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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Vacation



Dear readers [population 0*],

I have been neglecting this blog. It’s mainly because I write all of the time for work, so on my “Things I want to do in the three-hour span of free time I have between when I get home at 8PM and go to bed at 11PM List,” musing hilariously about some bullshit or complaining bitterly about some other bullshit in the form of coherent sentences ain’t high priority. What is high priority, you ask? Dinner, Law & Order: SVU, and perhaps a beer or two.

Also, I have been BUSY (you should read that in your head as BIZ-ZAY, because that’s how I mean it. Attitude!). Busy with what?

Well, I was paroled from jail for a week to go to California for the first time and it was pretty awesome. We spent five days in Carmel/Monterey and then two days in San Francisco. Observations:

1. Whale watching is cool for about 15 fucking minutes and then it’s a waste of time. Oh, see that splash? That’s a whale. Oh, see that fin? That’s a whale. I didn’t see no motherfuckers jumping out of the water Free Willy-style (not to be confused with Big Wxillie style), and as far as I’m concerned, I want a refund. Do you think I rented this pair of binoculars so that I see NOTHING?

2. Carmel is owned by Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood is a resident and the former Mayor of Carmel and everywhere you go, there’s photos of him. Everything you go to is owned by him, including the golf course whose members pay $500,000 in fees A YEAR to play. The only thing I didn’t see there is a Clint Eastwood Mattress Store. If you live in Carmel, you should get on this. If only to use the tagline, “Go ahead, make my day-bed” as the advertising slogan.

3. Northern California is goddamned beautiful. I mean, really. Look at these rocks. Look at the water! We drove down the coast and I was like a stupid dog with my head out the window.

4. William Randolph Hearst was a dbag. Whenever we go on vacation, my father requires that we completely waste one entire day travelling to some stupid museum/house/shack/annex for some learning! When I was 10 years old, my father was forcing us to go to Thomas Edison’s house and I ate a whole bag of licorice and puked in the van and he STILL made me go on the stupid tour. Do you care that Edison had orange trees or a cot in his office so that he can take naps? NO, especially not when your shirt is covered in dried pink puke.

Then there was the time we went to Jamaica and my father had the brilliant idea that we should drive clear across the island on dirt fucking roads for 6 hours just to check out the river that Errol Flynn romanced ladies on back in 1200 BC or some bullshit. This time, we drove 3 hours to San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle, the estate of William Randolph Hearst. The drive down, admittedly, was beautiful—FOR THE FIRST FUCKING TWO HOURS. Then we get to San Simeon and there’s nowhere to go besides the Castle. We ate lunch at a gas station.

5. Sea Lions are NASTY. Listen, I love sea otters. If you tell me that sea otters aren’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, I will probably fight you.

But sea LIONS are DISGUSTING. I’m not an expert in biology or anything, but I’m pretty sure that at some point, a walrus and Lou Perlman had a baby, and that’s how we got sea lions. They lie around all day on a beach like fat slobs and they smell like four burning tires. GROSS.

6. Horseback riding on the beach = awesome. My father, brother, and I went horseback riding on Pebble Beach and it was spectacular. It didn’t even matter that the horse in front of me took a dump about 15 times or that it peed for so long that the road in front of me turned into a goddamned river.

All in all, it was great to finally have a real vacation, since the only places I’ve gone in the past two years are to Buffalo and Boston and I can assure you, those places do NOT count. If you get on a bus to get there, you're not going on vacation.

Case closed.

With warm regards,

Amanda

*No, I take that back. I know for a FACT that Abi, Brittany, Jill, and TwinXL are still keeping up with the blog, even though I haven’t been.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS



This video was taken Senior year, and exactly two years later, after I took this on Saturday night, it's nice to know that nothing has changed.



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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The BBQ Baron's Premature Picnic



Ever since Memorial Day last year, I've had barbeques in Prospect Park. Memorial Day last year was ridiculous. There were no public grills available, so I had to go to Rite Aid and buy a tiny grill for $10. It did the trick, but every time I fired it up, the Parks Police would roll up and tell us to put it out because it was too low to the ground and we were endangering the wildlife.

What wildlife? The teenage hoodlums on skateboards, or the toddlers with indifferent parents who are running amok? WHO CARES?

Since I moved directly across the street from the park this
September, I decided to get serious and order a legitimate grill.


With the warm (read: scorching) heat upon us, I scheduled the first BBQ of the season, dubbing myself the BBQ Baron. Of course, this Saturday brought winds that were so strong it looked like this douchebag.


I bought the charcoal with the lighter fluid already on it, but it was so windy the grill wouldn't light. We had to buy lighter fluid, and even adding that took about an hour. Finally, it worked and I made the food, but we literally couldn't open the lid to the styrofoam cooler without it blowing away.

Whatever, nature. Ima be back when it's warmer.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Tribeca Film Festival: A Recap



Once again, I was able to attend the Tribeca Film Festival as a VIP, and I was able to see five films:

Monica & David:
A documentary about a couple with Down's Syndrome who get married (think The Other Sister, but in real-life). It was a very touching documentary and it shows how devoted Monica and David's respective parents are to them. Monica, David, and their parents sat in the row in front of me, and I couldn't help but watch them while they were watching the premiere of the film—they were kissing, laughing, whispering, and reacting to everything on the screen. Adorable.



Sons of Perdition: Another documentary, this one about polygamy and the effects that it has on children. I'm obsessed with Big Love, and also obsessed with the idea of creepy religious cults (ie: Jim Jones and the People's Temple, Warren Jeffs and his three-ring circus of polygamy). The film follows three teenage boys after they leave their polygamous families. I thought it was interesting that all three of them had chosen to leave, since many boys in that culture are cast out of the compounds so that they don't serve as competition for the older men when it comes to romancing the ladies (aka: 13-year-old girls). It's crazy to see all of the abuse that happens to these children in the name of God, and even crazier to see the effects it has on them once they're in the real world.




The Space Between: By far my favorite film, The Space Between follows a flight attendant on 9/11. She's not on the plane, of course, but she has to look after a young Muslim boy who was flying by himself to go to school in California. I enjoy rough and tumble female characters—ones that are all brassy and abrasive because surprise! They usually have a heart of gold! Come on, we all know that the people who are overly nice are always the ones you need to watch out for, am I right? The film was just insanely well done, and Melissa Leo was phenomenal. If you get the chance, see this movie.

Monogamy: I really liked this one, too, mainly because it was shot in Brooklyn and the premise also hit very close to home. About a year ago, I found out about this photographer in Brooklyn who you could hire to follow you around and secretly take pictures of you. It's like a combination between a paparazzo and a private investigator—you email the photographer, tell him where you'll be and what you'll be wearing, and he shows up. You don't know what he looks like, and you won't see him, but he'll see you. He'll follow you around and take photos of you secretly. You never speak. Then, he emails you the photos. The idea is that he catches you at your most natural. I thought it was so interesting and crazy that I contacted the service and did a story on it for a magazine. It was crazy and weird and it made me totally uncomfortable. So how crazy was it to see Monogamy, where this exact service that was so unique and weird depicted on the big screen? Monogamy follows the story of a Brooklyn photographer who created this service, "Gumshoot," on the side. He becomes obsessed with a client he's shooting, thinking that he's photographing her cheating on her husband. He's engaged to Nat (played by a radiant Rashida Jones), and this obsession calls into question their relationship and marriage and monogamy in general.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Welcome to the Nuthouse



When I first moved to my apartment, I wrote pretty extensively about my crazy neighbor, Milagra. I mostly wrote about her trash picking and her extensive doormat collection (ie: assorted shirts and dresses that she lays in front of her door). And who could forget the times she broke into my apartment while I was in the process of moving in, just to check out all the stuff I have?

Basically, she's legitimately a crazy person.

And hey, I know about crazy. I lived with a crazy person in college. My grandmother was a hoarder. Visits to her house revolved around me trying to organize the stacks of magazines and newspapers that were scattered all over her living room floor. So while it's annoying, I understand the trash picking and the hoarding—she thinks she's saving things from people who are wasteful like me.

But what I can't understand is the goddamned comforter that has been hanging out on our shared fire escape for the last six months. Through the WINTER. Through the SNOW. It's gotta smell really great right about now. But the smell is not even the problem.

The problem is that a squirrel couple has started shacking up there. This squirrel couple is not just any squirrel couple.

Why, you ask?

Because it is obvious that they are in love. The male squirrel was all like, "Fuck this tree bullshit, I know a place where I'ma take my lady and get her pregnant."

Check him out. He is a bold motherfucker.



It was about 3 months ago that I noticed all of the stuffing in the comforter was coming out, in favor of a big hole in the top, which functioned as the Squirrel couple's front door. Every now and then, I'll walk into my kitchen and hear squeaking and I'll be like, "OMG THE FUCKING MOUSE IS BACK," but then I open the blinds, and catch the squirrels having a fight.

The female squirrel is all burrowed in the comforter, her head sticking out of the hole, while the male squirrel is out climbing around, probably gathering nuts or some bullshit. This is the equivalent of her laying on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, while the male is out in the cold, working.

I mean, really, just imagine opening your blinds, and seeing a squirrel head sticking out of a dirty comforter. While I can't help but think these squirrels are really cute, I often have the urge to kick the comforter off of the fire escape. But I don't, for fear of squirrel retaliation.

I guess this proves that I am also crazy. New name for my apartment building: the Nuthouse.

Welcome, everyone.

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