Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Week's Vacation

     My brain-holiday has lasted a little longer than I anticipated.  Physically I was back from vacation, but mentally, I was still stuck in that post Thanksgiving coma.  The land of laziness and leftovers.  My brain is taking a week's vacation.   

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I Am Thankful

     I see it in movies and on TV--people go around the table and say what they are thankful for.  It's possible we've done it once at our own d-fest celebration, but I doubt we ever took it very seriously.  Some years it didn't seem like there was a lot to be thankful for, other than that one day when we were all together, just holding on.  Luckily, that was often enough to power through.  This year, though, I am thankful for things.  And by things, I mean people. 
     So, in no particular order, I am thankful for:
     Mary, Megan, Luke, Lauri, Katie, David, Jason, Abby, Kim, Brian, Sean, Curtis, Isabelle, Sophia, Ingrid, Mary, Stacy, Stacey, Topher, Dave, Dan, Cassidy, Bart, Mom, Rachael, Wendy, Cynthia, Leah, Amanda, John, Patsy, Mark, Nikki, Jen, Nikki, Dora, Wes, Craig, Cirocco, Emily, Em, Kate, Dani, Tom, Sean, Dave, Jordan, Bjorn, Cyrus, Steve, Jon, Marty, Marty, Chris, Caleb, Luke, Meghan, and Mindy.
     I bet I left some people out, and I didn't mean to.  Or maybe I did.  It's not just a list of people I ran into on the street.  I'm also thankful for improv and spotify.  These things have changed my life this year.  Again, in no particular order, I am thankful for:
     Improv, Spotify, UCB, WIT, sketch, MegaBus, Amtrak, The Mountain Goats, television, TiVo, Hulu, NetFlix, BluRay, laundry in the basement, ice cream, Trader Joe's, happy hour sushi, GChat, Ikea, delivery, the subway, movers, buffalo meat, iPhones, hoodies, living in NYC, having lived in DC, and good shoes.
     Oh there are others, but right now all I can think about is the food that's being prepared and the drinks that are flowing.  We're playing games and laughing and taping the whole thing.  It's a great holiday and I just can't say enough nice things about it.  I'm thankful we have this holiday.   

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

     It's Thanksgiving Eve!  The night before Thanksgiving!  I'm so excited I'll hardly be able to sleep.  For the framily, Thanksgiving Eve is the day we all descend upon the d-fest host--this year Norfolk--choose our beds, and pour one out for our homies.  Except all our homies are there, so we just pour a glass of scotch or a hot toddy. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cycles are Vicious

     I've never experienced something that occurs with regularity that has not been vicious.  Every cycle is a vicious cycle.  I'm currently in the middle of a vicious sleep cycle.  I stayed up too late one day, which means I slept in really late the next morning, which leads to staying up late again because I'm just not tired, so then, of course, I sleep in again.  It's a cycle, and it's vicious.
     The vicious sleep cycle also leads to a vicious coffee cycle.  I enjoy coffee in the morning.  When I get up late morning, I feel as though I don't deserve coffee.  However, a few hours in, I just don't feel like myself.  I go through coffee withdrawal.  I am weak, so I give in, and I make afternoon coffee.  Then my usual afternoon coffee leads to evening coffee.  Evening coffee leads to staying up late watching X-Files reruns.  Another vicious cycle.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weird Dreams

     I don't like to talk about dreams too much.  I understand they're just mixed up pieces of subconscious.  They may or may not have meaning; I haven't made a firm decision on that.  I remember a discussion I had with a film school professor--I used to just call her "my C-Word Adviser"--about how dreams didn't mean anything.  She had a high horse about how annoying it is when friends talk about dreams.  I understand being annoyed at dreams when they appear in movies and TV shows as a device intended to deceive, but when your friends are telling you about them, have a heart.  She probably didn't have any friends.  I'm probably not the only one who called her C-word.  (I imagine her other nicknames were "my c-word friend," "my c-word neighbor," "my c-word mother," and "my c-word bitch of an ex-wife.")
     I woke up this morning very disturbed by the dream I woke up from.  And I had actually woken up from the dream--I could feel it fading away because of noises in the apartment pulling me out of this weird deep sleep I had fallen into.  The dream was vivid and specific and real.  By real, I mean I recognized my dream self doing things I do in real life.  Late in the dream my sister was singing along with a song that was being played at the concert we were at.  I turned to her and asked "who sings this song.?"  This is a classic Nancy move that I picked up from our father, and dream-sister knew it.  He used to do this all the time to get us to stop singing along.  It's Melchert family rhetoric that we're all familiar with.
     When I finally did get up, I couldn't stop singing that song.  And the really crazy part about that--it's not a real song.  It was a song that my subconscious apparently made up.  Also, it was not a good song; it was very uninspiring and full of synthesizers. 
     I was shaken for the first hour after getting out of bed.  I made coffee and and the images of babies, blood, county concerts, sailors, and drunk driving kept going around my head.
      Earlier, I had a dream about working in oil fields, or something.  I knew where that came from--NPR was on the radio.  I manifested what they were saying; their words mixed in with the images of my subconscious.  The images were just as real, vivid, and specific, but they didn't bother me nearly as much as the weird graphic concert I was attending with my mother and my sister.  And I guess it's because I was more bothered by the fact that the drunk-driving babies and blood buckets are somewhere in my subconscious. 
     Drunk-driving babies and blood buckets being trapped in your subconscious are things that are good to talk with friends about.  That's why friends talk to you about dreams.  At the same time, I know there are some people who talk about their dreams too much.  I try really really hard not to do that.  I'm just saying that sometimes, when a friend says "I had a dream with you in it," or "I had a dream where I married a squirrel and then our squirrel children ate my face," don't be a c-word about it.  Just listen, nod, and say "interesting.  I'm sure it doesn't mean you're weird."  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who Does Matthew Gilbert Think He Is?

     Apparently, Matthew Gilbert has a thing or two to say about Dexter.  And he just doesn't know what he's talking about.  Matthew Gilbert is a TV reviewer who watches TV with a blindfold on.  He's stupid and doesn't know a damn thing about Dexter.
     I don't know a damn thing about Dexter either.  I am also not a television reviewer.  At least, I'm not paid to be a television reviewer.  There are only about three people who listen to what I have to say about television, and they think I'm wrong a lot.   Or slightly misguided.  But really, I know what I'm talking about. I usually  watch the shows I'm reviewing.  I make informed assessments of what is before me.  Matthew Gilbert seemingly does not.
     If I were to review Dexter, I think it would go like this:  Dexter centers around the titular character who happens to be a serial killer, but he tends to be pretty clean about it.  He wears Henley-style shirts when he does his killing, so if he comes to visit and he's wearing that, you're probably done for.  But he kills for the greater good, so you also probably deserve it.  And it's probably the heart of the character than keeps the series going.
     That's really just a first attempt, having only seen one episode.  When Matthew Gilbert reviews Dexter, it goes like this:  blurp blorp bloop blop bloopity bloop bloop blah. Because Matthew Gilbert is stupid and knows nothing about Dexter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The N Word

    No, not really.  I am not actually going to write about the N word.  I'm listening to Camp today, and it comes up sometimes.  That's all I really have to say about it.  I just didn't have a good title for this post, so I was trying to shock people just enough to get them to keep reading.
     Or you know what, maybe I will talk about it a little bit.  As I started thinking about not writing about it, I had a few more thoughts on explaining why I wouldn't write about it, which lend themselves to being written about.  The N Word is an offensive word.  That's why we call it The N Word.  I won't use it.  It's not in my vernacular.  Sometimes when I hear it, I'm surprised.  Other times, though, not as much.  For example, when I hear it in music, I'm not shocked.  When I hear someone screaming it down the street, well, I'm slightly taken aback.  When I hear white people say it?  I'm embarrassed.
     I'm not easily offended, even(or especially) by words that are supposed to be offensive.  The C Word is another one.  I don't mind it at all.  At the same time, I know a lot of people do.  If I'm attempting to become friends with someone, I will lead into the use of the word.  For example, I'll say "he described me as pertaining to The C Word."  If their response is "cunty? cuntly?  cuntish? cunteriffic?" then we'll probably be besties.  On the other hand, if they just walk away, then I know it wasn't meant to be.  It's a good boundary test.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


     Murder is wrong.
     I suppose other than that, I don't actually have a lot to say on the topic.  So why bring it up?  Because when I asked Mary what I should talk about, she said "MURDER."  Except she probably said it like this:

Ok, fine, I couldn't fine the audio file I wanted to embed there.  But you know how she said it.
Then, a few minutes later, I was considering changing for my upcoming improv show.  I was wearing a henley-style shirt.  This is the style shirt Dexter wears when he murders people.  I decided I should change into something less murderer-like so people wouldn't get confused.  I want them to know I'm there to entertain them, not to kill them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Serious Man. A Review.

     It was pretty serious. 
     A Serious Man is listed as a black (or dark) comedy; I won't take that away from the filmmakers, and I could see it at parts, but it just wasn't my thing. Usually I do enjoy a good black comedy.  And I usually enjoy a tale told by The Coen Brothers.  This one just didn't do it for me.
      It is a very well done film.  The shots are beautiful.  It's put together superbly.  I trusted that the filmmakers were trying to tell me an important story.  But it fell on deaf ears, I suppose.  I'm willing to say that this may have been a very good film that just wasn't for me--I was not the target audience.  And really, that's ok.  An overly broad target audience tends to muddy the film anyway. 
      It's also a very small film.  And a very Jewish film.  And I drifted off to sleep for a few minutes in the middle, so maybe I missed something really important.  Except I read through all the plot synopses I could find and indeed, I did not miss a thing.
     What made the characters fit into the black comedy genre also made them unsympathetic.  They had virtually no redeeming qualities, so who cares when their lives fall apart around them?  And I only say virtually no because there is a chance that I'm just forgetting one or two, and I suppose by virtue of being other humans we can assume they have some sort of redeeming quality.  But I didn't see any.  As far as I could tell the main character, Larry, was surrounded by asses and dicks.  He was extremely put-upon, but also, he was put-upon by asses and dicks.  Why would he let that happen, over and over?  Because he's serious?  Nah, it's because he's a giant wuss who won't take control of anything.
     He wants to be serious, though. And I think that was a huge part of the point of the film.  It was sort of about who we want to be, and how we think something is in charge; that there's some sort of destiny leading us down a path.  And when things keep coming up shitty we look for answers, but all we get are stories.
      Overall, I did not care for A Serious Man.  Fine, I'll just say it--I did not like it.  I read a review stating simply "A film worth watching."  I disagree.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Get In The Mood

     Since there is only the one Thanksgiving song, and it's been co-opted for Christmas anyway, it seems the best way to get in the holiday spirit is by listening to Christmas Music.  Or, as I like to call it--December Holiday Music.  And yeah, I know it's not December yet, but it's important to make the playlist early so that when it is December, it's ready to go.
     A holiday playlist is just as important as any other playlist.  The order of the songs is important, and with so many artists doing so many different arrangements of the same songs, it takes time and patience to do it right.  Or, you can just throw whatever songs you want on it and hit shuffle because it's all Christmas music and people probably won't really pay that much attention.
      For your consideration, however, I submit the following Sufjan Stevens song:
     It's a good addition to any Holiday mix!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Using Technology To Its Fullest

     The new HD cable box came yesterday.  I was pretty excited about it and hooked it up as soon as I could.  Ah, glorious full-blown High Definition television.  Finally. 
     I got the HD a few months ago.  I had an HD antenna and it delivered great picture, though sometimes it would cut out, like antennas do, especially when the weather was bad.  Then when I moved, for whatever reason, my TV got hooked up to a standard definition cable box.  I didn't want to complain about it, but it brought about a bit of sadness.  SD on an HDTV is just sad, like a puppy with a broken leg.
     So when I finally got the full-blown HD cable box hooked up to my beautiful HDTV, it was like the puppy was cured and started crapping beautiful rainbows.  Beautiful high-def rainbows. 
     As I was flipping through the numerous channels, I stumbled across Leave It To Beaver.  Ahh, the good old Beav.  I still don't understand why the kid's nickname was Beaver, and why they said it so damn much.  But I got sucked in, mostly out of a morbid curiosity for the fifties sentimentality people seem to long for.  You know, things like racism and child abuse that were just so darn funny back then.  Anyway, the point is, I got sucked in.
     My roommate came home; he knew the cable box had come and wanted to check in on it.  He came in the my room to ask very excitedly "how's the new cable box?" and he stopped short to look at the TV.  I was just as enthusiastic about it.  "Great, the picture is--oh, well, I guess Leave It To Beaver isn't the best--"
     "Yeah, I don't think you're really taking full advantage of the HD technology.  If I would have known you were itching to watch shows that existed before color, I might not have tried so hard to get you the HD box."
     We actually had a pretty good hardy laugh over it.  I was using my new HD cable box to catch up on reruns of Leave It To Beaver.  This morning:  The Dick Van Dyke Show..  Or, The Dick Van Dyke Show, as one of my favorite Family Guy bits calls it. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Hate Rats

    It might not be cool of me, but I don't care.  I hate rats and am decently frightened of them.  When one scurries across my path, I shriek.  I shriek like a very big girl. 
     People say that rats are more afraid of people than the other way around.  I don't buy it.  I think they're pretty damn ballsy for being supposedly afraid.  This morning I watched--from a safe distance--as a rat walked scurried up and down the subway platform, where the people stand.  I suppose if the platform were full of people, the rat wouldn't have been there.  But I was there, and at least two other people, and the rat was just scurrying back and forth, being all ratty.  I couldn't decide where to stand, because I wanted to be very far away from the rat, but it kept coming toward me.  I stood really close to the edge, but then of course, I saw a few rats on the tracks and I got convinced they were heading toward me as well.  I felt trapped.  I held my breath and willed the train to arrive.
     Yes, earlier I said I shriek when I see rats and then I just said I held my breath.  Well, I wasn't going to shriek in a subway station.  I'm still trying to fit in.  Also, it didn't scurry across my path.  It was just hanging out, being gross and ratty.  So that doesn't warrant a shriek.
     I also think they'll go anywhere.  When I lived in Boston, I lived on a decently rat-infested street.  I would pull in the driveway and get out of my car as fast as possible and run to the front door.  I made a rule that the car door couldn't be open for any longer than it took for a person to get out of the car.  My roommate, let's call him Wave, made fun of me for this and asked for my reasoning.  I was convinced that as soon as I opened my car door, a rat would climb in the car and make it its home.  Wave thought I was crazy, but my car went rat free so I think I was right. 
     I used to get really upset when Wave or Des (our other roommate) left the front door open too long because of the rat parade I was convinced was staging itself under the porch.  And not to be too much of a girl about it, but after rats ran out of the trash can when I put new trash in, I made Des take out all my trash.  Once Des left a note on the house white board--DO NOT LOOK IN THE TRASH CAN.  I had to know, but I didn't look.  He then informed me that since rats are dumb and it rained, there were drowned rats in the trash cans.  I was officially off trash duty forever.
     I know rats will never go away.  I know some people keep them as pets.  Those people are gross and I am not friends with them.  I hate rats.  I wish they were dead.  I will continue to shriek at them when they scurry and hold my breath at them when they appear to be on the attack.  They're gross.  I hate them. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When I Pretend

    I pretend that bus trips to other cities are not exhausting.  They are.  I'm heading back to DC for the day today.  I leave in three hours, and the prospect exhausts me.  At first, it was a fun adventure.  I had a list of reasons that a four-and-a-half-hour bus ride could be fun.  It was a chance to catch up on reading, listen to music, watch Hulu on my phone, and take a nap.  Often, all four.  But now, the luster has worn off. 
     I'm sure part of it is the quick turn around.  That always makes it even more grueling, when you're on the bus longer than you're in the city you're busing to.  Today's trip is just about even--nine hours total busing time, ten hours in the city.  Except that a lot of that in the city time will be late at night and probably spent just waiting for the bus.
     It is a pain.  All those people who make comments about it being so are right.  But when it was going the other way--from DC to NYC--it was worth it.  And really, it's still worth it.  I want to go because I want to be in DC for the thing I'm going to DC for.  But the luster of the bus ride has worn off. 
     Also, I have no idea what was going on in Mulholand Drive.  I can say I was totally there for the ride David Lynch was taking us on, but I would be pretending.  I think large portions of it were dreams or hallucinations, and frankly I don't have the patience for such story telling.  I can tolerate dream sequences when they are clearly dream sequences and they're in comedies.  But when they're the first hour of a film and there has been no real break from the supposed reality of the film, you've tricked me as a viewer and I don't trust you as a story teller anymore.  Give me Amanda Bynes trying to play soccer in a pink ball gown, and I'm on board with your dream sequence.  Crazy amnesia lesbians in the middle of a murder mystery plot?  Nope.  I've stopped caring.
     I'm going to go out on a limb her and declare I did not like Mulholland Drive.  I imagine some people will be here soon to take away my MFA, but I stand by the statement.  I'm sure film studies experts will say I'm just too stupid to understand it, and that's fine.  The fact that I didn't understand it isn't really why I didn't like it.  First of all, it wasn't very funny.  Secondly, the lead female character was a stupid woman for the first half.  I hate that.  Also, at the heart of it, it was a love story.  Ugh.  I just couldn't care about these people.  I couldn't even pretend to care.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gnomeo & Juliet. A Review.

     Did you graduate high school?  Yes?  So you're familiar with the source material then.  And you know what a gnome is?  Then you've pretty much put together what happens in Gnomeo & Juliet.  It's the story of Romeo and Juliet, but with gnomes.  Therefore, it is adorable. 
     There's really no reason to make a version of Romeo and Juliet with gnomes, except to make Romeo and Juliet adorable.  I barely remember what happens, except whatever happens was pretty damn adorable.  And there was no double suicide at the end.  I suppose double suicides are not adorable. 
      The gnomes did not speak in traditional Shakespearean language, and I was thankful.  There were a few lines here and there, for example, Juliet was standing on a tower and started in with "Gnomeo, Gnomeo, where for out thou..." or something like that.  And then she just went on and on, in her gnome way.  Gnomeo hears this (a la the original) and responds, which makes Juliet freak out a bit.  The structure of Shakespeare was brought to a modern place, with contemporary reactions to that Olde English behavior, but with gnomes. 
     Another noticeable difference is that gnomes don't die the way people die; they don't get sick and old.  Gnomes get smashed.  It's a little bit shocking, actually.  I always tend to be surprised when a character in an animated film dies.  The could animate Patton and I'd be shocked at all the death.  I would hope they would find a way to keep cartoon Patton fighting; Gnome Patton wouldn't let a little pulmonary embolism get him down.
     Admittedly, I may have missed some of the finer points of Gnomeo & Juliet.  I was also making dinner while I was watching so I was in and out of the room.  But I'm fairly confident that mentally, I can grasp a film that's mostly about gnomes, and uses source material that's about 500 years old.  I agree with Gnomeo--the ending he made happen was much better than that pesky everybody dies ending Shakespeare wrote.  I also really enjoyed the scene where Gnomeo was talking to the statue of William Shakespeare, and the Bard was really excited about the tragic ending.
     I would watch Gnomeo & Juliet again, and pay closer attention this time.  I would also recommend it to anyone who enjoys things that are adorable.        

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lost in the Move

     By now, I'm used to losing things in the move.  It seems like an odd phenomenon really.  You put everything you own in boxes, you put those boxes on a truck, you drive to a new city, you unload the boxes, and then you take everything out of the boxes.  Yet somehow, everything doesn't add up.
     This time, I know exactly what happened.  Since I was moving out of the apartment but my roommate was staying, clearly, our things got mixed together and I missed them when packing.  This time, I lost my iron.  I hadn't even realized it until my new roommate asked me if I had one.  It seemed like since I had an ironing board in the closet, I would.  And I agree, that's a damn fine clue as to the ownership of an iron.  But then I realized I had just unpacked every box at no point did I come across my iron.  Blurgh, the iron was lost in the move.
     I consider it a different thing to be lost in the move than to just be lost.  The iron isn't gone.  It didn't fall into the ether.  I actually know where it is, but I'm never getting it back, so therefore it's lost.   I also lost my salt and pepper shakers.  They were Corona bottle salt and pepper shakers that I had stolen gotten from a bar in San Diego.  It's actually amazing I held on to them as long as I did.  I know they're still in that tiny DC kitchen, and I doubt Jordan and Bjorn appreciate them the way I did.
     At the same time, there are things that seemingly did fall into the ether.  These things are still considered lost in the move because how else does an adult lose things like movies and books?  In the move is the only way.  As I start to settle in I start noticing all of the other things that have been lost in the move.
     Modern Family Season 2.  I'm quite certain I bought this and that I had it in DC.  I can picture it on my hutch bookcase thing.  But now it's nowhere.  All of the boxes are empty, season 1 sets on the bookcase with an empty space next to it.  It longs for its partner.
     I've also lost Another Bullshit Night In Suck City.  It's a book I love.  I know I've loaned it out a few times to friends, but I was almost certain I got it back every time.  Nick Flynn's other book, The Ticking Is The Bomb, rests on my shelf alone.  Again, missing its partner. 
     I don't have a categorized list of all of my books and movies or anything.  It's possible I've lost other things in the move and haven't noticed.  But I really miss Modern Family and Another Bullshit Night In Suck City.  I've had The Critic DVD set for years.  I probably wouldn't be that upset if that got lost in the move.  It's a fine show, but I haven't watched it since I bought it in 2004.  In general, I have way too many things.  I've made the joke, more than once, that it would actually help me out if the moving truck were stolen.  But if the truck had been stolen, I could at least use the insurance money to get a new Modern Family DVD set.
     I also wouldn't mind losing these plastic bins I've had for about 11 years.  These were all the rage for storage way back when--11 years ago, I'd guess--and when I made my first move, my mother thought they'd be perfect.  And 11 years ago they were fine.  But now, I can't get rid of them, and I hate them.  I suppose if I had been living in the same house and had a basement and needed to store Christmas decorations, I'd still find them useful.  But now, they have become the bane of my existence.  Now, they just take up space. 
     In the final episode of Friends Monica gives the movers some money and says something about "a little something extra if that falls off the truck."  I've always wanted to be able to do that.  Dear movers, twenty bucks if these plastic bins get lost in the move.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Didn't Forget Thanksgiving

     This morning, Mary had a few things to say about remembering Thanksgiving.  I think Martha Stewart fueled her fire, and to that I say "Mary, why are you paying that much attention to Martha Stewart?"  But I digress, and I see the point.  I suppose it does feel like we skip right over Thanksgiving, going right from Halloween decorations to Christmas decoration, and leaping right into Starbucks Red Cups.
     There was one year when Starbucks tried to do a soft launch of red cups, and really play up Thanksgiving first.  It didn't work.  However, they still have Thanksgiving Blend coffee that comes out in November.  It's a wonderful blend of Guatemalan and Sumatra coffee with spicy tones that bring out the flavor of pumpkin pie and sage-brushed turkey.  It's a damn fine cup of Thanksgiving coffee. 
     I imagine it's the lack of gifts and commercialization that makes Thanksgiving seem like a lesser holiday.  Personally, it's one of my favorites. If there were fireworks involved, it'd win hands down.  But even without fireworks, it's still a festival of food, drink, friends, football, and fun. 
     I have a special tradition for Thanksgiving.  First of all, I don't call it Thanksgiving--I call it Drunkfest.  As we get older, it gets abbreviated to D-fest.  It's less about actually getting plastered and more about maintaining a constant level of intoxication for four days.  For the last six years, my friends and I get together for the whole four days and eat and drink and eat and drink.  We watch the Michigan (GO BLUE!) game every year, and we play games.  We spend the weekend with our framily--our friends who are family.  Ah, I remember last year's ever so fondly.   Replete with Thanksgiving Hangover
     It's such a tradition for all of use now, it doesn't feel like something that needs to be explained.  But recently, I had to explain it to people.  The question that always comes up is "how do you explain it to your parents?"  I actually don't understand this question.  I'm not an 8-year-old off to a keg party, so really, I don't think I owe my parents an explanation.  Also, I just have the one and she's pretty easy going about the whole thing.  Six years ago I said "Ma, I'm spending Thanksgiving with my friends, so I can drink more."  That was pretty much the end of it.  Now, all our families just assume that's what's happening.  Also, when I'm done with the explanation, every one else is always jealous.   
     This year, like last year, D-fest is in Nofolk, VA.  I have my flight booked and the email chain has been going for quite some time.  The framily is all a-flutter with excitement.  We will make it a point for Martha Stewart to eat her words.  Of course that means we'd have to invite her over and show her how awesome our d-fest is, and by now she probably has a few invites to invites to juggle.  She'll just have to take our word for it.  We will make sure Thanksgiving stays on the holiday map. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Bread

     With every move comes the task of finding a new grocer.  My mother claims to understand this, but she doesn't truly--she has lived in the same town for twenty-four years.  She is pretty settled into her grocery store needs.  Sure, sometimes she wafts between Meijer or Kroger, but in general, if she wants to buy Hillbilly Bread, she can, with no trouble.
     When I moved to DC, the grocery store situation put me in a tailspin.  In the district, the stores are tiny.  Very narrow aisles and a lot of people.  I tried to research online when the best time to go would be, but the reviews were all the same: don't go on the weekends, it's terrible.  So I was relegated to awful grocery shopping for the duration of my stay in the district.
     The first visit or two to a new grocery store is typically filled with disappointment and dismay.  The fact is, all stores are not created equal, and they do not all carry the same items.  So when you've finally gotten used to the new bread you were using in Boston, you stand in front of the district's bread selection and whimper a little.  The cycle has to start over.  Grocery shopping should be one of the things that can stay constant when everything else is in flux.  But it is quite the opposite.
     While in the district, I developed a system.  I split my grocery trips between Safeway and Trader Joes.  I was a Trader Joes novice at the time; I've grown to love it, but face it, there are a few things you just can't get at TJs.  And that's where Safeway came in.  And then every once in a while I would supplement getting exotic meats at the farmers' market.  It wasn't a perfect system, but I had it down.  I also had the contingency plan that I would only go grocery shopping before 10am.  It wasn't an easy contingent to keep up with, and there were some weeks I had to skip grocery shopping.
     Over time, I apparently fell in love with Trader Joes.  I didn't realize this had happened until I was standing in FoodStore last weekend.  At first, the idea of a normal sized grocery store was intriguing.  I had dreams of my previous Boston grocery shopping glory. But then I was standing in the aisles, desperately searching for fire roasted tomatoes, and I knew it just wasn't the same.  I missed Trader Joes.  It surprised me, the way feelings can sneak up on you like they do.
     Today, I am going on an adventure.  I'm going to find the Trader Joes in Brooklyn, and I'm going to get those fire roasted tomatoes.  And apparently something called Brownies-in-a-bag.  It's several subway stops away, and there's a good chance all my frozen foods will melt, but at least it will help me maintain a small piece of consistency.  It's the first step in developing a new grocery system.  And I won't have to switch bread again. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Secret Halloween Concerts

     I went to the Secret Childish Gambino Halloween show at Brooklyn Bowl.  I like to think this greatly increases my street cred.  I don't actually have any, but if I did, it would be a little higher now. 
     Overall it was a pretty fantastic day. It was my first Monday in New York.  I made a to-do list to stay on task and not make a vacation out of the rest of my life.  I managed to tackle well over 50% of the tasks, and then a magical tweet came through around noon.  Donald Glover announced he was the surprise concert at the Brooklyn Bowl; tickets went on sale at 6. 
     It seemed to me that this was one of the reasons you live in New York.  Because there are secret concerts that just pop up within six miles of your home.  I had happened to be wearing my Childish Gambino T-shirt at the time the announcement was made.  I can't be one of those people, so I changed T-shirts and made it to the Brooklyn Bowl at the perfect time.  I wasn't first in line, but I was also very comfortably in the middle of the line--guaranteed to get a ticket.
     The box office/ticket booth/whatever opened promptly at 6, and by 6:20, I had my ticket.  Doors opened at 6, bu the concert didn't start until 9, and Childish Gambino didn't go on until 10.  I wasn't really close enough to just go back home for a couple of hours, so I explored a bit.  Luckily on that same block was "The Whiskey Brooklyn."  I first went to the wrong door, had a short conversation with a guy named Jonathan trying to sell Whiskey, and then made my way down to the actual bar.  And forsooth, it was happy hour, so I treated myself to a few drinks and a burger. 
     I headed back over to Brooklyn Bowl in an attempt to get the best spot possible for this show.  It was standing room only, and for me, closer is not better.  I was pretty close at the Childish Gambino show at Bonnaroo and I was scared for my life.  I did not want a repeat of that.  Long story short, I nailed it, finding a spot that was close enough to really experience it, but also off to the side to limit the chances of being crushed.
     An amusing bit of trivia is that I have been to two Childish Gambino shows in the last year, yet I only know one of his songs.  And as you may have gathered from the playlist post, his music is not my usual thing.  But I was interested enough in Donald Glover to explore his music.  It's still not really my style, except for the fact that I sort of really love it.  He puts on a great show.  This guy isn't just a rapper, he really is a musician and a performer.  He is probably the only performer I've seen in concert twice having little to no knowledge of his music.  And it was amazing both times. 
     Also, I'm pretty excited to be able to answer "what did you do for Halloween?' with "Oh, I went to secret Childish Gambino concert.  You?"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Business Of Living

     Now it's time to move on past the excitement of moving, and get on to the business of living in this new place.  Really, I've accomplished quite a bit, but I would very much like to get rid of this pile of boxes in the middle of my room.  They are the last thing to be put away, and I believe I cannot settle in completely until it is done.  Not only because they're in the way, but also because they're full of books and DVDs, some of the most important things needed for living.
     I ordered bookcases from Ikea just a bit ago in hopes they would be delivered on Sunday.  The store is only a few miles from my place, the items were in stock, blah blah blah.  It all looked so convenient on the screen.  I was wrong.  I suppose in general, a week for delivery isn't very long, but I just cannot do a thing until I get those bookcases.
     I feel just a bit trapped by the cardboard everywhere.  It's an island I have to navigate.  The left over cardboard from the other Ikea items doesn't help much either.  It's a jungle of cardboard in here and I'm a monkey.  Except I'm a sad monkey who can't really figure out how to get through the jungle.  This is not a good metaphor.
    Also, I have many, many things that I need to do.  The biggest one of those things is to just go about life, in a normal way.  I need to do some laundry, make some food, get a job.  You know, normal living type things.  But the cardboard jungle makes this feel temporary, and laundry, food, and jobs are signs of permanence.
     I need to address something else; I've been consumed by this for the last three effing hours--the internet in this apartment is driving me insane.  It's consuming all of my thoughts.  It's amazing how much of my life revolves around the internet.  Nearly 90% of it, I believe.  And I do not know exactly what the problem is (and I am not looking for suggestions), but the connection keeps dropping out even though the signal is strong.  This makes me want to crawl in bed and pretend the world isn't there.  Because if I can't connect to it via internet, it might as well not exist.