Monday, December 31, 2007

New Thing #281: Shade of pale

I'm not much of a drinker, and in the past year and a half have probably barely consumed enough total alcohol to constitute a full drink. So it was in stone-cold sobriety and good fun when I went to a party and wore a lampshade on my head. I'm a big fan of old-school physical comedy, and like the pie I hit someone with a while ago, a lampshade seemed like another quintessential comedy prop, one I hadn't experienced in all its comedic glory. It helped to have been at a small, civilized party with several other non-drinkers. Those who saw it regarded it in stride and accepted my explanation: that I'd never done it before, so I was doing it now.
The photo is on the way, so please accept this crude but earnest placeholder:

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Thing #280: Airhead!

I've had problems with airlines in the past-getting stuck in Newark overnight on my way back from studying in Ireland, missing connections- but nothing like this past trip to CA, where Kevin and I got delayed overnight in Chicago, then each of us had problems during our separate flights back. So I complained to the airline. I'm not much of a squeaky wheel. I have my own way of dealing with businesses, people and situations that make me angry, but it rarely involves being vocal. Usually, when it's just me getting screwed over by the airline, I suck it up and move on. But when they make my boyfriend wait nearly an entire day to come home on a flight he didn't book, THAT gets me going (even if he did run into my cousin at the aiport)! I wrote a tactful but strongly worded email on the airline's form email site, then emailed three separate people using addresses I found on an insidery site sent to me by he lovely Michelle.
Update since Sunday: I got a phone call from a customer service rep offering both of us a $300 flight voucher, as well as an email from a different customer service rep offering just me a $100 discount voucher. Woo!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Thing #279: Rat and White

Confession: It's really difficult to find the time, energy and will to do New Things when I'm traveling. And I'm not talking about the time I spend wherever I am- obviously being in a different place offers a wider variety of things to do, and for the most part I've taken advantage of them. I'm talking about when I'm actually in transit. I'm not a big fan of air travel- I sort of wish I could go into a coma on the plane and just get carted around. But whatever, I deal with it. On the days I have to fly, I sort of let the new things come to me. And like not having planned the overnight in Chicago on the way here, I didn't plan it when I watched a movie in black and white that had been made in color, totally without realizing it wasn't supposed to be in black and white. It was Ratatouille, which I totally loved despite its hue. I know I'd seen the trailer and commercials, but not a lot of them since I don't watch that much tv. When it started (on the apparently faulty monitor), I thought oh how lovely, Pixar has made this adorable movie about Paris and food and they've done it in black and white! I didn't give it another thought until the last 10 minutes, when I got up to stretch and happened to glance at another, full-color, properly working monitor across the aisle. Linguine has red hair? The pepper in the dish they served to Ego at the end was green? Who knew?! Not me!

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Thing #278: Ambiturning

When I still lived where I grew up, the road that runs between the sections of my parents' gated neighborhood ended at a fence, beyond which lay a cow pasture. By the time of my first visit home after moving to New York, they had opened the road up to connect with what was at the time a fledgling freeway. Gradually over the years, the area opened up more and more, and now you can connect the north coastal area where my parents live with virtually any east-lying area. I don't know the roads at all, and am still shocked to not see a fence and cows. It occurred to me today while looking for Whole Foods that even with all the back-road taking I do every time I come home, I had never turned left at the end of the original road. So today I turned left from SD Road onto CDS. This means nothing to most of you, but to someone who would have been driving through cow patties and mud puddles had she done the same thing in the same place 10 years ago, it was sort of a big deal! And not really in a good way! That area wasn't a twinkle in a McMansion developer's eye back then, just a playground for big-eyed, sweet cows. To see it all boomed out the way it is now is like being on another planet. Even more so.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Thing #277: Sous Good!

One of the best things about being around my parents is their taste in restaurants. When they visit in New York, it's Balthazar and Bhuddakan; when I visit San Diego, it's places like Pasquale's on Prospect, where I visited the kitchen, by personal invitation of the Maitre d'. It's a lot easier to get that invitation when your parents' friends are such regulars that they knew which waiter to request, and the waiter knew which starter and dessert to bring them without asking, but still very flattering! Patrons can see all the action on flat-panel screens anyway, and since there was one right by our table, we never missed a second of the action. Unless we wanted to. During my absolutely stunning main course of Salmon al Cappri, I got a personal escort behind the scenes, where I witnessed all the lightning-fast action of the kitchen staff in person, and probably looked like a bit of a loon on camera.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Thing #276: Humbled

In October, my family and most of my family's friends had to evacuate their homes to escape the San Diego wildfires. Luckily, everyone I know was physically safe, and my parents' house was spared. But the other side of their neighborhood saw some pretty devastating damage. As what was a bit of a downer, but also very important in understanding just how close this thing hit, I surveyed some of the fire damage. Below, some pics of what I saw taken by my sister:
The Valley behind their house, looking west
Where the fire stopped

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

New Thing #275: Heavenly Peace

You know how cute it is when puppies and babies take naps under the Christmas tree and people take pictures of them? Well, I'm not a puppy, and nobody let me sleep under the Christmas tree, so there wouldn't be a picture of that. So in honor of all those lost memories, I took a nap under the Christmas tree so there would be a picture of it.

Merry Christmas, and a happy new year of new things!

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Thing #274: Firefox

Christmas is a time for being old-timey. It's hard to do much old-timey stuff in Southern California, like sledding or building snowmen, but you can build a fire and just pretend it's really cold outside (the average daytime temperature the whole time I've been here has been about 75 degrees, but don't tell anyone I told you that). And if you build a fire, you can use all the fun accouterments that go with it and the fire place. I used a bellows. Last year my sister gave my dad this antique bellows she found at some mysterious little store, and it still works well enough to send those flames skyrocketing.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

New Thing #273: A Major Award

What was supposed to be an 8-hour trip from New York to San Diego turned into a 36-hour trip from New York to Chicago to the San Diego airport then directly to Gramma's party in L.A., then finally back to San Diego until we go home later this week. I was completely exhausted when we finally got back from L.A., and my room at my parents' house could have been full of bears and old socks, for how tired I was, as long as it had a bed and a soft pillow. Imagine my delight when it was not only free of bears and old socks, but had a bed and a soft pillow AND a leg lamp! I beheld a leg lamp, much like Ralphie beheld the leg lamp in A Christmas Story. I think it's entirely wonderful that somebody sells these babies, and even MORE wonderful that I get to bring this back to New York! It will, of course, not be packed in my suitcase, but in a box full of sawdust marked FRAGILE. It must be Italian.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Thing #272: O'Hareport

I've been flying home for Christmas since 2001. I always leave sometime around December 21 or 22, and I have never had a problem. I've flown through cities like Denver and Chicago and things have always gone miraculously smoothly. Last year, Kevin and I flew here separately and neither of us hit any snags. So leave it to the one year that both of us fly here together for everything to go haywire. Thanks to me booking a flight that passed through Chicago, and to United for having "mechanical" problems that prevented our flight from leaving on time, today I got stranded in Chicago when United "postponed" our flight for twelve hours, and am having to spend the night in the lovely O'Hare Airport Westin. I'd never throw a party here, but for free* airport accommodations, it's actually pretty lovely.

*Free only before paying $10 to connect to the internet so I could see if we actually do have a flight tomorrow, and before paying $50 for dinner, which United decided not to pay for.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Thing #271: The Card Way

I'm not crafty, but I really want to be. Kevin is crafty, but has no time to be. When he buys a new shirt, he takes out the collar stays and uses them as a template to cut new collar stays out of fake credit cards, because he likes the firmness better. He's gotten quite good at this. I have not, so when I fashioned collar stays out of fake credit cards, I didn't do a great job. His are beautifully rounded, and there are no scraggly bits. Mine are more.... abstract? They're more jagged and sort of Dali-esque. Which is another way of saying you shouldn't trust me with scissors.

The template, flanked by two abstractions

I'm off to CA tomorrow, and while the New Things will continue every day, the posting may be a bit sporadic. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Thing #270: Post Waste

When I started grad school in journalism at NYU, one of the first things I learned in my Writing and Reporting Workshop class was 'The Post Sucks.' That and 'The Post Will Ruin Your Life and Your Children's lives' and 'Reading the Post is Like Being Pauly Shore.' I really wanted to do well in school and thought that even smelling like The Post would ruin me as a student and later as a professional journalist. So I never read the post. As I met more people in New York, most of them not journalists, I found that none of them read the post either. So it wasn't just a 'The Post is Bad to Read if You Want to be a Journalist' thing, it was a 'The Post is bad to read if you have eyeballs' thing. So I'm hoping that I don't spontaneously stop being a journalist and that my eyeballs don't fall out because I read The Post. I feel okay. I think. I was definitely put off by the tawdry front page headline (news flash, newspaper: JL did not single-handedly bring 'shame' to that trainwreck of a family) and I did find a lot of other crappy headlines like 'It's grow time for Columbia' and 'Drug cops Are 'weigh' out of line,' and most of the stories couldn't hold my interest for very long. I gave Liz smith a try, but all those highlighted dropped names gave me a headache. Also, I don't really care. Give me the Times and any day. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go nail down my NYU diploma, lest my old professors find out about this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Thing #269: The Wind Beneath My Wings

Today was long and stressful and a little ick, so I needed something fun and escapist. I downloaded and played a flight simulator. Because I was so in need of something purely fun, I didn't put a lot of effort into actually trying to do it right. I mostly wanted to see pretty clouds and land and swerve around a lot.
(This is the clearest shot I was able to get; it's very hard to not crash into what looks like a kit-kat farm and take screen shots at the same time.)

Escapism over. Now I will go to sleep and probably have very realistic dreams.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Thing #268: Eso si que es

In keeping with my housecleaning theme this week, I took a wonderful reader suggestion and I organized my socks alphabetically by color. My sock drawer tends to look like it's been pillaged by Visigoths and then when I get dressed in the dark, the picture above happens. Nobody, including me, cares what color socks I'm wearing during Boot season, but what if I pass out on the train again and turn up in the ER with mismatched socks? It can't possibly be more embarrassing than the time I ended up there with MOO written across my stomach in fake tan*. So really, I've just done a bit of Emergency Preparedness Light.

Blue, gray, green, pink, purple, stripey, white. How is it that ALL of my black socks are already in the hamper? Ah winter!

*100% true

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Thing #267: Do the wave

This is also post T minus 100, as there are exactly 100 more New Things to do until the project ends! I'd like to put out a special request: Tell me what you do. I had a wonderful conversation over the weekend with people whose lifestyles are different from mine. They told me about stuff they do- Pilates, accupuncture, wearing legwarmers as a wardrobe staple-that are part of who they are, but that I have never done. What do you do on a regular basis that not everybody does? Let me know! I might try it!
And if you're someone who does this, then we're one step ahead of each other. I cleaned my microwave with a lemon. My realization the other day that I haven't given the 'wave a good cleaning since I moved coincided with this find on WikiHow, so tonight during my post-dinner kitchen cleaning frenzy, I gave it a try.

Before (my cell camera doesn't do justice to the butter slime clinging to the ceiling and walls)


This was fun, but not as life-changingly easy as Wiki said it would be. I definitely had to use some nonexistent muscle power for the post-nuke wipedown, but the part about the lemon making everything smell fresh was true, and bit about the steam making everything less sticky was mostly true. But I make a lot of popcorn, and if Newman's Own organic butter wants to hang out in your microwave for a while.... it's gonna.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Thing #266: iCinema

I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed when video iPods came out. I had just gotten my second of what is now known as the iPod "classic," and wasn't really interested in also being able to watch movies when I was just getting used to being able to store photos. I'm so over that now. I'd been toying with the idea of getting a big ol' 80g video iPod, because I'm sort of in love with the idea of being able to watch movies on the way to work. Then I went to a fancy magazine party and won a Nano. And Nanos can play video now. Today I watched a movie on an iPod. iPods aren't really something you borrow, so even knowing people who raved about having a video iPod* hadn't been much use in the past. I really needed to have my own. And you know what? Not too shabby. Once my eyes adjusted to watching Mean Girls on a screen about 1/180th the size of my television, it was actually quite enjoyable. And intimate. And the quality is amazing, despite what the photo below would have you believe. Lindsay Lohan, in her pre-trainwreck days, actually looks quite crisp and lovely on a 3-inch screen.

*I know no such people.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Thing #265: Invisibility Hat

This is going to seem a little abstract, so bear with me. Several times since this project started, I've meant to go an entire day without looking in the mirror. Habit always seems to get the better of me and I don't remember I said I'd do that until after I'd already looked in the mirror three times. Today was no exception, but I did wear a hat while at a party, walking around the east village, eating dinner in a restaurant and on the hour-long subway ride home, without ever seeing how it looked or even what color it was. Knitty pal Eliza gave me an awesome beret at a party we both attended, and fashiony pal Robyn adjusted it when I decided to wear it immediately. Since I trust her taste, I never peeked in a mirror to see how it looked. Even when I passed by a full-length mirror as we left, I turned my head and decided I would just not know until later. I realized as I told Kevin what I was planning to do that in the soft, twinkly-light glow of party-thrower Jen's apartment, I hadn't even been able to tell what color the hat was; it had looked greenish in the light, but so had Eliza's dress, which turned out to be more teal. Even as I write this, I haven't seen what color it is. I'm even about to upload the photo Kevin took, without peeking. I have been wearing this hat for five hours and won't see what it's looked like all night until I publish this blog post. Please note that I don't take myself as seriously as this post makes it sound. I'm just kind of proud of myself for not having succumbed to reflective temptation all night.

And this has nothing to do with the hat, but I should also note that I partied in Allen Ginsberg's old apartment. As in, the exact unit. I bet Bob Dylan was there at least once.

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Thing #264: O Holy Night, Batman!

Dear People With Christmas Parties,
I'm not there. I'm at home, watching old tv shows and eating homemade pizza and playing Scrabble with Kevin. Hope they were great. While you were funning the night away, I watched an episode of TV's Batman. Holy stiff acting and awesome cheesy special effects! I could have stood for more "BAP"ing and "CLOP"ing as promised in the opener, but I'd give a million "BAP"s and "CLOP"s just to hear Burt Ward, in all his yellow-caped glory, say things like "I'd like to clean HIS clock" while rubbing his adorably undersized hands together in anticipation. Funny how you pretty much can't exist in North America without ever having heard the theme song, but plenty of people I know have never actually seen an episode of the show. This episode had the Riddler after the king of Madeupland and a Miss Galaxy crown of jewels, with Batman and the Boy Wonder hot on his heels. I'm not sure I would have liked the show when it was actually on; it's fun to watch now because of the kitsch factor, and because everyone took themselves wayyyy too seriously. Not that Batman's job is anything to sneeze at. I just think he could have had a bit more fun with it.
Jen (whose midsection can be seen in this video)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Thing #263: humble pie

It's Christmastime, which means an abundance of fruit cake... jokes. Seriously, who actually buys, gives or eats fruitcakes anymore? A friend of mine has a story about playing hockey with one, another said that his extended family kept regifting the same fruitcake for something like 15 years, and each family genuinely thought it was a brand-new fruitcake every year (I'm missing part of that, I'm sure, but that's the gist). Tonight I ate fruitcake. I'm not even sure I knew fruitcakes could be eaten; like the candycanes my mom used to hang on the tree, they seemed like seasonal decor but not to actually be digested. And you know what? Not so bad! I prefer a gooey chocolate cake, or a nice slice of angel food with whipped-sugar frosting, but I could subsist on this stuff if I were running a dogsled race* or living in a treehouse.

*Don't ask me why I remember this weird detail about this movie. I saw it once, I was 16, it had an Astin in it and that's what I remember? That he lived almost entirely on fruitcake? Go fig.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Thing #262: Irishish

It seems that when a cartoon or a semi-serious comedy show wants to dip its toes into sports territory, the go to music either sounds a lot like, or just totally is, the Notre Dame fight song. The Victory March seems to be the benchmark for all University fight songs. It's collegiate, determined and upbeat. USC's downer of a fight song is the only one I can think of that doesn't fit that mold (the words, as sung when they played UCLA went, "this is the only song we know/it's boring and it's slow/ your mother can't say no/ and OJ killed Nicole...). My high school ripped off UCLA's cheery rally, and even LMU, despite never having had a football team, had a pretty snazzy one, too. But those are just ancestors of what may or may not actually be the first really great College Fight song. Tonight I learned the Norte Dame fight song because I think if you know the tune to a song, there's not reason to not know the lyrics. I don't have a video, because I don't. But here are those spirit-pumping lyrics:

Notre Dame
"Notre Dame Victory March"

Rally sons of Notre Dame
Sing her glory and sound her fame
Raise her Gold and Blue
And cheer with voices true:
Rah, rah, for Notre Dame
We will fight in every game,
Strong of heart and true to her name
We will ne'er forget her
And will cheer her ever
Loyal to Notre Dame.

Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame,
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky!
What though the odds be great or small,
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Thing #261: Pear Alike

I have really yummy-smelling organic pear dish soap. Every time I do the dishes, it smells the way nearly everything I owned smelled in 1997, when I was really into Sparkling Pear Body Spray (and lotion and bath gel and anti-bacterial hand cream) from Bath & Body Works. I've sort of grown out of good ol' B&BW, but man did I love smelling that stuff after a shower! So for the sake of nostalgia, I took a shower using dish soap. I even used it for the leg shaving, and while it doesn't moisturize as well as Skintimates, it has left my skin smelling like it did sophomore year of college. It sort of makes me want to throw on some Wallflowers and wear pajamas and Birkenstocks to my sociology final. I could just do that anyway.

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Thing #260: Bottle/Rock It

This photo has nothing to do with what I ended up doing today. It does have a lot to do with what I wanted to do, which was break a bottle and wield it menacingly. That's dangerous, hence the protective gear, and hence my deciding to first wrap the bottle in a paper bag before slamming it on the kitchen counter. It's also difficult, hence the apparent need to be a tough dude in a bar, or someone with a lot of anger. I'm neither, and I just couldn't do it. And it was late and I was cranky (note: not angry) and I wanted to go to bed, so instead I fit an iPod in my mouth. This is just as important a protective measure as knowing how to break a bottle and wield it menacingly; what if the person who wants to beat me up also wants to take my iPod? At least one of us would be safe. Plus, neat parlor trick.
I left my protective glasses on because they're not protective, they're fabulous.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

New Thing #259: Elephant Man

What a lazy Sunday today has been. Like, never-fully-changed-out-of-my-pajamas-until-I-took-a-shower-at-eight-pm-and-put-on-new-pajamas lazy. I watched a bit of tv, read a little bit,played online Scrabble a LOT and maybe stretched my arms at one point, but otherwise didn't exert myself in the slightest. So I needed a New Thing to complement, rather than combat, the Super Lazies. Perhaps something that didn't require getting off the couch or putting down the Kettle chips. I referred to my mounting list of suggestions on the eponymous page of this blog, and at the bottom of the list saw this:

I googled Ron Paul. Usually when people suggest stuff like this, it's coming from a personal place, and while the Thing might not be elaborate or grand, it's important to them and they want to share their passions with other people. Ron Paul is a Texas Congressman running for President. I've already picked my candidate, and I vote in a party different from Mr. Paul's, but what's the point of voting if you don't know something about all of the candidates, even the ones you don't plan to vote for? Below are some of the sites I visited for the sake of being fair:

One thing I paid attention to while reading these sights was his position on the issues I find most important in an election. Shortly before the 2004 election, my cousin and I talked about how we didn't really know where our favorite candidate stood on certain issues. Mr. Paul and I have opposing viewpoints on nearly everything, but how would I have known that if I hadn't done a bit of research?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

New Thing #258: Rail Neato!

It's been a long day already. And I'm writing this as I'm just stopping back home before we go out to a party in Queens. I got up at 9:30 and headed way out to Brooklyn for one of my absolute favorite semi-annual events, the Butter by Nadia sample sale, stopped in Chelsea to see an old friend at one of my other favorite semi-an events, the Bust Magazine Holiday Craftacular, then dashed off to a Blue Man matinee and came home again. Briefly. But on the subway back here after my show, I stood in the railfan position the entire way. For you non-New Yorkers, the "railfan" spot is that either at the very front or the very back of the train, where you can see the entire track as it lays out in front or behind the train. I picked the front, since I need the front car anyway. Wow is this mesmerizing. Seems the only time I've ever been by that window is when the train has been insanely crowded and I didn't have a choice, and I always moved as soon as I could. So to ride there out of choice was sort of cool, and the view is very Star Wars-y. It's not completely dark, so you can see all the old graffiti and phantom stations and the platforms as they come into view. And okay, you may look a bit odd standing there if you're not 10 or from the Midwest and you're carrying two heavy bags of Butter and there are plenty of seats, but who cares?

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Thing #257: Cruisin'

I don't want to get sued over this, so I'm going to keep it nebulous. Today I took a s tr ess te st in Penn Station. Those of us who live in New York know exactly who administers these tests, and why. Those who don't might have to read into the title of this post a bit. While subject is holding onto a cheaply made foil rod, the test-giver calls out a series of words like "family" work" and "relationships," and measures the electric response on a cheaply made... response pad? Then they try to sell you books and get you to come to meetings. It's good the rods don't generate any electricity... you don't want it tavoltya, or they'd find your toasted remini's all over the place (do you get it yet?).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Thing #256: Twisted Sisters

This again has to do with my sister. She didn't suggest this, but she's a big part of it.
I made a Jib-Jab video, starring our faces. I have watched it three times already, and each time it makes me laugh like I have a problem.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Thing #255: Body Eclectic

I love my little sister. Equal parts Ann Reinking and Luna Lovegood, she's gorgeous and talented as well as endearingly odd and definitely a marcher to her own drummer. Whenever I'm stuck for a new thing, or if something else hasn't worked out, or if I'm having a tough day, I turn to the 186-item list she sent me in February. Today, in accordance with her whimsy, I named my body parts. I know what you're thinking. Don't. I only named the ones I would introduce to the general public. I'm not sure why I used almost all boys' names. I sort of just think that's funny. In college, bff Angela's now-husband have her this gooey cute, fluffy, white squishy bunny with a bow and pink ears. She named it Steve. That's how I roll, too. And I must say that overall this was a completely lovely experience. It takes thought and a sense of propriety and order. And a dominant quirk gene.

Not pictured are Fred the other ear, Nick the other hand, Royce the stomach, Zoe the back and Emo Phillips the neck. My ears are named after two significant sources; the other source is my grandfather. My whole face got its own name, because it sort of seemed creepy to just name one eyeball at a time and so forth. Fransisco is spelled semi-phonetically.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Thing #254: Gleaming the Christmas Present

As a child of the '80s and the sister of a boy, I certainly saw my share of skateboards when I was growing up. I never had much of an interest in learning to ride one. From time to time I would step on my brother's board (only when he wasn't around) and roll from side to side while holding onto a car trunk or a fencepost. So imagine my slight discomfort when I bought a skateboard. It's not for me or even my brother, it's for a kid I've never met and probably never will meet. I got him something very close to this
because it didn't have skulls, fight scenes or Ronald Reagan. I remember than whenever my brother got a new board, he also had to get wheels and a bunch of technical doodads. I got Stranger Kid the board and wheels, but Toys R Us was out of stock of the other doodads. If I don't find them in time to send the gift, I'll include a GC so he can get them himself. That and a big note saying 'Yay '80s!'

Monday, December 3, 2007

New Thing #253: Interested Party

Yesterday, Kevin's friend sent us both a text message: Are you both free tomorrow night? Indeed we both were, so I replied. Yay! Come to a magazine launch party. Dress hot-ish. Aside from the pressure to be "hot-ish" when outside it is distinctly "cold-ish," this sounded really fun. Hosted at an East Village club, the party was celebrating the release of Alex, a magazine for the urban business professional. Despite having worked in magazines since 2003, I'd never been to an actual launch party. (When my magazine launched, we had pizza and gave each other plants. It was actually kind of awesome). So I went to a magazine launch party. I also bought four tickets for a raffle to benefit a scholarship program for pediatric HIV/AIDS patients. Though the place was insanely crowded and loud, I did end up having a good time. My hot-ishness was debatable (though in black velvet Butter by Nadia, you can't really go wrong). The evening ended pretty well, too.

Here's some stuff I collected at the party, including a little something from that raffle.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Thing #252: Good Tone

I planned this New Thing a couple of days ago, when Amanda invited me to a screening of Atonement for the Screen Actors Guild. Never having been to a SAG screening, but being a fan of Ian McEwan's novel by the same name, I immediately said yes. Then, on the way to our seats this afternoon, she tells me that the cast and director are scheduled to appear at the screening! So I went to a SAG screening of Atonement, then saw James McEvoy, Kiera Knightley, Joe Wright, and Saoirse* Ronan discuss the film with the audience. This was cooler than all the interviewing I did in college, mostly because of the element of surprise. The film is absolutely breathtaking. I loved the story, if not always the occasionally soupy writing, when I read the book and I have been looking forward to the film since I finished it. I was correct in my assumption that I would SOB LIKE A BABY at the end, doing so unabashedly but trying to pull it together before James McEvoy seated himself mere feet from me. Because obviously, that would have ruined everything!

*Pronounced Sore-sha. I couldn't figure it out either.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Thing #251: MeTube

As a teenager, I felt like I had been born in the wrong decade. Not longed for the likes of LL Cool J, Melrose Place and Hypercolor t-shirts, I was much more comfortable singing standards and watching Mel Brooks movies (not that either of those clarifies which decade I should have been born in; any era that wouldn't have involved be being 14 in 1992 would have been fine). But now, with the advent of YouTube and all its angsty theatre-geek teens lip-synching their little hearts out, I feel like I may have been born too early instead of too late. I would have rocked that mess when I was 14. And now I'm not 14. I'm 29. But since when can you not upload videos of yourself lip synching just because you were born in the 70s? Since never, says me. So today I uploaded a video to YouTube of me lip-synching. I tried to capture the nervousness I see in a lot of teenagers, and I tried to pick a song that, like, tells my story, you know*?

(For an even better example of why more non-14-year-olds should lyp-synch on YouTube, please please please click here).

*Those who know me know this is ironic.