Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Hi, my name is Jennifer and I'm addicted to the CW's "Gossip Girl."

[group: Hi, Jennifer.]

I mean, how could I NOT be? As a fan of such amazingly-scripted teen classics as "Heathers," "Sixteen Candles," "Breakfast Club," "Clueless" and most recently, "Juno," the show appeals to my need to see impossibly smart and attractive young people acting cruel, clever and outrageous.

A mixture of witty dialogue and teen reality show over-the-topness (think "My Super Sweet Sixteen" and "The Hills"), "Gossip Girl" even has a dash of old school flava thanks to some well-timed adult melodrama (Kelly Rutherford from "Melrose Place" plays the gold digging mother of one of the show's stars).

[group: Really? Wasn't she also on that short-lived black soap opera, "Generations?"]

(yes) Anywho, don't take it from me (I'm totally sleep-deprived and unable to do the show justice in my brainmelting state). New York Magazine has a great cover story, "The Genius of Gossip Girl," that will explain everything: http://nymag.com/arts/tv/features/46225/

BTW, I love how Dan forwards links to articles he himself hasn't read (weirdo). Here's the Cliff's Notes version: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=4683880&page=1

One of the "OMFG" promos for the show hyping its glorious return from a writer's strike-induced hiatus.

Anyway, I'm very fortunate to have a great support group that shares my addiction.

[group: Aw, thanks!]

Um, no, not you. I'm talking about my friends Jeremy, Dan and Susan.

[group: (collective sad face emoticon)]

Anyway, after helping each other through this difficult time (i.e. the writer's strike and the show's 3-month absence), we celebrated the return of evil, headband-wearing bliss tonight. After trying unsuccessfully to secure a room for our little support group at The Plaza (where much of the show is taped), Jeremy hosted a "Gossip Girl" viewing party at his apartment on the Upper East Side (duh, where else?).

Three words: Best. Pizza. Ever. Oh wait, and the show didn't suck, either. In fact, the strike was the best thing that could've happened for us fans. It gave the writers time to regroup and script us something better than yet another ho-hum masquerade ball or sappy "Blair and Dan sneaking off to romantic W'burg" scene (nothing says "romance" like waste transfer stations).

After the show, we reflected on what we'd just learned (um, stealing your snotty frienemy's Valentino dress is okay if you can produce a hottie to appease her anger after?) and reaffirmed fave quotes ("who just turned 12?" "(please take your dirty package off the table) Oh, if I had a dime for every time I've heard that one"). Then, Dan pointed out that Jeremy's TV is HD, but we'd watched it on basic cable (ew). OMFG, NO GG in HDTV on UES? WTF?

On the train home (411: "What city and location?" Blair: "Brooklyn, it's in NY, I think."), I had another OMFG moment. It occurred to me that there might be something wrong with a 34-year-old woman who enjoys watching a high school hyperdrama. I thought of the innocent friends I recently tried to recruit to share in my addiction like some vampire or Scientologist (sorry, Tania). Was I masking the problem by seeking comfort in numbers?

Okay, alright already! (sigh) I recognize that my addiction could be a symptom of a larger problem: a refusal to grow up and buy a house or something.

[group: Breakthrough!]

(sob) Every time I turn on the TV, it's a reminder that I'm avoiding "grown-up" things like, um, whatever grown-ups do. (sniff) Shouldn't I be watching other crap like "House" or "CSI" -- no, seriously, what do normal people in their mid-30's watch?

[group: How the hell would we know? We're in the same "still shopping at 'Forever 21' boat as you, sister.]

So be it. Whether it's some rebellious act against my inner adult or just a harmless love of witty banter spoken by those least likely to say it, I'm not about to stop watching. My name is Jennifer and I'm addicted to "Gossip Girl." Thanks for letting me share.

p.s. if you haven't caught an episode yet and like the same kind of junk I do, the CW's site has your fix. You can watch all the fun you've missed: http://www.cwtv.com/shows/gossip-girl/episodes
(consider yourself bitten -- you know you love me, xoxo)

Snapped on the way to Jeremy's house (cue GG intro, "Hey, Upper East Siders. Spotted on Park Ave racing toward a certain media mogul's apartment to indulge in a TV show well below her age demographic: J looking like a 34-year-old in denial.")

Monday, April 14, 2008

My pet needs a pet

Last Monday, my roommate of 6 months moved in with her boyfriend, taking her incredibly large but surprisingly friendly cat with her.

It's been a strange transition for me so far with the room vacant and no plans to fill it (my man is finally moving up to NYC next month). I kinda like the room empty if only because it leaves so much to the imagination. I bought some frames for its walls tonight (figures that I'd buy frames before furniture) but have no idea where I'll go next with it.

Anyway, while it's been a strange transition for me, it's been a very difficult one for my little cat, Eve. In 1996, I adopted kittens who I named Adam and Eve. Sadly, Adam passed away last June from cancer. It was a very emotional time for me and especially his twin sister who had never been apart from him her entire life.

When my roommate Teruko moved back to Japan in August, the quest for a new roommate began. I decided on a cool chick named Nikki from Colorado because she seemed sane and she'd be moving here with a cat (whose company Eve desperately needed).

In October, Nikki and Machiatto moved in. At first, the cats didn't seem to like each other but by Christmas they had grown tolerant of the other's company. Their relationship had just advanced to the "stalking-and-chasing-each-other-like-freaky-cats-do" level when Nikki informed me in March that she'd be moving. Since Nikki and "the bob cat" left last week, Eve has been inconsolable.

On the rare occassion that she wanders the house, she meows incessantly the entire time. I've found her several times in the vacant room, facing an electrical outlet while meowing very loudly at it. After doing a lap of the apartment, she races to find me (still meowing) and doesn't leave my side for hours. When I'm on the phone, she meows the entire time. When I'm in the kitchen, she meows the entire time. When I go to the bathroom, she's still meowing. When I get into bed, she meows at me until finally falling asleep near my pillow.

Eve in the 2nd bedroom next to her new friend, the electric socket.

Granted, she's always been a "talker" but never to this (annoying) extent. Before, her meows were limited to food prep and wakey-wakey time. Now, it's an all day, all night meowfest. And, I awake to find one of Machiatto's toys that Nikki left laying in front of my bedroom door (despite me putting it back in the living room each time). Tonight, for the first time in her 12 years, she sat on my lap.

I know people have a tendency to read too much into their pets' behavior but I think she's in a great deal of emotional pain. I need the cat whisperer or something.

If she's been traumatized by all this coming/going of people and pets in the apartment, I wonder if I should get another pet to keep her company? But, getting another cat doesn't appeal to me and my schedule is just too unpredictable to get a dog.

Hmmmm, how crazy would it be for me to get her a pet guinea pig or hamster? If I did, how likely is it that I'd come home to find her knawing on its head?

Curious to see if there's an alternative to getting a live pet for my lonely pet, I Googled "pet's pet" and found "Snuggle Kitties," conveniently defined by the site as:

SnuggleKittie™ (Snǔg’l Kĭt’ĭ) noun. 1. A stuffed animal with a heart beat and heater. 2. An item to cuddle, curl up or sleep on for comfort. 3. A snug, cozy friend for animals that eases crying, loneliness and separation anxiety. 4. An award-winning virtual mom. See also friend of animals and your pet's pet.

While I can't be sure that dropping $30 on a "Snuggle Kitty" will put an end to Eve's 24/7 meowing and overall neediness, I'm 100% sure that doing so would qualify me for official "crazy cat lady" status. Actually, blogging about it is probably proof enough for a complimentary "Cat Fancy" subsription. Shit.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Truth in advertising

Nothing much to report except I was just watching one of my guiltiest pleasures ("Keeping up with the Kardashians" on E!) when this commercial came on:

Love it! If I'm ever in need of a preggo test, I'll be sure to give my $ to Clear Blue for making me laugh today!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Unsound thoughts

After a quick 2-day trip to RI, I was making my way back down 95 to NY, singing along to Kid Sister's "Pro Nails" when the sound suddenly cut out. I checked the iPod -- nope, still playing. I unplugged it, replugged it, checked all connections. Still, nothing.

After 10 minutes of tinkering, I resigned myself to AM/FM radio but found it wasn't working, either. Although all lights indicated the radio was on and emitting sound, I heard nothing. Hmmmm...after nearly 12 years of being my car, had it finally tired of playing crap booty music?

I was still 45 minutes outside of NYC and entering the hateful part of CT where the scenery takes a back seat to aggravating traffic. As the traffic began to build, so did my level of panic at the prospect of facing it without music or sports radio. What would I do? How would I pass the time between brake light flashes?

I'd have to do the very thing I'd been avoiding: think. Not that I mind thinking but between my family's health in RI and the eternity of work waiting for me at home, the thought of thinking made me think otherwise. So, I gave my mind stern directions for its wandering: as long as it didn't think of family or work, it could go where it pleased.

As the distance between me and the city decreased, the spectrum of thoughts increased. My mind is prone to think of pretty random shit; once, I was hard at work when I became distracted:

"Is there a city in the United States called 'Far Enough?' I'll bet there is. I mean, if I was a pioneer on a wagon trail headed out West, I probably would've called it quits in Ohio and said, 'okay, this is far enough.'"
I had to know the answer. After 30 minutes and one exhaustive Google search, I concluded that despite it being such an obvious (and awesome) name, a US city of "Far Enough" does NOT exist. I came across a few unusual city names along the way, though, including "Truth and Consequences" in New Mexico (the story of how they got the name is no where near as interesting as I'd imagined: http://www.truthorconsequencesnm.net/area_TorC_ralph_edwards.htm).

So, where did my mind go in the quiet of my car?
I wonder if anyone has studied technology's impact on obscene phone calls? It's been at least 10 years since I've gotten one.

And damn, I bet prank calls are like cave drawings by now, too. I mean, how can kids today prank call anybody with all the technology that's evolved since I was a kid? Between Caller ID and *69, what's the point?

Wow, that's a huge chunk of my teenage life that'd be missing. I wonder how many summer days and nights I spent with my friends prank calling random people? There's the time me and Meagan spent a whole day taking turns calling people:

"Hello (in proper British accent), is Mrs. Bubbles there?"
Prank victim: "No, I think you have the wrong phone number."
"Oh (still British accent) I'm sorry, she must've popped."

Or the time we stayed up all night watching crap TV commercials and prank calling the operators who were "standing by":

"Hi and thanks for calling to order 'Memory Power!' Who am I speaking with?"
Me: "Uh, I don't know! I can't remember my name!"

Damn shame if kids can't do stuff like that anymore. Kids are smart; I'm sure some have figured out ways to get around technology. Hey, if they do still prank call, how come I never get any?
Of course, when I got within 2 miles of my destination, the radio's sound came back on. I guess my car has a loose wire connection or something (I can relate). Incidentally, if you know of anyone who does prank or obscene phone calls, please give them my number.

I don't have anything to illustrate this blog except two videos (in honor of random thoughts):

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Jesus rocks

After just one week of basking in the mind-melting joy that is my bedroom, Fresh (the new fighting fish) was found dead today in his bowl. I was shocked. As I flushed him down the toilet, I mused, "something's fishy here."

I mean, c'mon, that's it? After nearly an hour in PETCO conducting "fin offs" and closely weighing my options, he only lives a week? I began to examine the variables and how Wally lived nearly 3 years while Fresh only lasted one week. Hmmmmm...

Uh-oh. After Wally died, I replaced the bowl's aquarium rocks with decorative ones I'd bought at Ikea a few months back (after just one Sunday at Ikea with me, my Mom dubbed it "I-Kill-Ya" and refuses to ever step foot in the place again).

I didn't realize they could be poisonous but now that I think about it, I'm sure the rocks were made in either the Phillipines or China (most Ikea products are). I mean, if they make toothpaste with antifreeze, what do you think they coat deocrative rocks with?

I feel awful. Fresh was likely poisoned by Knaster (no, no, not a chemical but Ikea's weirdo name for the rocks I bought). Damn you, Ikea, and your impossible outsourcing of allegedly Swedish goods!

So, I stopped at the pet store tonight and bought aquarium-specific rocks (no fish yet). I feel really good about these new rocks if only because they were made by God and blessed by Jesus. Seriously. I checked the back of the bag just to be sure they weren't plutonium and was very surprised at what I read:

"If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." It is the desire of the Estes Company that the stones in this bag will cry out about the quality of product, and the integrity, honesty, and dedication of the owners and managers of this company. There is a reason why we find it so very important to hold on to these principles. If you want to know more, you can call us at 973-890-2220, or check out our website - www.estesco.com"

What the...so, of course I went to their site when I got home and found a very detailed explanation under the "Our Beliefs" tab as to why THESE rocks won't kill my next fighting fish. In fact, they'll probably ensure his soul's eternal salvation:

So, I've got aquarium rocks made by fishers of men. I feel good about that (it beats rocks made by Communist dictators). I'll get a new fish next week, I guess. Worst case scenario: I wake up one day to find a multitude of fish and bread loaves floating in the bowl with it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The 10-minute tourist

My eyes have been devouring pages about the American Revolution for the last couple months (going back to Ellis' "Founding Brothers" and more recently, McCullough's "1776" and now "John Adams)" so it should be no surprise that they saw the world around me today in an old, new light.

Still, I was surprised as I made my way to a workshop this afternoon in lower Manhattan. Emerging from the subway at Stone Street and Broadway, the sight of Battery Park no longer evoked images of Madonna's pyramid jacket and Roseanna Arquette hitting her head. Rather, the first thing I imagined were British ships, the Phoenix and the Rose, racing up the Hudson before crowds of awe-struck Continental Army soldiers and a helpless, frustrated George Washington.

Running my usual 10-15 minutes late, there was no time to pause and soak in the area's historic aura. (Yes, in spite of the yellow flourescent glow from Au Bon Pain and McDonald's, there are many corners in lower Manhattan where one can be transported back to a simpler time.) As I rushed down Pearl Street, I noticed a large colonial building and made a mental note to check it out after the workshop.

Turns out, the building was none other than the Fraunces Tavern -- the heart of the Revolution in New York City (as a meeting place for the Sons of Liberty before the war and the site of Washington's farewell address in 1783). I've walked by this building at least 20 times before in my life but it wasn't until today that my brain made the connection.

For 10 minutes, I stood in amazement -- it was as though I'd never seen it before. And for 10 minutes, I was a tourist in a city I've lived in for 8 years.

[Note: People who live in NYC go to great lengths to avoid looking like a tourist. It starts by wearing the "Manhattan uniform" (i.e. all black) for the first year you're here, walking faster while appearing disinterested, etc. This front devolves to a simple exasperated grunt at tourists who take up entire swaths of sidewalk while examining their blanket-sized maps of the city.]

Anyway, it was 10 minutes before I finally crossed the street to look more closely at the tavern's facade. Feeling the cold brick with an ungloved hand, I closed my eyes and wished I could open them to see for just one minute what the street around me might have looked like then. A taxi's horn jolted me back to reality and 2008 where my stomach was impatiently yearning for a Chipotle salad from around the corner.

A photo I took of the Fraunces Tavern with my BlackBerry (a REAL tourist would've used a 35mm Canon Rebel)

While reading "John Adams" on the train home, a cool kid in my head threatened to kick my ass. I started to wonder, "Am I becoming one of those history dorks? You know, the kind that show up on Flag Day to re-enact a battle or something? How close am I to dressing up as Abigail Adams to give tours of a field Alexander Hamilton once took a crap in? Oh. My. God. Those people are like 2nd cousins of Trekkies and Star Wars 'tards! Am I on a slippery slope to geekdom?"

Nah, it's just a phase. Next month, I'll move on to some other subject (Dan's been campaigning for fiction and the "Youth in Revolt" book he got me for Christmas -- it's got the word "revolt" in it so should be an appropriate segue). Just in case, maybe I'll make it a point to visit the "cool" section at Barnes & Noble and get a book about heroin or Chloe Sevigny.

Whatever comes next, my perspective is forever changed. Old buildings are new, familiar places are foreign. Beyond the "great hookah bar here," "passable late-night grub over there" and "that Dunkin Donuts never makes my coffee light enough," another layer has been added to my mental map of NYC. If it makes me a dorky history buff or annoying tourist every now and then, I'm cool with it.

(but if I start wearing FDNY hoodies or churning my own butter, please stage an intervention...thanks!)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Yes, as a matter of fact, I did fall in

(props to Nakeba for sending me this! Miss you, mama!)

In case you missed it, a man in Kansas called police late last month to report that his girlfriend had been sitting on the toilet for 2 years. He claims he asked her every day to come out of the bathroom, to which she would reply, "maybe tomorrow."

Medics rushed the woman to the hospital where the seat was surgically removed because her skin had fused to it. This is no April Fool's -- check the story: Woman sits on boyfriend's toilet for 2 years

...and video:

I'm most amused by the part of the video where the reporter somehow manages to say without a trace of laughter, "neighbors say they didn't know he had a girlfriend."

No, that's it. I'm done. It's just too easy to drop a load of jokes about those freaky fly-over states, so I won't stink up the blog with any more. I'll leave it to you to do whatever it is you do do with this kind of information.

But before I wipe it from my mind, there's one question I need to relieve myself of first: did she at least do a courtesy flush every six months?