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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Airline Follies




I went home to Buffalo this weekend for the Regatta, so I could finally go on my dad's new sailboat and get drunk while looking at the waters of Lake Ontario. I was supposed to leave early Sunday evening and fly into JFK. Unfortunately, because the cry babies at the FAA freak out at the littlest raindrops, all flights going into NYC were cancelled because of storms.

After waiting in line for 3 hours, I came to this conclusion:

If I worked for an airline, I'd kill myself.

What exactly is the draw to work for airlines? Free travel anywhere you want to go? Great. All of those flights will probably be cancelled or delayed anyway.

I can't imagine the existence you'd have as an airline employee. If you're not a masochist before you start the job, you'd have to be after putting a few months in. On any given day, you have hundreds of people in front of you that hate you. They hate you, you know it, and you still have to politely answer their stupid questions. What's worse, is that you can almost never give them information that will make them happy.

I'd live in constant fear that the 300 people who have nothing to do since my employer decided to delay their flight would band together, contemplate my demise, and then band together, storm the counter, and kick my ass.

Moral of the story, I was put on stand-by for the 5:50am flight on Monday morning. By some miracle, I got a seat on the 5:50am flight and although it was delayed, got into New York around 8am and was able to get to work on time to greet my boss upon her return from her vacation.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm in the business of monkeys




I went home for the weekend and an angry post will follow about the ridiculous debacle I faced trying to fly home on Sunday. For now, long story short: my flight was cancelled and I ended up taking the 5:50am flight this morning, and taking a cab from JFK straight to work (um it's really $45? omg kill me). But since I woke up at 3am, flew across state, and worked all day, a large post isn't possible right now.

To go home for the weekend, though, I took Friday off, and when I came back, I was delighted to see what is shown in the photo above. One of my co-workers found a website where you can submit a photo, and that photo will be monkeyfied. They decided to monkeyfy the whole marketing team and hang it up over the department entrance. The corporate jungle never looked so funny.

Of course, what wasn't funny was when one of them switched my brand-new computer keyboard with an old, yellowing keyboard that doesn't have a functioning "w" key. My last name starts with a "w." What is that? Sarcasm?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shady Pines, Ma




Estelle Getty, everyone's favorite Ma, died today.

I've always been obsessed with the Golden Girls, and I own the first five seasons on DVD. I just watched the episode where Sofia and Dorothy dressed up as Sonny and Cher for the Shady Pines Beauty Pageant last night. And now, Estelle is dead. My main question when I heard the news was, she was still alive?
Sometimes I forget that all of the Golden Girls are still alive, since they were so old 20 years ago. How could they possibly still be kicking it? (Well, not kicking it like rappers do, rather, kicking it as in, still breathing)

That's because they were only in their 50's back in the 1980's and basic math tells me (ok, my calculator) that now they're currently in their 70's.
Anyway, I love the show for how much they threw around the word "slut," how they constantly ripped on Dorothy for being ugly and hag-like, and of course, for the laughter.

What will I be doing for the next few days? Mourning, and eating cheesecake. In honor of Ma. What a gal.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

An Open Letter to the MTA

Dear MTA,

It would be helpful if you hired some conductors that are schooled in the art of annunciation. Whenever the train is delayed (ie: EVERY FUCKING DAY OF MY LIFE), this is what I hear over the loud speaker:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: JASFSHKJ DSHJCNM BNSFB SMN ASOEIGFNS KSJDKS. STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS."

I have no idea what is happening. Are we delayed because there's another train in front of us? Is the train on fire? Should we evacuate? I don't know any answers to these questions because Mumbly Joe always seems to be my conductor.

Only sometimes do I get lucky and get the overzealous sassy black woman conductor who tells me exactly what is going on EVERY SECOND OF THE RIDE.

Step it up, MTA, otherwise I'll... I'll... oh fuck, I have to take the train. No matter how much you suck. You're like an abusive boyfriend, MTA, you slap me around every day, but I have no choice- I can't leave you.

With deep hatred/nervous love,

Amanda

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Painting the Town Red: The Aftermath




My friend Scott came up to visit this weekend and I think the photo pretty much says it all. No matter what happens, when Scott and I get together, we don't just have a few drinks, we don't just merely get drunk, we go balls to the wall, blow all of our money, don't remember how we got home, completely and utterly TRASHED. This weekend was no exception.

I'm still nursing a hangover. I guess the three mimosas I had at brunch didn't help the cause.

Hey- that's what Sundays are for.

Friday, July 18, 2008

When the Boss Goes Away (pt. 1)



I've been waiting all week to post this because I needed the visual to go along with the story. My boss is on vacation for two weeks, and I have to say that when you’re someone’s assistant, when they leave, your workload significantly diminishes.

After I sang the chorus to “How am I Supposed to Live Without You?” to her, my boss left for Spain and I was left with minimal work to do (FYI- her response to my serenade was "now I know what where you'll go when you leave this job- BROADWAY").

And because she’s not there to protect me, my co-workers decided that they could have a little fun. This is the condition my desk was in when I came into work on Monday morning:

TEN CONDOMS. Over everything. My mouse, my phone receiver, my pen holder, my desk lamp, the arms of my desk chair, EVERYTHING. You don’t know a case of the Mondays until you’ve wiped lube off of your phone. Five days later, and it still leaps out of my hand when I try to answer it.

So I wrote the condom bandits an email, subject: you’re all dead to me, telling them that HR would definitely find out about this.

The response to that was fits of giggles and an email that read, “hey, at least you know your lamp didn’t get pregnant this weekend.”

I love my job.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obnoxious Name Dropping





Okay, so honestly, I've been wondering if my posts detailing the exclusive exploits that I've been lucky enough to partake in because of my job are obnoxious. I mean, the nature of my blog is the obnoxious, it's called "Narcissism at its Best" for Christ's sake. I guess basically I want to brag without looking like I'm bragging. Obviously, I'm failing miserably. Whatever. My life is fucking awesome. Last night, Ani was in town, playing a show with Kimya Dawson (you know, the one of the Juno Soundtrack noteriety) as her opener. My bosses from Righteous Babe were there so I was able to score free tickets to the show and go backstage afterwards for the after party.

Kimya was actually pretty great- although strange. Nevertheless, I can appr
eciate anyone who throws the chorus from Bette Midler's masterpiece, "From a Distance" into her own song. Ani, as no surprise, was fantastic.


After the show, we all went backstage and my friend from work who went to the concert with me was excited because she had never been backstage after a concert before. But, as I'm contrasting this backstage scene from the cliche stereotypes, this wasn't your typical after party. A card table had coffee, Heineken, coffee cake, and fruit on it.

Ani sat at the table and fed her two-year-old daughter nectarine sections, while Kimya's daughter (who is named Panda) ran around the table. Another musician showed me photos of his seven-year-old son on his cell phone. Regina Spektor, though childless, showed up and also hung out.

Moral of the story- there was no cocaine. Or groupies.

It was so sterile and quiet that I thought I was at a family party, except that instead of sitting at a table surrounded by my relatives, I was surrounded by Ani DiFranco and Regina Spektor.

Oh, who am I kidding? My family parties are totally crazier than this was.

But I kid- it was so really adorable. The closest I got to partying last night was the drunk guy on the subway ride home who puked all over the place. Stay classy, NYC, stay classy.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Totally Awkward Tuesday!



So I got roped into working an advanced movie screening premiere after work tonight. It's an independent film that is not only the first release from a brand-new production company, but also the first feature film the director has ever, well, directed. Needless to say, everyone was very excited about the premiere.

My magazine was co-sponsoring the screening. Unfortunately, as it is with nearly all magazines, the advertising/marketing and editorial parts of the magazine don't always work in conjunction with each other. While we were working on getting the production company to spend thousands of dollars on advertising and offering to host a screening as an incentive for said advertising, editorial was reviewing the film. The review was not good.

Since the new issue came out today, I had the privilege of watching the young director read the terrible review of his first foray into film before my own eyes. "It's not that bad," he said, trying to console himself.

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh, well, they only gave Mamma Mia 3 stars," was my response.

Talk about AWKWARDDDDDDDDD.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Joel McHale is my new best friend




We all know Joel McHale from the hilariously awesome show on E!, "The Soup," where he mocks celebrities for a living (aka: my dream job). When I found out that he was coming to Caroline's a venerable comedy club in New York, I knew that I had to go. So I did.

He was hysterical as expected and ripped on anyone and everyone on E! from Ryan Seacrest to the Kardashians, or as he referred to the show, "A Bunch of Gypsies and a Scarecrow." There was also a memorable reference a show called "A Wig-Wearing Narcissist Talks About Herself for an Hour" (aka "The Tyra Banks Show").


Afterwards, he stood outside so we could meet the man himself.


I am in love.


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Thursday, July 10, 2008

I HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY!!!



They arrived at the office. A case of cans filled with a new energy drink had been delivered to the marketing department.

At first, we were all apprehensive about trying the drink. Fast-forward a few hours and every desk had an open can of the drink on it. One of the publicists had spilled not one, but two cans of the drink on her computer keyboard on two separate occasions within an hour of each other. The Sales Coordinator was sitting at his desk shaking, I was giggling like a little school girl, and the Marketing Manager was on the phone with the drink's representative, trying to wrangle us more free cases of the stuff.


“Why are you twitching? What’s wrong with your eyes?” My boss asked me as I dropped off a report on her desk.

I ended up promising her, through the fits of giggles and the uncontrollable shaking that my left leg had started doing, that I wouldn’t have any more for the day.

I can see why a boss wouldn’t want her whole staff sitting at their desks, tweaking like crack addicts instead of getting work done, but there was something about this drink that made me think I could do anything.

“I’M GOING TO PAINT THE ENTIRE OFFICE,” I declared, as my shaking hands brought the can to my lips.

Of course, the old cliché unfortunately rang true for our beloved energy drink: what goes up, must come down. While we all felt incredibly energized and invincible for the span of three hours or so, on the train ride home after three cans, I became barely lucid and crawled into bed the minute I walked through my apartment door.

I’d like to think that as a fully-functioning adult that I’d be able to learn from situations like the one I described. I really didn’t need the energy drink to begin with, and I certainly didn’t need to guzzle three of them. But then six cases of the drink arrived at our office the following morning.

This situation is not unlike the ones that occur on the rough streets every day. Of course, I’ve not been witness to the “rough streets,” but I’ve seen enough episodes of Law & Order to know what’s going on. Give them a taste, and get them hooked. They’ll come back. They’ll have no choice.

Now was I not only drinking it, I found myself carrying the can around the office with me. Make a copy, take a sip. Fax something, take a sip. Send an email, take a sip. Give a report to my boss, take a sip.

“Amanda, you don’t even have enough work to do today to need an energy drink,” my boss said to me as I knocked back another pull from the can.

“WE HAVE SIX CASES,” I said as I stumbled out of her office.

This was the closest I had ever come to being drunk at work, unless you count all of the events that we held that just happened to have a two-hour open bar.

A few hours later, I was told that the marketing team had decided to serve the drink with vodka as a special drink at an event they were planning. I believe “I WILL DIE” was shouted.

My mind was racing (probably a side effect from the drink) through all of the possible scenarios that could happen if I mixed this drink with alcohol.

Scenario 1: My heart would explode. At least I would leave a beautiful corpse.

Scenario 2: The event would be a classy rooftop party. After three drinks, I will announce that R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” is my new theme song, and jump from the roof, arms outstretched. In this scenario, the corpse probably wouldn’t be so beautiful.

“GUYS, SERIOUSLY, I CAN’T GO TO AN EVENT WHERE THIS DRINK AND VODKAS ARE SOLD. I CAN’T PROMISE WHAT WILL HAPPEN.”

Not wanting to tell my boss that her assistant leapt to her death at one of our marketing events, they all agreed that I’ll be barred from mixing the drink with alcohol.

Man, I can't wait to get my hands on another one of those tomorrow.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Go F Yourself, F Train




While I am prone to exaggeration, for the first month or so I've lived in New York, I haven't had much to complain about by way of the subway, or MTA. Let's remember that when I interned and commuted back and forth from Midtown to Poughkeepsie, I was on the train for almost two hours one-way, which equaled nearly four hours of commuting time a day to go to an unpaid internship. A 45 minute subway ride, no matter how smelly, jam-packed, or filled with crazy derelects it is, seemed like a dream to me after my commute from college.

However, after nearly two months of being a daily passenger on the F train to Brooklyn, I can safely say, without exaggeration, that the F train is the worst subway line EVER. No matter how early I get out of work, the F train subway gods seem to conspire against me to get me home much later than anticipated. Like yesterday, when I waited on the platform for 20 minutes for an F train to mosey its way into the fucking station. Or like today, when I actually got to leave the office around 5:00 for once. OMG, I thought. I'll be home before 6:00. How crazy. Crazy is right, because it didn't happen. As usual, it was smooth sailing from Penn Station to Jay Street on the A train. But as soon as I boarded the dreaded F train, I was told by Queen Latifah (aka: the conductor) that the train would be held in the station because of signal problems.

For those of you who are lucky enough to be unfamiliar with mass transit, let me give you a sneak peek into every day/evening of my life: When a train is held at a station for whatever reason, they leave the doors open, meaning that the subway car not only rises to a sweltering temperature, but also more people are able to get onto the already crowded train, leaving me pushed all up in someone's business.

Moral of the story: The F train can suck it.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Go Book Yourself



So over the past few weeks, I've been able to get through a few books, which I consider a pretty impressive feat since I work all of the time and I never read on the subway because I usually find myself pressed up against someone so closely that I feel like at least one of us should slip the other some money when we end up at our respective stops. If any of you were wondering what I was up to nowadays, here it is: accidental prostitution on the F train. Anyway- the equation is easy to figure out: pressed up against someone = not the ideal position in which one would like to read a novel.

1. My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Mind All Over Your Face By Michael Ian Black: I got an advanced copy of this from a friend from my internship days at S&S and Michael Ian Black, you know, the guy from Ed and I Love the 70's/80's/90's, etc. has written a book that is fucking hysterical. While some of the essays can get a little too out there, for the most part, it's a solidly funny book. For example, one chapter is titled "What I would be Thinking if I were Billy Joel Driving to a Holiday Party Where I Knew There Was Going to be a Piano." Genius.

2. Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea By Chelsea Handler: Another S&S title that was acquired while I was interning there. You know a woman is hysterical when she says in her acknowledgements: "Thanks to Harper Collins for letting me out of my contract." While Handler has a strange midget obsession and a penchant for dirty talk, this book made me laugh out loud the entire time I was reading it. From her ridiculous stories about her equally ridiculous father who calls her African American friend "Black Magic" to the chronicles of her relationship with a redhead with an afro whom she called "Big Red," her delivery is hysterical and she may or may not be my new hero. Seriously, read this book.

3. Happy Hour is For Ameteurs: A Lost Decade in the World's Worst Profession By The Philadelphia Lawyer: I found an advanced copy of this book on the free shelf at work and I thought that it would be interesting; a scathing, snarky chronicle of life as a young lawyer. I should have known to turn and run when I saw that the vile Tucker Max had endorsed it. I was once fooled into reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max because I thought it would be funny. Instead, it was chapter after chapter of nasty, ultra-descriptive sexual exploits. Apparently, Max and The Philadelphia Lawyer are kindred spirits as far as writing goes. While it's clear that The Philadelphia Lawyer (and for the record, Tucker Max as well) is intelligent and could be a good writer, he defaults to writing entire chapters about banging bitches. Congratulations, d-bag, you got really drunk and fucked some girls. So original. This book had the potential to be really interesting, but instead reads like some schmuck wants to relive his glory days, clamoring for the attention of assorted frat boys to read it and say, "you the man, bro." Additional proof: The Philadelphia Lawyer both thanks and apologizes to his mother in the acknowledgements. Cute.

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Get Smart in My Pants




Have you ever played the game where you add the phrase "in my pants" to the end of movie and book titles? It's just like adding "in bed" to the end of fortune cookie fotunes. Let's try it out. What is your favorite book? The Sun Also Rises in My Pants. Good. Hence the current blog title.

I spent the holiday weekend in New Jersey with my friend Tim. Because the weathe
r sucked so bad all weekend, we spent a lot of time shopping, watching Arrested Development, and at the movies. We went to see Get Smart, and let me ask you a question: when did Anne Hathaway get so smoking hot?

We were all introduced to her in Princess Diaries, when she looked like this:


Okay, so she didn't actually look like that, they made her up to be like that, but come on. In Get Smart, she was just completely, totally, utterly hot. She's officially on the list. And let me say for the record that I usually don't have crushes on anyone under the age of 30.

It's quite the coincidence that my new-found crush on Anne Hathaway has coincided with her break up from her sleazy Italian con-man boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri. Is it fate? Probably not. I will say this though, I like my women smart and while the "love is blind" cliche can ring true, Anne, sweetheart, when your boyfriend tells you he's in with the Pope, he's probably lying to you. Get Smart(er), Anne.

Oh, whatever. I still love you.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Shave Yer Head Like Ed



So as you may or may not know, I started out as an intern at Ani DiFranco's record label three years ago and have continued to freelance for them today. In an effort to promote one of our artist's newest CD/DVD release, I came up with a contest idea. What's more ridiculous than peo
ple listening to me? People SHAVING THEIR HEADS because I suggested it and offered them a free t-shirt to do it. I love it. If you know anyone who'd like to win free stuff, shave their head, or just want their picture up on Righteous Babe Records' MySpace page, direct them to the entry below:


In this crazy, fucked up world, it often seems like we're drowning in a sea of phonies. This is why now, more than ever, we need someone who will stand up against the bullshit and call a spade a spade. Righteous Babe's very own Ed Hamell has long been our folk-punk troubadour, mixing his assault-worthy guitar playing with his sharp tongue, wicked humor, and signature social commentary.

In Rant & Roll, Hamell's latest effort, we're treated to a DVD/CD combo that showcases his critically-acclaimed one-man show, "The Terrorism of Everyday Life." This rollicking rip on life as we know it hits the streets on July 8.

In honor of this joyous occasion, we're holding a contest titled "Shave Yer Head Like Ed."

Here's what you do:

1. Take a photo of yourself before you shave your head (ie: when you have hair)
2. Shave your head (be careful).
3. Take a photo of yourself after you shave your head (ie: when you don't have hair)
4. Send both photos as an email to righteouscontest@gmail.com with "SHAVE YER HEAD LIKE ED" in the subject line.

Bonus points to those who are willing to write something clever/funny/meaningful on their newly bald heads for their "after" photos.

And here's Hamell, showing us just exactly how the man behind the inspiration for this contest shaves his head:





Inspired yet?

We will choose one grand prize winner who will receive a bunch of Hamell on Trial stuff, RBR stuff, and most importantly, a brand-new, autographed copy of Rant & Roll for their listening/viewing pleasure. We will also choose 2 additional runner ups who will also receive Hamellicious prizes.

Entries will be accepted until noon EST on July 8. Winners will be announced by 7pm EST the same day.

Limit one entry per person.

And hey, if you have a lot of hair that you're shaving off for this, why not donate it to Locks of Love, and help out some folks?

Happy shaving, everyone!

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