belligerant enough. Don't let your shirt dig you in deeper.

Hopefully, next time I go to court, I'll see some improvements.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

The Homewrecker Down Under


One of the main reasons I've refrained from going abroad is the fact that I don't want to stay with a host family. The typical arguments are that you are exposed to much more culture than you would be living in an apartment or staying in a hotel. However, I don't really care about culture. If I'm going abroad, it's to desecrate, desecrate, desecrate. Because, hey, I'm American and that means I'm better than you. Italy, I don't care for your charming sidewalk cafes- where's the nearest Starbuck's? Iran, that whole burka thing is a terrible idea- I'm wearing my tube top and ugg boots. What do you mean you're going to stone me to death? Psh, whatever- Dateline is so gonna hear about this.

Anyway, soon, I'll be waving goodbye to my friends as they're going off to explore other parts of the world while I'll be taking the Metro North into the city and getting coffee for some magazine editor (this, of course, is my dream internship- fingers crossed!). The first friend to head off into the unknown was a kid named Gabe. Both journalism majors, Gabe and I have had some pretty good times together, predicting our futures. Here's a classic image from the archive:

In July, Gabe headed off to Australia. I got an email from him and all I could picture when I was reading it was him sitting at a computer in an Outback Steakhouse with a kangaroo. It was probably all wrong, but I kind of like that scene, so I'm gonna stick with it. The email said that all is well, he liked his host family, and he was getting plenty trashed in pubs. Then, I hear from a mutual friend that he's switching host families.

Why?

Because his host parents are getting a divorce. AND IT'S BECAUSE OF HIM.

After recovering from almost killing myself laughing, I was able to get an explanation out of him:

"I only blame myself slightly because, (as I was told by someone who knows the father) he's going through a mid-life crisis and that's part of the separation. And then when I heard that I was like hmmm, maybe I am partly to blame. After all, me and the father would spend time drinking on the couch, watching TV, and I'd be talking about the partying I did the night before. I'd be talking about the drinking, the ladies, etc. And maybe he realized he wanted that too."

To summarize, I'm going to miss this kid so much this semester. Who am I going to walk through the McDonald's drive-thru with at 3AM and shout obscenities at the cashier with? No one, that's who.

Gabe, come back!

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My backyard is a haven for murderers



When I was twelve, there was a guy in my hometown who shot his wife and went on the lam. And when I say, "the lam" I mean my backyard. My house is in a really wooded area, and basically, if you're ever running from the law, it's the perfect place to hide. This guy thought so, as he was hiding in the woods and police helicopters were circling my house at night, shining their lights over the trees to see if they could find the fugitive. Eventually, they caught him.

Now, there's a new guy on the loose. A month or so ago, Bucky Phillips shot a cop and then fled the scene. He's been on the run for some time now. I guess I should backtrack and tell you that I live near an Indian Reservation. My housemates, the ones from Queens, asked me if they were "the Indians with the dots," but no, these are actually Native Americans (you know, the ones with the wampum and casinos). The headline in the newspaper today was "Tuscarora Reservation Becomes Focus of a Man Hunt." You see, Bucky is of Native American descent, and they figured he might be hiding out in a teepee of some sort.

On the heels of this man hunt, I found out that I have to go to court for my speeding ticket. So, you mean to tell me that I have to go to court while some crazy pyscho with a gun is roaming around free? That's America for you. Yeah, I was just speeding- ON MY WAY TO WORK- it wasn't even like I was in a hurry to go anywhere fun. But let's have all of the murderers and drug dealers go free while I spend my last days at home at court.

Next week, when I'm touring the White House in D.C., I'm totally going to let everyone know what I think about the criminal justice system in America. Because really, everyone cares what I think.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Your cousin's a loser, my cousin's a rock legend




When I was in high school, I knew a kid whose cousin was comedian
Dane Cook. He wouldn't shut up about him. The term "cousin" was used loosely as he had never actually met him. Well, the same goes for me. My cousin (third cousin, twice removed), Gary Mallaber, a man who I've never met is probably the most famous guy you've never heard of. He's played drums for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, The Steve Miller Band, Van Morrison, and Buffalo Springfield to name a few. He's had three gold #1 hit singles and twenty-eight platinum and gold albums. The question on my mind is WHY HAVEN'T I MET HIM? I've been trapped at family functions for years and either a.) wished I didn't have ears or b.) wished I was dead; and absolutely no rock gods were present to speak of. The thing I find most interesting on Cousin Gary's resume is that he played drums for Guy Patterson's character in That Thing You Do! That was such a great movie, and a catchy song to boot.

I remember in sixth grade band, we played that song. I played the trumpet. I was actually pretty good at it. Sure, I originally wanted to play the saxophone, but Mr. Albright told me that I "didn't have the right fingers" for it, whatever that means. So, I ended up playing the trumpet and I was second chair which was a huge deal, but for some reason, I quit before I could become the next Louis Armstrong and tried out for chorus instead. Unfortunately, my audition song was "Happy Birthday to You" and I totally forgot the words and I didn't make the cut. Then, I was relegated to General Music with all of the morons and the generally inept. Regardless, moral of the story: musical talent totally flows through my veins. And hey, I've got you to thank, Cousin Gary.

In other news, here are some things that everyone's talking about and since I'm tragically unoriginal, I thought I'd join in:

  • Mel Gibson: He's a douchebag. Case closed.
  • Lindsay Lohan being late for work because she's partying too hard: Lindsay, do what I do. Come in drunk. Problem solved, everyone's happy.
  • Pam Anderson and Kid Rock's wedding: The bride wore a white string bikini and the groom wore a Hanes t-shirt and jeans. Then they made out in front of the papparazzi. But hey, let's not let the gays get married, because that would totally undermine the institution of marriage.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The irony!



As comedian Sabrina Matthews pointed out, we all know that Alanis Morrisette never really had a solid grip on the definition of the word "ironic" ("No, Alanis, all of those things you listed are unfortunate, not ironic"). However, unlike Alanis, I know irony really well. Too well, in fact. Case-in-point: 8:30AM this morning, at the very front end of my 45 minute morning commute downtown. I'm listening to Ani DiFranco's Carnegie Hall album, and a song called "God's Country" is playing. First of all, how many of you jokers can say that you rock out to your boss on the way to work? Mmhmm, that's what I thought. Second of all, you're probably unfamiliar with the lyrics of that song, so the irony will be lost on you. Well, here are the lyrics to the song that was playing when I got pulled over:

State Trooper thinks I drive too fast
He pulled me over to tell me so


HILARIOUS. And yes, it was a State Trooper. As I pulled over to the side of the road, I thought it was weird that I wasn't nervous. It was the first time I've ever been pulled over and I had always assumed that when the day would come, I'd be terrified. Well, I guess I've gotten too cocky for my own good. I started to cook up scenarios that I could tell him to get some sympathy. It's my first day at my new job and I'm late! Psh, no way would he believe that. He'd take one look at what I was wearing (for the record: a t-shirt, jeans, and baseball hat) and conclude that I wasn't going anywhere important. So he came to my window and was the most cheerful cop I'd ever seen. "Good morning!" he said, in a chipper, sing-song voice. Suppressing the urge to say, "Well it was a good morning," I said "hello" and gave him my license and registration.

Because he was so nice, I figured that he'd let me go with a warning. Hey, I'm young and cute, right? Not so much. He was in his cruiser for so long I began to wonder if there was a warrant out for my arrest (oh man- what did I do that night I blacked out?). He came back and cheerfully gave me my ticket. "Do you need me to explain it to you?" he asked. "No," I said as I rolled up my window. Psh, 75mph in a 55mph zone? That's child's play, copper.

Oh well. I turned the music back on, and the irony of it all still continued:

Thanks for serving and protecting the likes of me
Yeah, thanks for the ticket
Now can I leave?

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Psh, I'll blog what I want



I started this blog with the intention of it being alllllll business related. Photos of college life and stories of idiotic inebriated hijinks would be relegated to my top-secret livejournal. After all, this website address is included in my press kit, my family reads it. I can't get too personal. And that's always been my problem. You see, I have this overwhelming, ridiculous urge to tell everyone everything. This confessional-style of life isn't easy, trust me. First of all, it takes a really good memory to dictate to each one of my friends every word I said to the girl I like in an inconsequential conversation we had like 3 weeks ago.
Anyway, the blog started off well enough. I sparsely updated with only book and career-related postings. But recently, I've become obsessed wit
h blogging. This was brought on by writing for the Buffalo Spree's blog (by the way, I wrote another article for that on the Regatta). After 3 months of writing nothing, and virtually thinking about nothing, I remembered that I have an opinion about everything and I usually have a burning desire to write it down. So, I've come to a ground-breaking conclusion: I'm going to update this with whatever I feel like. Yes, I'll refrain from any job-ending, self-sabotage posts, but I've got stuff to say, and I'm gonna say it. So there.

Stuff I have to say, volume 1:

In one night, I became obsessed with Hell's Kitchen. Sure, I just sauntered into my living room last night with the intention of picking a fight with my mother and playfully smacking my little brother in the head, but when I heard the intense verbal abuse coming out of a British man's mouth, I decided to stay for a few minutes. And I ended up staying for two hours. Having worked in a kitchen for 7 years, I can vouch for the fact that the culinary industry really is that intense. And, of course, I love the screaming and insults from Chef Ramsay. I'm pretty sure that he's got to have a really small penis and he compensates for it by calling women "stupid cows," but who cares? If you can call a woman a "stupid cow" when she's in a kitchen surrounded by sharp knives and her only response is to apologize to you, you must have pretty big balls. Either that, or she really is stupid. Whatever.

I am EXTREMELY excited about a new A&E home improvement show cal
led "Designing Blind." What exactly could that title portend? Exactly what it says. It's a show like any of the other run-of-the-mill redecorating shows that spurted up after the success of Trading Spaces, except with one big difference: the designer is actually blind. Let me say that again: The DESIGNER is BLIND. Oh my God, I am so ready for the premiere of this show. I'm going to kill myself laughing. The show not only plays right into the hand of my twisted sense of humor, but the hostess of the show is my semi-celebrity crush, Alexandra Hedison. So, in conclusion, don't ask me to do anything on August 6th, I'll be parked in front of my TV, laughing and swooning. For real, I can't wait to see this show- too bad the designer can't (joke courtesy of Tim Hecht, 6/27/06).