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Monday, June 30, 2008

FREAKY JOURNALISM FRIDAY!!!!!!



I described at length how crazypants it would be to live with my college hippie friend Abi in previous posts. We would have been (and still are, in fact) a modern version of the old couple. She is a free spirit, while I prefer to keep my soul shackled to my paycheck as I continue my quest in pursuit of the almighty dollar. (For example, today, my boss told me never to volunteer to do charity work because it's a pain in the ass. "Don't worry about me volunteering," I responded, "because I don't care about anything.") Anyway, it didn't work out and I ended up moving in with an Editorial Assistant I met at my last internship.

Not only did she give me the opportunity to move into a fabulous apartment in a neighborhood that doesn't scare the shit out of me (I'm looking at you, Williamsburg), she also helped me get the contact information of my boss back when she was looking to fill my current position, which set the stage for my perfect interview and subsequent hiring. Moral of the story, without this girl, I'd probably be homeless and jobless, sitting outside of the grocery store, asking people for spare change.

Luckily, this wasn't the case. As you know, I'm in love with my job and my lyfe, and to supplement my income, I've been lucky enough to be able to begin to freelance for the magazine I used to intern for, which happens to be the magazine my roommate works for. Interestingly enough, said roommate freelances for the magazine I work for.

And after considering this for I moment, I realized something:

WE'RE LIVING IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE.

Cue the science-y sound effects.

One day, not long from now, I hypothesize that our lives will turn into a version of Freaky Friday, except it will be Freaky JOURNALISM Friday. In living my day as her, I will enjoy being able to see over people of the average height (she's kind of tall) and revel in the fact that for one day, I can actually pull off short hair, like I've always dreamed of. In living her day as me, she will realize that there's a direct correlation between being a lesbian and watching ridiculous amounts of episodes of The Simpsons, and that making borderline insubordinate comments to your boss is tons of fun (don't go too far!).

The really funny part of our Freaky Journalism Friday would be when the day came to an end and we both would recall this Toothpaste For Dinner cartoon that pretty much sums our respective days up:


Toothpaste For Dinner
toothpastefordinner.com


And then we would laugh. But it will be the laughter of JOURNALISTS.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Week in Concerts




In speaking with everyone at work, it seems that everyone has come to the consensus that this past week was the LONGEST WEEK EVER. Usually, for me, anyway, the weeks go by really fast. For instance- omg it's already July? But this week has seemed particularly long. Perhaps it's that I went to three concerts this week. Let's recap:

1. Tuesday Night- Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden: Yes, you heard right. The 1990's flannel-clad grunge gods are still selling out huge venues like MSG. I couldn't belie
ve it either. Since I don't even really like Pearl Jam and the tickets were going for upwards of $80, why did I go? Cuz I got the CONNECTIONZZZZZZZZ, fool. Actually, my friend Tim got a job doing marketing for Verizon, and since Verizon was a sponsor of the Pearl Jam concert series, he got free tickets and invited me. They put on a decent show, and it was cool to see everyone so into the show.

2. Friday Morning- Coldplay at The Today Show: Why would I wake up at 5am to go to a concert of a band that I only mildly enjoy? WHY NOT? The magazine was sponsoring a promotion that created a VIP front of the stage area at the Today Show's Coldplay concert for readers. After seeing Coldplay perform live, I was completely won over. Chris Martin is a great performer, and Viva La Vida definitely has some great tracks on it. More photos to come, but here's how close we were:


3. Friday Night- Cold War Kids at Prospect Park: Apparently, Friday, I was only interested in seeing bands with the word "cold" in their name. I wasn't really familiar with their music either (a running theme), but it was a nice night to be in the park and be social. After the show, a co-worker and I headed to Williamsburg for another co-worker's party. Of course, I forgot my first introduction with Williamsburg and how fucking scary it was. Legit. I thought I was going to get stabbed. Luckily, we made it to said co-worker's apartment unstabbed, had some beers, sat on the roof, and screamed drunkenly at each other. Because it was nearing 2am and I was in sketch central, I decided to call a car service rather than try to walk to the subway station and get mugged. When I called and requested a car, I asked them how much it would be, and they told me "don't worry about it." Thanks, Arecibo. Since it turned out to be $20, I think I'll stay home tonight. There's a good Lifetime movie on.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can You Feel the Love?



In honor of NYC Pride weekend, I thought I'd write a little post about a big subway advertisement I pass every morning in Penn Station on my way to work.

It's an ad for Here! TV, a gay cable TV station. It features two buff gentlemen without their shirts on. I walked by this ad every day for about a week until some brilliant person decided to make an alteration to it. "FAGIT" was written across one of the scantily clad men's face. I thought this was funny moreso than hateful, mostly because people who are ignorant, are, well, ignorant of things like spelling. Maybe I'm too traditional, but I'm thinking that if you're going to use a slur, you should know how to spell it. It's FAGGOT, dipshit.

I digress.

A few days after "FAGIT" was so lovingly written on the ad, someone else wrote below it on the ad, "Damn right, and proud of it, BREEDER."

Ohhhhhhhh, NYC, can we feel the love?

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Reeeeeeeeeeeemix Weekend (part one)



Friday afternoon ended with my boss coming over to my desk and saying, "Hey Amanda, do you want a bottle of wine?"

Have I mentioned in the last five minutes that I love her? Yes? Okay.

So, bottle of wine in tow, it was a great way to start the weekend. Kari is visiting for the weekend and the plan was for her to meet me outside of my office after work. Now, let's just say that although I work in Manhattan, I don't work in a particularly nice section of town. Technically, I work in Hell's Kitchen, and it's not like the show with Gordon Ramsay and beef wellingtons. The real Hell's Kitchen has more homeless guys and derelects. Imagine me with my attache case walking to work every morning. Don't worry, I'm tough. I can handle it. Imagine Kari walking to my office with her little rolling suitcase. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh no. Luckily, she made it to my office without getting accosted.

We went for dinner and then came back to my apartment to finish off the gigantic bottle of Jager I had left over from Senior Week. We wanted to watch To Catch a Predator, our favorite show, but of course, it wasn't on. Never fear, though, because something even better was on. That's right: The Other Sister. OMG. Carla Tate, I love you. This movie is underrated as far as I'm concerned. I mean, everyone who's ever played a retarded person in a movie has at least been nominated for an Oscar. Nothing for poor, poor Juliette Lewis. Stop laughing at her. Seriously.

After the movie, we headed to Bar Reis, which is shaping up to be my new favorite bar with it's awesome atmosphere, friendly crowds, and nice outdoor area.


We ended up sitting at a table with these two men in their late 30's, who made for interesting conversation. I believe they called us trashy because we were drinking Coors Light out of bottles. I'm sorry, man, but a.) I can't afford to drink fancy imported $10 drafts, and also, I don't want to. Hoegaarden beer tastes like swill as far as I'm concerned. Of course, I'm no beer afficianado. I just drink it. But seriously, these Brooklyn beer snobs need to cool it.

After they called us trashy, I think I told them that we were born in 1986, you know, just to make them feel old. It was a bitch move, I know, but I couldn't help myself. After about a half an hour with these goons, we decided we needed another drink. They thought we were doing the girl thing, you know, finding an excuse to leave and never come back and they told us as much. I told them that we would definitely be back because we liked the seats we had more than the conversation. Too much?

When we got back, our friends were replaced by other wise asses who ripped on me for living in Park Slope, even though they themselves lived in Park Slope. Let me break this down for you guys. Every time I say to someone, "I live in Park Slope" they look at me like "there is no way she can possibly afford to live in Park Slope." And they're right. Hence, all of the budget planz I've been talking about.

Urban Dictionary defines Park Slope as
"one of the most elite communities in New York City full of yuppies, and yuppie stores, and yuppie restaurants. This is a place were everybody lives in an apartment that they claim is modest but costs 1 million+. Park Slope is a very close and tight-knit community, its like living in a small town, except you're in the city- its very picturesque and everybody knows each other. If you dont live in the slope, don't go there, you will feel very out of place."

Okay, let me just clarify that my apartment doesn't cost 1 million+. People say rent is high here, and it is, but it's fucking New York City. Rent is high everywhere. So I pay a couple hundred more a month to live in a community that I like, in a place where I'm not afraid to walk down the street at night. Sounds reasonable to me.

People my age tend to not like the area as much because it's full of families. The "Stroller Mafia" is what they're referred to as. Maybe I'm crazy, but I prefer people with dogs on leashes and rosy-cheeked happy children to hoodlums with knives and homeless people pissing in doorways. I'm just saying.

Anyway, why am I droning on about this?

Because our friend at the bar brought up this point and asked me if I had a dog or a child, meaning that if I didn't have either, I clearly didn't fit in here. I guess I gotta get working on that. I'm thinking I'm leaning towards dog rather than child. Thoughts?

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Vending Machine Tricked Me



Moral of the story: I should be fired.


This morning, I was outsmarted by the vending machine.

Let me back up.

My mother is addicted to Pepsi. Really. Every morning for thirty years, she needed to have a glass of Pepsi to get her going. It was her coffee, so I think it's excusable. If we drank all of the Pepsi, and she didn't have enough for her drink in the morning, ohhhhhhhh damn, heads would roll.

I am similar to my mother in the regard that I don't like drinking coffee. It's not so much that I don't like the taste of it, it's just that I don't like warm beverages. They don't quench my thirst and therefore are useless to me as far as a drink is concerned. So, every morning since I've started working, I've gotten a soda from the vending machine. Usually, it's just a regular Coke, but sometimes (like today, for example), I like to get fancy and get a Cherry Coke. It is Friday, after all.

Well, some d-bag vending machine man thought it would be smart to load the cans in with their labels to the side, making the VeryFine Apple Cranberry Juice Cocktail look very much like a can of Cherry Coke.

Here's what I've learned:

1. VeryFine Apple Cranberry Juice Cocktail- NOT VERY FINE.
2. Any cocktail that doesn't have alcohol in it is useless to me

What a bad way to start off your day.

I hate you, VeryFine.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Brilliant Economizing Plan



You might remember my brilliant plan to to try save money and evade the evil Mr. Softee.

While things aren't that tight, I'm trying to economize and maybe actually start saving.


The other day, I found myself thinking, "hey, I should start giving blood." It's a great way to both get a sense of self-righteousness that I (yes, me) helped saved someone's life with my precious blood, and I get like 15 bucks and a free cookie of some sort. It's win-win. Although I'm not sure my boss would like it when I inevitably pass out at my desk from the sudden blood loss, but I'm sure she would understand my humanitarian/greedy ways when I explained the situation to her once I came to.

"I need to give blood to pay my cable bill."

Now that's a sob story if I ever heard one. Likely, she would say, "Hey Amanda, if you need extra money maybe you shouldn't order lunch five days a week."

"Good point," I would say.

She's so insightful.

Really, though. I need to stop ordering lunch so much. It runs me about $8 a day, meaning that I'm hypothetically spending $40 a week on lunch. That's like my entire grocery bill for the week, and I don't even use all of the food I buy because I'm too busy ordering lunches I can't afford.

It's time to lay the smack down on my spending.

This new leaf I'm turned over was helped by me going to a new laundromat. $8 for two loads rather than $10. Laugh all you want, but that $2 equals two cokes which get me through the day since I don't drink coffee. I would drink Red Bull, mind you, but I can't afford it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend Recap: Coney Island Gang Fights and Gay Pride with Dad



So after the fabulous Weeds premiere work party on Wednesday, my friend Gabe from the old college days (ie: three weeks ago) came up to visit from Thursday to Saturday.

We met up after work on Thursday and made the horrible decision to go to the TGI Friday's next to Madison Square Garden. Not only was everything on the menu outrageously priced, but there happened to be a Jimmy Buffett concert at MSG, meaning that the restaurant was filled with old, drunken, obnoxious parrotheads. In any event, it was nice to catch up with the old buddy.

After work on Friday, we headed down to Coney Island- a first time for both of us. And when I say the first time, I mean the last time. Oh, we're all familiar with the tales of the Coney Island of yore. The old barbershop quartet song "Coney Island Baby" comes to mind. Too bad the Coney Island of today is filled with ghetto trash and gang fights. Despite all of that, we got to ride the legendary ferris wheel and visited the freak show where a girl ate fire and a guy hammered a nail up his nose.


The subway ride back to the non-ghetto section of town was filled with a bunch of young hoodlums who should have had parental supervision playing "the floor is lava" on the train, swinging off the handrails and jumping on the seats, being careful not to touch the floor- because it's lava. Kill me.

The image above is an artist's rendering of the current Coney Island. Well, I'm no artist, but I'd like to present MY rendering of Coney Island:

Despite the ghett0-fabulousness of Coney Island, we had a good time. We ended the night at a neighborhood bar with my roommate and her boyfriend, drinking snobby beers and having heart to hearts. Of course, we came back and had to watch The Simpsons. Unfortunately, we're old people and fell asleep in bed about five minutes into the episode. Classic.

Gabe left Saturday morning and just as he left, my father flew in. You see, I called my father earlier in the week and asked him what he wanted for Father's Day. He said nothing. I suggested I buy him dinner. He said me buying him dinner would involve him flying to New York. I said do it. So he did.

Of course, because I'm an idiot, I didn't realize that the day my father would be flying in would be Brooklyn Gay Pride day. Hysterical.

We went to dinner and then decided to go bar hopping. Just as we were walking to our first bar, we heard a band. The commotion was the gay pride parade. Dykes on Bikes and all. My first gay pride parade. With my father. Of course.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I am a Financial Wizard: Take That, Mister Softee



Over the past three weeks, my life has done a complete 180. Yes, I go to work every day, but the main change in my life is that I no longer binge drink (as my mother and the parental hysteria mongers at Dateline would call it) three to four times a week. This leaves me with a lot of free/sober time. So, I started going to the gym again. There's a New York Sports Club a few blocks from my apartment and I get a corporate discount through work. It's time to break a sweat. Of course, that's been easy since it's been 100 fucking degrees out lately. Legit- today it reached 101 degrees in the city.

Here's my main complaint: there's a Mister Softee truck parked right outside my house. Constantly. It's there in the morning when I walk to the subway. It's there at night when I walk home from work. And tragically enough, it's there when I walk back from the gym. But I've found a way to stop myself from indulging in a post-work out cone. Carry no money on me. I think it's a brilliant plan. Maybe I should just never carry any money with me. I mean, seriously, I really don't need anything I buy. In fact, I don't really need 80% of the stuff I have. Carrying no money with me would both help my bank account and help me downsize.

I like this plan.

Although, with my luck, I'll have no money on me and there will be a black out and the subways will shut down and I won't be able to get a cab and I'll have to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Whatever.

On the work front, I volunteered to work the Weeds premiere for Showtime. I was asked to come up with special Weeds-themed drinks. They included Cannabis Cocktails and Marijuana Mojitos. I'm excited for this. And just so you know, if I meet Mary Louise Parker, I will die. If I don't report back by Thursday, you'll know what happened.

AND- my previous post was featured as a blog of the day on the awesome site,
Student Bloggers, summing it up with this headline: "Having recently graduated, Amanda laments the loss of college's conveniences and contributes to the next generation of hustlers."

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Post-College Bitter Bitching



It's been said that college spoils you. You graduate high school and you think, oh man, this is it. The real world. I'll be on my own.

Well, to that, I say, yeah fucking right.

You're not on your own in college. You're in a dorm, with a professional staff there to help you will all of your problems. Then, if you move from the dorms into on-campus upperclassman housing like I did, you're living in a four bedroom, two bathroom townhouse. Have a problem with your toilet? Call maintenence and they'll fix it for free. Your stove broke? Here comes the maintenence crew with a new one, again, free of charge.

And if you're lucky enough to be like me and most of my friends, your parents (and their money) are just a phone call away. Basically, you get all of the perks of being someone's dependent without having to answer the typical "when are you going to be home" questions.

Moral of the story: In college, you couldn't be more pampered if you were still in diapers.

While the transition from college to the working (read: real) world has been relatively easy for me, I miss a lot about college. And it's not a constant longing, it comes in waves.

Like when I paid fucking $10 to do my laundry at some sketchy Chinese laundromat this afternoon. My college offered free laundry. I could separate my whites, my darks, my bright colors, and all of my underwear and waste a ton of the Earth's resources, free of charge. Now, at $4 per load, you can bet that color and fabric don't make a difference anymore. Jesus Christ, $10 for two loads of laundry? Am I living in West Germany before the Berlin Wall fell?

But that's one downside in a sea of good ones. For example, I'm still blown away by how lively my neighborhood is on the weekends. You see, I grew up in the middle of nowhere. I had one neighbor who built his house himself out of old trees (he was a tree surgeon). He had a rooster that woke me up every morning and he would ride his llamas down the road. I'M SERIOUS.

The new neighborhood, though, is a bit more lively. Every Saturday, there's a flea market two blocks up from my apartment, and at the journalism school right next to my apartment, the Brooklyn SPCA always has a menagerie of dogs and kittens to be adopted. I try to stear clear of the SPCA because I know that if I stop and look I will definitely end up with a kitten. An orange one. I will name him Sherbert. STOP. NO CATS ALLOWED IN MY APARTMENT.

Anyway, since there were no seats inside the laundromat, I ended up sitting outside a fancy schmancy bakery on a bench. I went inside to get a lemonade because it was sweltering out. All of a sudden, two pre-adolescent boys show up with guitars. They started playing and singing. One looked like Jack Black with a cute little Jew fro. Precious. And then he started singing:

"Please give us your money
Hello miss, can you give us some money
I know I'm singing really out of tune
Just give us some money
And we'll go away"

It continued on like this and I was amazed at how industrious these kids were. Every time I come out of the grocery store, there's an old guy with an eye patch shaking a cup with change in it. At least be funny. If you can come up with a way to be clever, I'll likely want to give you money. But if you're just sitting there, looking one-eyed and pathetic, I don't really care. Call me a monster. You're a cyclops. Too far?

I was going to give the kids a dollar anyway, but then the kid sang:

"You just paid $4 for a lemonade
I know you can give me some money"

He got me there. $4 for a fucking lemonade? Who am I, JD Rockefeller?

Whatever.

Today, I'm happy to say that the next generation of homeless people will be a lot more creative and less crazy.

Hearts to Brooklyn.

For realsies.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Some Commentary on Lesbos



Hey! It's gay pride month! I usually don't care about any of this stuff. My old roommate can attest that I would groan and complain every time the HRC would send me those stupid equality stickers and ask for donations. HOW DID YOU GET MY ADDRESS, GAYMOS? I don't care about rainbows and marches and parades. I JUST WANT TO LIVE.

Maybe I'll care about gay rights more than in just a passing way when I get older, but as of right now, I really don't care. Is that wrong? I don't know. I'm just not that kind of homo who needs to march in a parade and wave a rainbow flag. But I've also just moved to one of the most liberal, gay-friendly cities in the world from really conservative roots, so who knows. Just promise me when I start campaigning for gay rights in five years that you'll all remind me what a selfish asshole I was when I was young. Okay? Okay.

Speaking of the gays, Ellen DeGeneres is getting married to her long-time girlfriend Portia de Rossi. Who cares? A lot of people, actually. To be honest, when looking at my blog traffic stats, the most traffic I get is for a post I wrote back in October, titled Ellen and Portia: Dunzo. It was written in response to rumors that the very-blonde, very Aryan couple were on the rocks. Well, I guess I was wrong.

This week, Ellen announced on her show that she and Portia are getting married, in light of the California Supreme Court decision to uphold gay marriages- for real this time.





Apparently, blind New York governor David Patterson voted to uphold gay marriage licenses from other states in the state of New York. All good news. Ellen also had presidential hopeful/grandpa John McCain on her show where she grilled him on his policies on gay marriage and then, after he meekly and dare-I-say ashamedly stated his position o
f marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman, she asked him if he would walk her down the aisle.

Oh Ellen, I heart you. Even though you dumped gorgeous Alex for the blonde tranny.

And while we're talking about lesbos I love, let's talk about a lesbo I hate:

Lisa, from Top Chef.

Okay, I worked in a kitchen for 8 years. You get gross and sweaty. But wash your fucking hair, woman, you're on TV, for Christ's sake.


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