Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
How to Break Up a Party 101
I had mentioned the debauchery that culminated from Riverfest on Friday night, but Alcoholism Extravaganza Weekend 08 didn't end there. No- Saturday night found us outside my friend's house in front of a grill that wouldn't light, belting out a mix of songs that likely confused their neighbors to no end.
I've said it before that I'd never put my iTunes on random shuffle at a party because it's far too likely that the Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack would come up, followed by "Last Resort" by Papa Roach (I get angry sometimes). Let me say that not all of my music is lame, but with over 4,000 songs, there's bound to be at least a few hundred embarassing songs that could bring a party to a screeching halt.
Gabe, however, was brave enough to put his iPod on shuffle and our sing-a-long playlist for the night included:
1. Make a Man Out of You- Mulan Soundtrack
2. All or Nothing- OTown
3. All Coming Back to Me Now- Celine Dion
4. Forgot About Dre- Eminem (featuring Dr. Dre)
Wish you were there to hear this cacophony? Lucky for you I have the obsessive need to document everything:
In stark contrast, Sunday night was very different from our off-key drunken sing-a-long, as Kari and I went to a private house concert for Raining Jane. The concert was so awesome that I don't even feel the need to mention the train ride there in which there was an altercation between a lady who was "just trying to relax" and a 50-something year old couple who were making weird jewelry and awkwardly wrapping their legs around each other the entire train ride. Oh wait, I guess I just did mention it. Whatever.
Anyway, I can only say it so many times, people. Raining Jane kick ass. It was quite honestly one of the best concerts I've been to and let me tell you that I've seen MANY revered musicians live such as Weird Al Yankovich (shut up I was 12) and Hoku (remember Hoku? No? Just me?).
Buy Raining Jane's new album. DO IT.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Usually I'm not one to play the game of "dudeeeeeeeeee, I got soooo drunk last night" because it sounds really lame and juvenile. So let it suffice to say that the next three weeks until graduation will be a complete and total shit show. Not only because of graduation looming over our heads and the idea that we have to be (semi)responsible adults very soon, but because I got a job!!!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Loading Dock Lovin'
In training the people who will be taking over for me as Editor of my college's campus magazine, I had to give them information about the printer we use to produce the magazine.
In giving directions to the printer, this is what I said:
"You’ll go straight for about 20 minutes until you see a Wendy’s and Diary Queen on the right. Turn right and there’s an old broken-down sign that says [the printer's name]. Turn right into the parking lot. Don’t be scared. It’s okay. Walk into the office and don’t be put off by the smell and the fact that it looks like you’ve just stepped directly into 1975. Tell the scary-looking receptionist that you’re here to see Julie and she’ll make absolutely no effort to direct you to where you need to go. Go straight back and to the right to Julie’s office."
I'd say that this is a pretty accurate description of the situation I've faced many times throughout my three year tenure as Editor.
The worst/best part of all of my trips to the printer are the guys at the loading dock who always hit on me.
This morning, I go to pick up the issues and the loading dock man greats me by my first and last name (keep in mind I'm wearing gym shorts, a t-shirt, a baseball hat, no makeup, and my legs are in need of a good shave while this conversation is happening).
Him: I love reading your articles!
Him: You know why I like them?
Him: Because you're so real and honest.
Him: Can I ask you some personal questions?
Him: When am I going to see you again?
Me: Never. I'm graduating.
Him: Ohhh, what are you doing this weekend?
Me: Um, graduation stuff.
Him: Okay, baby, I'll see you later, gorgeous!
Whyyyyyyyyyyyy do black men love me so much? Wrong gender, dudeeeeee.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Blogging About Blogging
Okay, so first of all, apparently I was added to a site called Student Bloggers. This site was started in an effort to connect student bloggers together, and categorize them by college. I think this is a brilliant idea, as it will allow students looking at prospective colleges access to a list of blogs written by students from the particular college they're interested in. That said, however, I'm not sure my blog should be read by someone looking to attend my college. I mean, I'm a tour guide, so I do heartily endorse my school, as I've loved my time here, but there's also a great deal of bitching and exposure to debauchery that I'm not sure college admissions would like exposed. Like how they LOST MY [work study] PAYCHECK this week, for example. Damnnnnnn, I need to get paiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid.
Whatever. If you're looking for a college, my advice to is if you're touring the school on a Saturday or Sunday morning, get close enough to the tour guide to smell them. Because every tour I've ever given on Saturday and Sunday mornings have been given while I was either hungover or still drunk, and most often, unshowered, in the same clothes I wore out the night before. I know, I'm really classy.
Let's switch gears.
I actually took this idea from an old blog that Tina had written. There are a lot of advantages to having blog trafficking software. I can pretty much find out anything about anyone who comes to my blog via the software, but I usually don't pay attention to that. What I do pay attention to is how people arrive at my blog. A lot of my hits, believe it or not, are through random Google searches that random people do. Here are my favorites:
5. "Jamaican Ganja"
4. "Ellen Degeneres Hairstyle"
3. "Jamaican Lesbo"
2. "Poughkeepsie Hookers"
1. "Amanda [MyLastName] is a bitch"
Of course, the last one is my favorite. I mean, come on, isn't it fantastically ironic that you search my name along with "is a bitch" and get directed to my blog? At the very least you should be directed to my hate site.
Wait, I don't have a hate site? I guess it's only a matter of time.
Labels: Best Thing
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Barack Obama is Our Homeboy
What follows is an article I had to write for my advocacy journalism class. Usually, I'm not political and I don't really care about anything but myself, but for some reason, I really got into writing this. Call it the Obama effect. Yes, you CAN finish this article. Anyway, here it is:
Barack Obama is my homeboy.
This is a statement emblazoned on t-shirts by a grassroots campaign organization to help get Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama into the White House. This sudden invigoration of young voters is by and large unprecedented in recent history. A generation plagued by political apathy and indifference has found their golden candidate, their homeboy. A guy they’d not only vote for, but a guy whose name and likeness they’d wear on their chests. How did he do it?
Generation Y has long been politically apathetic because they have never really had to care. The youth of today hasn’t faced hardships as previous generations have. Nothing has ever really been a matter of life or death for Generation Y.
They have never known a struggle for basic civil rights, the fear of a draft, or for the most part, any real kind of economic hardship. Simply put, when gas prices go up, they keep pumping, when previous generations would walk to the store.
The cushy lifestyle the abundance of Generation Y has lived has set the stage for rampant political apathy. After all, it’s human nature to be self-involved, and when young people perceive that they are not directly affected by political decisions and policymaking, why should they care?
Generation Y has largely grown up in an era where consumerism takes precedent over activism. Generation Y represents more than 70 million consumers in the United States alone and spends approximately $172 billion per year.
Oftentimes referred to as “The Net Generation,” Generation Y is remarkably wired and computer literate; they are consuming some form of media nearly every hour they are awake, and because of this, a greater emphasis on image and “the cool factor” has swept into politics.
It is believed by some that in order to get the youth vote, you have to be cool, hip, and espouse a message not about health care and tax reform, but something more abstract and catchy. Newsweek contributor Sarah Kliff reflected on the star quality of Barack Obama.
“Barack Obama's mobilization of the youth vote doesn't surprise me. I am eight months out of college and completely get his appeal: his hopeful ideals, moving speeches, and that air of change surrounding him are thrilling,” she said. “What shocks me is how thoroughly uncool it is to back Hillary and how her twenty-something supporters are regularly put on the defensive for having the audacity to vote against hope, change, and revolution."
All things considered, it’s not very likely we’ll be seeing any “Hillary is my Homegirl” t-shirts. Even less likely is the idea of “John McCain is my homeboy” shirts popping up. Perhaps a “John McCain is my grandfather” shirt will come to fruition, but definitely not “homeboy.”
The very idea that a political candidate could mobilize a generation so plagued with indifference toward political issues is amazing in itself. Not only indifferent, Generation Y is widely regarded as highly skeptical and realistic.
The mantra of hoping and dreaming sounds more like something out of the Peter O’Toole version of Don Quixote: The Man of La Mancha that Generation Y was forced to watch in Spanish class rather than a viable political platform. In the end, the idea of dreaming and hoping sounds more like a punch line to Generation Y than anything else.
Lynne C. Lancaster, co-founder of BridgeWorks, a company dedicated to addressing generational issues that arise in the workplace and marketplace at large stated that while Generation Y is extremely confident in themselves, they are also very skeptical, as often their first question when confronted with a problem is “why?”
“Boomers have given [Generation Y] the confidence to be optimistic about their ability to make things happen, and Generation Xers have given them just enough skepticism to be cautious,” she said. “If you want to remember one key word to describe Generation Y, it’s realistic.”
And yet we have Barack Obama, a candidate who went after the youth vote that had largely been cast aside by previous candidates. Obama, a relatively young presidential candidate, looks hip and relaxed in his breezy tailored suits sans tie as he turns a generation of cynics into believers by merely declaring his manta: yes, we can.
Obama has been able to lead his opponent Hillary Clinton in the polls among young voters because not only does he inspire them, but because he doesn’t patronize them and he can relate to them in a way no candidate has been able to do. He is intelligent without being arrogant (a pratfall of former Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry).
Clinton, for example, has recruited her 28-year-old daughter Chelsea to help her campaign cater to young voters. The younger Clinton talking to an audience full of her peers about what a great job her mom would do in the White House is a sad display at best. After all, Obama doesn’t need to recruit his daughters to help him reach the youth vote. And they wouldn’t be able to reach the podium anyway.
It has long been discussed that the 2008 presidential election is the most historic election in recent history. No matter what candidate is elected, it will be an election of a significant first in our history. The first female, the first African-American, or the oldest white guy- it’s an utterly mixed bag.
But to a generation who grew up on the culturally diverse teachings of Sesame Street, having a black or female president doesn’t seem to be that earth-shattering. The overwhelming sentiment of Generation Y is, “well, what took so long?”
As for Clinton, she has trouble inspiring young women because Generation Y’s women entered a work world where women have held high corporate positions for some time and where sexual harassment training is mandatory for all employees.
Newsweek contributor Sarah Kliff stated that Clinton is not able to inspire young women to chant, “Yes, we will!” because, in a sense, they already have.
“[Generation Y’s women] have taken more advanced placement classes than their male counterparts, enrolled at universities at higher rates and graduated with better GPAs. They are doctors, investment bankers and lawyers in training. That makes the possibility of a female president hardly revolutionary or cool,” Kliff said.
The fact that how “cool” a candidate is so significant to Generation Y in terms of who they will vote for is what makes Generation Y’s parents and grandparents shake their heads at this young generation. As a responsible person, shouldn’t a vote be cast for the candidate who will truly do the best job rather than who tells the best jokes on The Tonight Show or who dances up a storm on The Ellen DeGeneres Show?
How soon we forget the presidential election of 1960. Americans voted JFK into the White House because he too espoused the ideology of hope. His family, a beautiful wife and two adorable children, was the physical manifestation of the old-time American dream. JFK’s Camelot cast a spell on the American public and they, too, wanted to buy in on the dream. After all, this was a guy who wanted to go to the moon. It’s really not all that different nearly fifty years later.
In the end, generations may change and attitudes may be different, but in the dawning of our lives, as young people, no matter how cynical we are, we all secretly want to go to the moon. We just need a candidate who can take us there.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Fuck Da Rest: An Addendum
Okay, so you may remember an entry from a week or so ago, talking about how crazypants it was going to be to move in with my friend Abi post-graduation. Apparently, it was too crazypants to handle. Thus, we're not living together.
I wasn't going to blog about this because I thought it would be kind of livejournal-esque, but after a million glasses of wine last night and a heart to heart convo, Abi insisted that I write one. She said to just write that even though we're not living together anymore, we still love each other very much. I said that's what you tell a child when you're getting a divorce. But really, that's how I regard all of you blog readers. As my children. You should probably feel loved.
Anyway, last night culminated into a drunken delight where we sat by the river, talked about gay rights, struck up a conversation with a cashier while buying beer, and yelled at the RD. I faintly remember passing out at 9:30pm after Abi stole a burger from an unguarded grill and chucked it at someone's front door.
So really, still fuck da rest.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
One Month. Dear God.
So I've been a little lax in posting lately, and I know it. Never fear; my outrage at life and need to complain about it hasn't waned, rather, I've been dealing with real life sort of things.
I put a deposit down on an apartment in Brooklyn.
Ten minutes after I said "yes" I was thrust into a world filled with credit checks, furniture buying, down-sizing, cable bills, and paint chips. This is not okay.
Well, of course, it is okay, in fact, I'm really excited about it, it's just that the reality of having to be a fully-functioning adult with a balanced checkbook and billz to pay is pretty harsh. Now I have a very expensive apartment to pay for and no job to speak of. The pressure is ON, America. Will I choke? Will I resort to drug trafficking? Stay tuned.
Added pressure, of course, is saying goodbye to my safe, easy college life. One month from today, I'll be a college graduate. Scary.
Four years ago, I was homesick and crying myself to sleep. When I told a friend from home that I cried myself to sleep, she told me to make sure I cry into my pillow to muffle the sound so I wouldn't make my new roommate feel uncomfortable. What can I say? I surround myself with assholes. So now after four years of countless fights, drunken nights, and pizza bites, here I am, scheduling appointments to meet with my landlord and handing out checks like I'm JD Rockefeller. Consequently, my current roommate bought me "Personal Finance for Dummies" for my birthday, and I tried to read it, I really did. I just kept falling asleep. READING ABOUT MUTUAL FUNDS IS SO BORING. This bodes well, I think.
This is also why I'm a communications major. I've spent four years watching TV as homework and writing research papers on The Flavor of Love and The Real World/Road Rules Gauntlet III. Hey, my degree is useless, but I had a GREAT time. And you know what else I've realized? Once you put a deposit down on your first apartment, all of your remaining school work becomes even more irrelevant than before. How can I study for an exam when I'm picking out headboards? The answer? I can't. In the grand scheme of things, headboards = more important than my Small Group Communication test. And apparently, so is blogging.
Moral of the story: I need a job, I definitely need more than 4 weeks of college, and I need a DRINK. Big time.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Debbie Downer Does Karaoke
I've mentioned my love for karaoke night before, despite my hostile feelings for the DJ. However, since we've become karaoke regulars, our feud with PJ the DJ has ended, and now, as soon as we walk through the door, PJ comes over and asks us to sign up. Hang on, PJ, we've got to finish our freakin' 25 cent wings. Geez.
I have to admit that we've become some sort of a broken record, as we always return to singing our old standby, "All or Nothing" by OTown. We sing it so much that PJ the DJ has dubbed us the "All or Nothing All-Stars." Sometimes, if we're in the mood, we'll pull out Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back to Me Now." It's fine.
Lately, a new addition to the karaoke crew has come in the form of an 80-year-old man named Bob. Bob has Parkinson's disease and sings nothing but Frank Sinatra songs. I know that Bob has Parkinson's because he held my hand after I requested "Strangers in the Night" and told me, "Sinatra hated that song, and so do I."
I totally got dissed by Bob. But I didn't even mind. I went back to our booth and declared "Aw, I wish my grandfather wasn't dead."
I really do.
I am such a Debbie Downer.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Happy Hour Confessions
Every now and then I'm bowled over by an overwhelming love for my friends. This feeling usually comes after about 70 beers, but in some cases, it happens when I'm sober. This happened on Friday at Happy Hour.
During Senior Week, our last hurrah before we're kicked out into the real world, the school plans a ton of activities, from River Fest (a school-sponsored kegger) to Senior Formal. My friend Gabe and I decided to go as each other's dates to Senior Formal and in bringing this up, we started in on our fond memories from prom.
I, for example, brought a girl to prom, but still "wasn't gay." HILARIOUS. However, Scott and Gabe's stories trump my sexual confusion at prom. Scott got asked to prom by a retarded girl from school. To add insult to injury, he was her SEVENTH choice. He couldn't find it in his heart to say no. Similarly, Gabe went to prom with a girl with one arm. According to him, she was "really hot" despite the missing limb.
I guess we're not as shallow as we all seem.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Hey, Amanda, How's the Job Search Going?
NOT TOO WELL, THANKS FOR ASKING.
Labels: Jay Oh Bee
Friday, April 11, 2008
Philosophy 101 with Amanda
There I was, once again, "going off the rails on a crazy train" (ie: riding the Metro North) and a crazy man carrying a crumpled up newspaper sat down next to me. This annoys me because a.) there are about a thousand empty seats around me and b.) he smells like a landfill.
This begs the ever-philosophical question, do smelly people know that they smell? I doubt it, really. They probably think that they give off an enchanting musk.
Honestly, I doubt people who smell really bad are conscious of that because they're not usually conscious of anything. They're too busy yelling at people on street corners or sitting next to me on the train. I fell victim to this phenomenon once myself. I was deathly ill and over the span of several days the only time I got out of bed was to run to the bathroom to throw up. Needless to say, I wasn't lucid enough to get into the shower, or to take a hint from my roommate who was constantly spraying perfume and opening the window even though it was February.
Although, this is the same roommate who suggested that I kill myself because then she'd have a single room and a 4.0. Sensitivity isn't her strong suit.
Luckily for all concerned, I don't usually smell bad (at least I don't think I do) and I shower regularly.
As for Mr. BO sitting next to me, he has no excuse, and I'm definitely going to burn the clothes I was wearing.
Labels: Tales from the Train
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Going Off the Rails on a Crazy Train
Usually, I don't like kids but on the train the other day, there was this adorable child who was the spitting image of Gary Coleman. For a second, I thought it actually was Gary Coleman, but this child was too happy. He didn't have a chip on his shoulder because his parents pimped him out to the cruel television industry, squandered all of his money, and because of this, he now works as a security guard, a position that's supposed to evoke an air of authority even though he's widely regarded as a man-child with an amusing catch phrase.
Woah, why do I know so much about Gary Coleman, you might ask? The answer is E!'s ever-entertaining Child Star Confidential.
Anyway, back to the little kid on the train. He was smiling and laughing the whole time, and even though I'm known to scream "I HATE THE SOUND OF LAUGHTER," I'm secretly a sucker for a happy, care-free child. It reminds me of a time because my spirit was crushed by the weight of the world.
And not only are children good for their amusing laughter and cute smiles, they're also good for their refreshing honesty.
I'm thinking of that commercial for Quaker Oats Granola Bars where a kid at a wedding goes up to the bride and says, "My mom says she can't believe you wore white."
Similarly, the child on the train kept pointing to the disease-ridden floor of the train and screaming "EWWWWWWWWW!"
Of course, if I did this, I'd be hauled off to the psych ward. At least we've got the kids to keep it real while we're all out there being shameless liars.
Labels: Tales from the Train
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Raining Jane is your new favorite band
Back in sophomore year, I had a radio show that served as a forum for my friends Kari, Melissa, and I to act like a bunch of idiots, playing ridiculous music (Eddie Murphy's "Party All the Time," anyone?), and occasionally interview bands. The show was called REEEEEEEEEEEMIX (yes, with that many e's) and we actually got pretty serious about it. For the year and a half tenure of the show, we interviewed Derek Trucks (of Allman brothers fame), college jam band gone good Parker House and Theory who are currently opening for Jack's Mannequin and OAR, Canadian rock god Sam Roberts and of course, most memorably, an all-girl band from LA called Raining Jane.
After showing up late to the interview and announcing her presence in the studio by banging on the studio glass and mouthing "Raining Jane" and holding up a CD, we had a crazypants interview with Mona Tavakoli, the drummer of the band. Despite how serious they look in the cover photo for their new EP, Paper Nest, these girls are fucking HILARIOUS and their music rules. Lately, they've been opening for Sara Bareilles and were just featured on Jason Mraz's new EP, We Sing.
So, why should you care? Let's look at it this way. If I'm not complaining, I'm dead. I can find fault in anything/anyone. Like at lunch today, when Christine thought it was cute when we overheard the owner tell his young son that he'll get 10 cents for every pizza box he assembles. I said that situation might be "cute" in America, but in China it's called "child labor." She told me that I ruin everything. So basically, this is a round-about way of telling you that if I heartily endorse something (ie: Raining Jane) and can't find anything bad to say about it, it's probably close to perfection. Just saying.
Go see to their MySpace and see for yourself. Personally, I'm obsessed with "Incline" and "Desperate Sails."
Labels: Best Thing
Friday, April 04, 2008
It's so annoying when your beer wears clothes
Last weekend, we were at a local pub that is frequented by older (read: SEVENTY YEARS OLD) people. Because their regular patrons can probably recall what they were doing on D-Day, their drinks tend to be more expensive than the college bars. Just as we were complaining about how it was $4 for a beer, Heneiken's promotional team (ie: skanks) came over and gave us free beer along with a bottle opener. Sweet.
On Monday, our typical wing night was almost ruined as my friend Tim declared he was going to a new idea called "moderation." Oh, please. We shared two pitchers and just as we were about to leave, in come the Miller Lite girls, bearing gifts! Usually, they give out stupid beads and beer cozies. This time, we got free hats and a PITCHER of beer along with the usual cozies and beads. Could it be the best night of my life? YES.
But now as I'm thinking of moving to a teeney-tiny apartment, I need to downsize.
Do I need 5 different Miller Lite beer cozies? 4 Miller Lite Beer Beads?
The answer, sadly, is yes.
I need all of them.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Brooklyn: Fuck Da Rest
A few months ago, my family came up for a visit, and my father and I ventured into Brooklyn for the first time to check out neighborhoods where I'd potentially move after graduation. Everyone I had talked to said that Williamsburg was a great area, so that was the first place we went.
All I have to say about Williamsburg is that everyone LIED to me. Williamsburg scared the shit out of me and not "oh I'm from a small town upstate" scared. It was like "wow, I'm going to get shot by that Puerto Rican gang member while trying to get to my $28,000 a year crappy assistant job" scared. During our tour of da ghetto, I sent Abi, my future roommate, picture messages with my cell phone.
Pix Message #1: A photo of a metal door with graffiti on it saying "Fuck Da Rest," the caption read, "The front door of our new apartment
Pix Message #2: A run-down bar that looked like it had recently been on fire and the owners decided to keep the charred establishment in business. The caption read "Our new watering hole."
Things were not looking up.
Now we're ready to actually look at apartments and I found a doozy last night.
So maybe I don't believe in signs as much as my future hippie roommate does (see the previous entry), but after reading a listing for a too-good-to-be-true in "Gravesend," I decided that the listing was probably a ploy to murder me and harvest my ovaries.
Let me explain.
We've started looking at apartment listings casually, and the monthly rent ranges from $1000 to $2400 a month. For those prices in Buffalo, I'd live in a palace. In motherfuckinnnnnnnnnnn NYC, a couple thousand a month gets you an apartment roughly the size of a bathroom stall in a truck stop and probably just as nice (read: not nice).
So bearing that in mind, I come across an apartment listing for $1900 a month. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, brand new kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steal appliances, a communal gym, security systems, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
It said to call "Sam" for more information.
Sam, I'm pretty sure you want to kill me.
No thanks. I'll take the rat-infested walk-up for $2300 a month.
LIFE IS AWESOME.
Labels: fuck da rest