Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Music: Britney Spears - Blackout

Album: Blackout

Artist: Britney Spears

Release Date: October 30, 2007

Genre: Pop/Dance

Anything I write about Britney's new album here is probably not going to change the already conceived notions in people's mind about the current state of her career and life. We've all seen the headlines, we've all seen the daily trainwreck of a life she leads in front of the paparazzi, we've all seen the VMA performance. But anyone willing to give this album a chance will be surprised at how good it is. It is a departure from her other albums, in the sense that pop!Britney is gone, she is no longer the co-writer of any of the songs, and she has definitely lived a thousand more lives since her last album, 2003's In the Zone. While a departure from her old sound, it is certainly a good one, probably one of the best albums she's put out. With that being said, it is the album where Britney is in it the least, overpowered by thumping electro beats and a heavily synthesized sound. Basically, all the songs more or less have the feel of the pulsating first single 'Gimme More,' which was produced by Timbaland protege "Danja" Nate Hills.

Blackout has a modern, albeit, heavily processed, sound- a testament to where mainstream music seems to be heading. Its relevance to pop culture today not only comes in its sound, but lyrically as well, with Britney taking on her status as tabloid/paparazzi fodder in songs like 'Piece of Me,' or her failed marriage/relationships in 'Why Should I Be Sad' (produced by Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes). This is a dance album, with Spears wisely steering clear of slow ballads, which were never her strong point anyway. Every track provides a strong beat, and is polished to a T in the hands of her producers. Her breathy voice flows in an out of songs, supplemented by bouncy beats and catchy hooks.

There are standout tracks of course, but the entire album as a whole is a piece of brilliantly produced work. No, I'm not overexaggerating this point. To get an artist like Britney in to the studio, to work with her not terrible, but certainly not great vocals, and to write the words and music that perfectly capture this tumultuous (to say the least) time in her life AND make it sound great? It is no easy feat that this is her best album in years. And unfortunately for her, that is to the producers' credit, not hers. But it is still a great album, and I hope people will be able to see through the craziness of her real life and appreciate the music anyway.

Recommended Tracks: Gimme More, Piece of Me, Radar, Heaven on Earth, Toy Soldier
Grade: A-


Scandalous Scholastics

Ooo, juicy gossip :x
Just caught this off of

Cliffside Park teacher free on bail:

CLIFFSIDE PARK -- A high school English teacher arrested over the
weekend on charges of having a sexual relationship with a student has
been released on $200,000 bail and suspended with pay pending the
outcome of his case.

Robert Ingenito, 27, who has taught at Cliffside Park High School
since 2003, faces sexual assault and child endangerment charges for
allegedly conducting an affair with a 17-year-old senior he met through
one of his classes.

The most surprising thing about this article? Not that this Mr. Ingenito was apparently doing it with a student, but the fact that he's suspended with pay. I guess he needs it to pay for a good lawyer :x

P.S. this totally reminds me of Gym Class Heroes' Scandalous Scholastics.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Bagel Off! Pal Park Edition

The Bagel. Halo of the breakfast world. For two dollars or less, you can satisfy your morning meal needs without the hassle of having to prepare it yourself. Sure a typical bagel has enough carbs to make you fatter than the queen of sea cows but, it is worth it.

The bagel comes from Eastern Europe where they were given as gifts to women in childbirth. Although it made a terrible contraceptive, the locals quickly discovered it made a delicious treat. The bagel finally immigrated to the US in the 1880s where it reproduced like bunnies and found its way onto every corner of New York City. But ever since the dawn of bagel creation, every man, woman, and child has asked the same question: Which is the best bagel shop in Palisades Park?

The candidates in this bread breaking competition were Boulevard Bagels, Dunking Donuts, Palisades Hot Bagels, Shoprite and the high school favorite Spring Donuts. The rules were simple. I could have any type of bagel but could only use cream cheese. The winner, the bagel most worthy to be sold in Jerusalem itself!

First up, the Onion Bagel from Boulevard Bagels. I’m not an onion man. I find it to be the Ugly Betty of the vegetables. It gives you bad breath and it makes you cry. Incidentally, it might also make you Mexican. However, this bagel had just the right amount of onion. Enough to make you sense the taste, but not too much to make you think you were eating a cheesesteak. It was toasted to a nice golden crisp and the cream cheese barely spilled over the edge, avoiding messy eating.

Next, the Everything Bagel from Palisades Hot Bagels. The everything bagel had a little bit of everything except for hotness. Who would want a cold bagel? I like my bagels hot, just like my temper when I get a cold bagel. Despite it being cold, the bagel tasted fine but next time I walk in there, Palisades Hot Bagels, I expect my bagel to be hotter than Malibu, California.

The Reduced Carb Bagel from Dunkin Donuts was an interesting change up to the other bagels. The first thing I noticed about this bagel was the failure indicated in its name. Dunkin Donuts was unable to create a Low-Carb bagel so it settled for merely reducing the amount of carbs from about 436 calories (a typical bagel) to 380 calories. 56 lousy carbs! Well done DD. It’s not really lying if you just lead them on. The bagel itself was surprisingly good considering the other stuff they sell for breakfast is usually crap.

If you like relays and the occasional stroke then Shoprite’s Garlic Bagel is the one for you. First you have to pick out your bagel, then bring it over to another counter so it can be toasted, go back to where you picked your bagel to get the cream cheese, and then bring over the plate of cream cheese back to the counter where your bagel is being toasted. Phew! And for a minute I thought it would be complicated. After all that you can sit back, relax, and wait about 20 minutes to get your bagel. Shoprite toasts your bagel with a light bulb. Once I got my bagel I knew just by looking at the one inch thick spread of cream cheese on each side of the bagel that I was in for a treat. I took a bite and felt my arteries clogging faster than the Lincoln Tunnel during rush hour. C for the bagel, A for excitement!

Finally, the Plain Bagel from Spring Donuts was slightly burnt, had slightly too much cream cheese, and all too forgettable. Spring knows that because it is located three blocks away from the high school, they can sell cardboard filled with Vick’s Vapor Rub. A 14 year old in the morning will eat anything!

And now, without further ado, the final standings.
#5: Shoprite- It really shouldn’t take that long to make a bagel.

#4: Spring Donuts- Their motto should be, “We’re All You Got, PPHS.”

#3: Dunkin Donuts- Reduce your expectations.
#2: Palisades Hot Bagels- You’d think they would stay true to their name.

#1: Boulevard Bagels- Shalom taste. Shalom hunger.

Congratulations to Boulevard Bagels for winning the first ever, and probably last, Best Bagel in Palisades Park Award (BBPPA). Without a doubt, the best bagel in town. As for the rest of you, better luck next year.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

What are you doing this weekend?

Fri: 62°F, PM rain
70°F, rain and thunder
61°F, sunny

Opening this weekend:
Dan in Real Life
(starring: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook)
Saw IV
(starring: Tobin Bell, Scott Patterson, Justin Louis)

Shop is offering an additional 15% off all sale items, ending at midnight on Sunday, Oct. 28th.

In honor of the coming chilly weather, why not bake up a batch of some delicious Cranberry-Pumpkin cookies to take to Halloween parties, courtesy of

The 4th Annual Halloween Masquerade Ball at Hiro Ballroom
363 W. 16th St, Oct. 26th.
Being billed as the "biggest Korean American party in the east coast." So, yeah, whatever that means/if that floats your boat.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Why I Love Ikea

At work, one of our current projects involves a YouTube-like site based in France called Dailymotion. Same deal as YouTube, but utilized moreso in Europe.
As I was browsing through the site, I noticed a bunch of Ikea ads. Does Ikea even have commercials in the States? If so, I doubt they have any commercials remotely similar to these in Europe.

Here's a few Ikea commercials that I've come across and that made me love Ikea even more.

Come to think of it, I saw an Ikea commercial yesterday. And compared to the European ones, the American ads are a lot .. cleaner. I guess it's trying to go along with its image .. wholesome, affordable furniture.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

10 Sites to Keep Your From Doing Your Work

If you're like me, you like to start off the day surfing on favorite websites. Here are ten of my favorite sites to check out throughout the work day (but shh, don't tell my boss!).

  1. Facebook - with so many new applications, it's hard to even surf through it in one session (I personally like the Scrabulous app). And remember getting outraged when stalkerish "updates" on each other were available? Well pretty soon, marketers will be able to get their dirty little ads out to you.
  2. Pink is the New Blog - a daily update on the latest pop culture bits floating around the world. Not vulgar, easy on the eyes, and tastefully done.
  3. CuteOverload - what other way to start the day than with pictures of cute animals?
  4. Life in the Office - the lastest news on "The Office." The forum is pretty active and friendly, too.
  5. Overheard in New York - New York City is pretty damn crazy. What if all that crazy was bottled up in the form of a quote-site? Learn the crazy street slang the kids are using these days. And learn how pervy, crazy, and indirectly funny people are.
  6. Wikipedia - what better way to kill time, especially if you could be learning at the same time, too? Look up various things to impress your friends later, or just read up on anything from movies you were wondering about to fun facts about Sweden.
  7. Television Without Pity - get episode recaps and news about your favorite television shows.
  8. CNN - hey, I don't have the time to turn on Headline News, so rather than waiting for the whole cycle of news to start from the beginning, I rather read it all on my own pace.
  9. Gmail - if you have a group of crazy friends who love to email each other back-and-forth, it makes checking your email during a slight break from work worth it. Plus, you can chat with friends who are also on, comparing woes of the day.
  10. Life in Boxes - hey, I work in marketing :D


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Restaurant: Lola's

Restaurant Name: Lola's

Cuisine: Spanish

Location: Hoboken

Price Range: $7-20/dish

Info: 153 14th Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
201) 420-6069

A group of 5 girls and I went to Lola's for a birthday dinner last Saturday night. Tapas is a Spanish cuisine, and are small dishes of food often served as a snack or with other tapas as a meal. The portions were decently sized for what they were (tapas dishes can be SO small), but the prices were usually around that of a regular entree dish. The place itself is very cute, with a Spanish village themed decor on the inside. The service was good as well, with a number of different waiters catering to us all night without being too intrusive.

We ordered the Spanish potato omelette, shrimp with artichokes and ham, clams cooked 'grandmother' style (yeah, I don't get it either), swordfish Lola's style, chicken in wine sauce, and the fillet mignon volcano. Most of the dishes were good- I'd definitely recommend the swordfish, which was cooked in a yummy tomato sauce with corn salsa on the side. The omelette was kind of bland, the clams were kind of salty, and the fillet mignon were 4 thinly sliced pieces of beef on a 'volcano', which was neither edible or useful in any way. And it was $16. =T We topped off the night with some yummy tiramisu (great, but not especially memorable) and a raspberry cheesecake that really hit the spot. The sangria was good as well, but it was really sweet and fruity, which is the way I like my alcohol. All in all, Lola's was alright, but I think it's more fun to go if you have money to throw around, as your tab can get pretty big by the end of the night.

Out of 10:
Atmosphere: 6 (the satellite radio/cable station they had blasting from the TVs kind of intefered with the pitch perfect cozy decor)
Food: 7
Service: 8
Overall Rating: B


Monday, October 22, 2007

Feature: Why Are Day-workers Complaining?

On any given day, you can drive down Broad Avenue in Palisades Park and see dozens of day-workers sitting on the sidewalks and standing on street corners. They’re Spanish illegal immigrants who wait on the streets for people to give them jobs. Usually contractors pick them up, but Koreans also hire them to help them move, paint houses, or do other manual work.

Some people say that they have tough lives and that they’re being exploited. This is absolute phooey.

We Give Them Good Money

As a Korean, my parents have hired many day-workers. And to be honest, we’ve been nothing but great to them. Most recently, we had them help paint our house. We paid them a whole seven dollars an hour, and what’s more, we fed them Domino’s Pizza (yum!), absolutely free of charge. That’s a pretty solid deal.

I know that technically, just technically, we paid them under the minimum wage. And one could maybe argue that Domino’s Pizza isn’t so much yum as it is a cheap, greasy meal.

But it’s still better than nothing, right? I mean, rarely do the workers get underpaid or not paid at all.

In fact, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor, this only happens a measly 12,000 times a year.

We Appreciate the Labor They Do

Some crazy critics will say that workers getting robbed out of their wages 1,000 times a month is unjust. Agree to disagree, I say.

One thing they can’t argue, though, is that we, as a society, recognize day-workers as a valuable part of our daily lives. We all know that they do the jobs that other people wouldn’t want to do for wages that others wouldn’t work for. Everyone knows that they are vital to American society.

What about the immigration debate, you ask? They don’t have a clear path to citizenship, you say? Even though they don’t reap the benefits of government programs, a study found that half of New Jersey’s undocumented workers paid into Social Security and Unemployment, you argue?

Those kind of are valid points. I suppose not everyone sees day-workers as important. But that’s just bureaucracy. Big government doesn’t represent you and me. It doesn’t represent those hiring day-workers. I remember my family being genuinely kind and appreciative to the workers we picked up. And I’m pretty sure that most contractors and employers feel the same way.

I’m sure that the story of the employer dropping a seriously injured day-worker off in the outskirts of Morristown, instead of taking him to a hospital, was just a rare fluke. Maybe even a lie told by that crazy New Jersey Department of Labor.

Even if it were true, hiring workers for dangerous jobs and not helping them after getting hurt is only a loose interpretation of exploitation.

We Try to Help Them

Exploitation or not, the loudest voices of complaints are probably the ones that do the most to help these people.

The letters of complaint sent to local government probably say something like, “please help these people so that they don’t have to be on my property. I want these people to do well so I can be happy, too.” After all, people are kind-hearted by nature.

And you know what? The government listens. In fact, in 1995, former County Executive William Schuber proposed and began executing the creation of an employment and training center. Not only would this center provide proper facilities (see: bathrooms) and serve as a place for contractors and day-workers to meet, as well as having free English classes available to them.

Well what happened to this plan? Those day-workers messed it up! Well, no, that’s a lie. Actually, the mayors of Palisades Park, Ridgefield, Cliffside Park and Fairview couldn’t decide on a location so the idea was dropped and very little has been done since then.

But the truth sounds so crude.

Despite the fact that the planning was halted because of location and nothing else is being done to alleviate the problem, it’s not all that bad. Waiting outside all day long, regardless of weather, isn’t so bad.

I think I’ve proved that the life of a day-worker isn’t as horrible as all the critics say. We give them good money, most of the time. We appreciate the labor they do, in our own special non-thankful sort of way. And we try to help them, by planning something and then failing to execute it. What more could they possibly ask for?

I have no idea either.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wheelchair Accessible?

So the other day, I was on the bus heading home, and I was tired and drained as I often am when coming back from work. The thing I love most about my commute home is that I can almost always be home in about 25 minutes from the time the bus leaves Port Authority. Well, at the first stop off the Turnpike in Pal Pk, the bus driver stopped to pick up a man who was in a wheelchair. This is not an easy feat, and I commended the bus driver for making the effort to accomodate him instead of blowing this guy off and letting another bus pick him up.

However, we ended up sitting there for 20 minutes while the bus driver moved the seats in the wheelchair section (I was sitting in one of those seats so I had to move), opened up a section of the bus, helped the man get himself and his wheelchair up the ramp, and tried to fold the ramp back up. I got off the bus after 10 minutes of the driver fruitlessly trying to fold in the stuck ramp. I was lucky cause the stop was 4 stops away from where I normally get off, so it was a walkable distance to my house, but it was still like a mile and I was tired.

So at what point is it ok to sacrifice the satisfaction of 20 some riders for 1 person? While all this was going on, more than half the riders got off, and the other half were visibly annoyed. It certainly wasn't the driver's or the handicapped man's fault that we were delayed even more because of a faulty ramp.

But sitting on the bus for 20-30 minutes (what should have been the length of time of my entire commute alone) made me feel a lot of emotions. I couldn't help but be a) embarrassed for the handicapped man who was sitting on the bus knowing he was the cause of this delay, and b) frustrated that the bus wasn't as wheelchair accessible as one might hope. After all, had it been used frequently or better equipped, the ramp wouldn't have acted up the way it did. It was an all around bad situation for everyone- the driver, the passengers, the handicapped man. And it brought up questions like- should the man have been using public transportation given his condition? was it wrong for us, the passengers to not have exercised some patience and tolerance in the situation? Hmmm.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kelly Clarkson Concert Review

Tuesday, October 16, 2007. 8PM at the Beacon Theater, NYC.

The stage set-up for Kelly Clarkson wasn't spectacular; it was pretty much set up like her latest album art, "My December." The lighting in the theater and overall acoustics of the theater was mediocre, too. But that was all easily forgotten when Kelly Clarkson performed.

I was pretty pleased to hear her songs off her past albums, and was satisfied with a few from "My December." My only complaint about "My December" is that a good portion of her upbeat songs are very .. moody - imagine a teenage girl writing in her journal about her scumbag of a boyfriend. But Ms. Clarkson admitted that she was in an angsty mood when writing songs.

The interaction between her and the audience was great. Midway through "Because of You," the crowd cheered her on for a good 5 minutes, that she actually had to stop midway to acknowledge her fans' support. After finishing the song, she wiped tears from her eyes in appreciation for the love that the audience was showing her.

The refreshing thing about Kelly Clarkson is that what you see is what you get. She didn't shy away from the little known fact about her ability to out-drink grown men. She told the audience about her infamous youtube video and how she came to write "Chivas" (a hidden track in "My December") after bumping into an old ex at a bar. Shortly after, she took a swig of Chivas Regal from a small bottle and went on to perform the song.

I'm definitely glad that I didn't pass up a chance to see her perform. Whether you're a fan of Kelly Clarkson or not, it's hard not to admire her talents as a singer.


Numbers Game

In politcal news, the Newest AP-Ipsos poll has President Bush's approval rating at a paultry 31 percent. Pretty bad but even worse considering what else tops the one-third mark.

Local- Palisades Park cost of living at 77 percent higher than the national average. Almost as
expensive as Iraq.

National- 34 percent of people believe that illegal immigrantion helps the US. Vote for Pedro?

Econonmy- 41 Percent of people admit to spending an hour or more at work. Damn you Facebook!

Sports- 26 Major Leaguer basbeball players hit .310 or better. Wow.

Movies- Mr. Bean's Holliday received a 51 percent on Still less funny than a presidential address.

Music- 40 percent of the people feel sorry for Britney Spears. Try losing the underwear Mr. President.


Your iPod's Horoscope

I stumbled upon "The iPod Deathclock" via Gizmodo. Basically, you enter your iPod serial number, answer a couple of questions on your usages (how many hours a week, how many times have you dropped it, etc.), and it gives you an estimated life expectancy of your iPod.

Of course, they don't say how they come up with that figure and the site is run by an iPod repair store, so you might want to take the data with a grain of salt.

That said, it can be a good excuse to pick up a new iPod Touch or Nano without feeling guilty ("I should get one now since my iPod is going to die in a month"). Un / Fortunately, my iPod apparently will survive a whole year before it poops out.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's Always Sunny in Minnesota

I just spent an extended long weekend in my birth state of Minnesota. Surprisingly for the state known for its '10,000 lakes', I didn't see a single one, but then again, I wasn't really doing anything but eating and shopping.

I feel like Minnesota is a pretty underrated state. Some quick facts: It is the 12th largest state by area in the US, the 21st most populous (5 million residents), the capital is St. Paul, the largest city is Minneapolis, and combined the two cities form a metropolitan area called the Twin Cities, in which about 60% of the state's residents reside. Minnesota is also the home to the headquarters of many corporations we know and love: Target, Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, and my personal favorite, the home to the Mall of America, the country's largest shopping mall. And yeah, people do talk like Bobby's mom on Bobby's World (don't ya know..), but it's kinda endearing.

What I really want to say is that Minnesota is also the home to the nicest people in the country. I don't know, maybe it's cause I'm SO used to people just doing their own thing and not being overtly friendly, but everyone is nice there. Like 'How are you doing today??' nice, not giving you a half smirk nice. And they're everywhere, whether you run into people walking your dog or are at Delia's buying something. It made me not hate people as I usually do. It was nice to believe in humanity again. I did miss lil ol' Jersey though, so it's good to be back.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Totally Awesome Thing To Do #232 - Travel the US in 80 Days Through the Help of Strangers

As a recent college graduate, I find myself constantly grappling with what I should be doing with my life. And every once in a while, I find somebody in my situation, except that, instead of sitting around and blogging, they are doing something awesome.. and blogging.

Matthew Danzico is a 25 year old guy from New York City who has created the "Around America in 2.0" project. Basically, he put up a video asking people to pick up, feed, and house him from one place to another for a trip around America in 80 days, and lots of people responded.

He vlogs about his travels around the country, and it's pretty cool. As I write this, he's in Palo Alto, California.

Do you think he'll need somebody to pick him up from Jersey? :x


What's Goin' On?

Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize.

It's official. From this point on, Al Gore will be known as "Captain Planet."
Let's just hope he sticks to his word and stays away from the Presidential race. Don't get me wrong, I love the man, and I really wish he had won when he actually did get all the popular votes back in the 2000 elections. But for him to redirect his attention from global warming to the duties of presidency .. I fear it will be his downfall.
So don't be tempted, Captain Planet!

Legally Blonde, the Musical.

MTV was airing the musical adaptation for "Legally Blonde" this weekend. As overly pink as it was, it was surprisingly good. The cast was great (especially Paulette!), and even though I thought I was going to fall into epileptic seizures every time Elle and her sorority friends were "pinkifying" on scene, I found it to be a successful adaptation.

The Cloisters.

I went to the Cloisters for the first time this weekend. All I can say is that every time I go to a museum, it makes me appreciate living so close to the city (and no, not "the city" as in Philly .. I'm talking about the original city, New York City, suckas!).
It also always amazes me to think that just a train ride uptown through all the hustle and bustle of the city can transport you to such a quiet, scenic piece of history. Only in New York.

Funny Story of the Day:
Yuri and I were waiting behind an elderly couple (well, not that elderly .. probably in their late 40's) to check out a map. While waiting, we hear a loud, curt trumpet-like sound, to which Yuri suddenly pulls my hand and has a weird look on his face. The couple turn away from the map to walk away, when the woman notices that we were waiting to see the map. She immediately blushes and in a tone of surprise, murmurs "Oops!" and hurries away.

This just goes to show you all - everybody farts.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Watching TV on Your TV is So Last Year

I have a very long list of websites I check on a daily.
One of them is Lifehacker, which is a blog that posts about things that are useful in, well, life.
It can vary from how to get out of traffic tickets to downloading a program that tracks your purchases as they happen.

One article that caught my eye this week was Six Ways to Catch Your Favorite TV Shows (not using your tv).
They suggest using the network websites like ABC, using a DVR, and using Bit Torrent, among other things.

In a period where everyone has broadband, watching TV on your computer seems like the next logical step. And what's even better is that you don't have to deal with annoying commercials or setting your schedule around a TV show.

Now if you'll excuse me, I downloaded the latest episode of 30 Rock.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Music: "Echoes, Silence, Patience& Grace" (Foo Fighters)

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

Artist: Foo Fighters

Release Date: September 25, 2007

Genre: Alternative Rock

Echoes Silence Patience & Grace
, the newest album by the Foo Fighters strings alternative rock ranging from ballads to the edge of emo. Echoes starts out well with The Pretender and Let It Die, then a vacuum appears to suck creativity and passion out of the middle part of the album. By the time you awake to hear the strange , yet charming The Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners, a blue grass instrumental, you discover a softer more gentle Foo . Mmm...soondooboo.

Although David Grohl's musical range is felt in the album, it is not enough to pull it out of mediocrity. The sound is solid but the lyrics are bland. It seems the Foo Fighters decided to play it safe with this one so don't expect to be impressed. If you're a fan, buy it. If you're not, wait for something better.

Recommended Tracks: Statues, Let It Die


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

You Can't Ever Go Wrong with Some PB&J

In response to my friend Julia's insightful post on the status of our favorite show, The Office, this season, I thought I'd throw my two cents in. Valid points were made, shrewd observations were had, and for a more articulate (but opposite) version of what I'm about to say, you should just read her post.

The thing I love most about the Office is how real they manage to keep the show, despite its moments of slapstick comedy and unbelievable characters. Because in the midst of all the cringe-worthy Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute moments, we need a moral grounding that keeps the show believable. Pam and Jim (hence known as PB&J from this point on) is the show's heart. This doesn't mean the show revolves around them, nor do I think it should despite my die-hard love for these characters, but it does mean we get the normal, straightman types to balance out the wacky. I think the writers have managed to do a great job balancing the broad comedy of the show with heart.

However, enough was enough. More than three seasons of keeping PB&J apart for the sake of making exciting television or to avoid the Moonlighting curse would have been the road taken by a lesser show. I too had reservations about seeing PB&J together this season. After all these seasons of pining for each other, would being together take away from the unrequieted love tension these two had built? But the witty banter and awful cuteness and the chemistry between John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer is still there, so PB&J works. It also works because the rest of the cast still play central roles in providing laughs and situations that only the Office can pull off week to week.

Kudos to the Office writers and producers for realizing that if there are no more reasons to keep these characters apart, then they should be togther, simple as that. Also kudos for rewarding the fans. It's pretty awesome when a show is able to do that and still remain true to the essence of the show. I have complete faith in this season and in good ol' PB&J.


Verizon Wireless' New Phones = Suprisingly Sexy

(photo from engadget mobile)

For those of you who use Verizon Wireless (probably 90% of the people I know around here) and are planning on getting a new phone, you might want to wait a month because they are about to launch a bunch of new phones.

Their headliner is the LG Voyager (the one on the far right). It's the upgrade of the enV. What is so special about it is that not only does it open up to reveal a qwerty keyboard, but the front is a touch screen. Those of you that are currently rocking the enV (myself included) know how the front screen is tiny and bulky.
The supposed release date for this phone is November 18th. A price hasn't been set yet, but you can expect it to put a significant dent in your wallet.

The other releases include the Samsung Juke (far left) is their entry-line phone "with a unique swivel action that quickly swings open to talk." It has a notable 2gb's worth of memory and will be released October 21st.

Next, they have the Blackberry Pearl, which is pretty much like the other Blackberr(ies?) except it has EV-DO and a headphone jack. The expected release date is November 1st.

Then there's the LG Venus, which looks like an upgrade to the Chocolate. The difference is that it has a "dual screen" setup, where the bottom screen is touch sensitive. It'll be out on November 4th.

I only got my phone in July, so I do have some buyer's remorse. I try to make myself feel better by recognizing that I won't be spending ungodly amounts of money on something I'll scratch up in a day. I still want the voyager though :x


I'd like some JAM on my bread, none of that PB&J

Once upon a time, there were two star-crossed lovers who just couldn't get the timing done right. She was engaged for three years, and he was in love with her. Then he was in a committed relationship, and she missed what she never realized was there the whole time.

This was pure television gold.

Everyone loves a tragedy. Everyone loves a challenge. Thus the birth of JAM, the sweet unrequited love between Jim Halpert and Pam Beasley. We fell pretty damn hard for them.

Season three only fueled the hopes of seeing Jim and Pam finally meet each other at the middle. We had our laughs, awkward moments, and surges of hope when we met "fancy new Beasley." By the end of the season, the writers of the show cruelly left us hanging, with the entire summer to wonder what became of our beloved JAM.

Out of JAM came what only Kevin could describe:

Kevin: Oh well. If they aren’t together now, then they probably never will be. I thought they’d be good together. Like PB & J. Pam Beesly and Jim. What a waste. What. A. Waste.

But no, Kevin; you were right on the dot. Jim and Pam were together. But they really did go from being our beloved JAM to just PB&J.

Shake it up, writers. Show us some more crazies. None of this lovey-dovey-holding-hands-cutesy thing. I'm getting bored here.


Cereal and Milk

Ah, cereal and milk, milk and cereal, who doesn’t love it?? Lately I’ve been having cereal for breakfast- my Weight Watchers Honey Almond (SO good and only 2 points, score) with banana every morning. I feel like cereal is the one thing that instantly brings back memories of childhood; it takes me back to the days of standing in the cereal isle wanting Kix, no wait! Lucky Charms, no- Apple Jacks!! (insert my mom’s exasperated face here.) I’d buy a whole box of whatever sugary cereal I wanted, then would get through maybe a fourth of it and decide I wanted to try something else, much to my parents’ annoyance. I’ve never understood the whole ‘I just ate an entire carton of ice cream in one sitting’ thing, but I totally get the ‘I just ate the entire box of cereal while watching the Hills’ thing. You just can’t get enough, and before you know it, you’re staring down the bottom of the empty box wondering how the hell you managed to eat all that.

This kind of brings me to what I really want to talk about regarding cereal, the peculiar relationship it has with milk. The chicken or the egg? The cereal or the milk? Whatever you prefer, whether it’s cereal first then pouring in the milk (a choice I wholeheartedly approve) or the other way around, there inevitably comes a moment where one runs out before the other, right?? You’re munching away, and before you know it, the cereal is gone and all you have is your milk. Or the cereal. So then you play that game of, ‘ok, let me put in some more milk’ ‘oh now there’s too much milk, let’s put in more cereal’ ‘ok, let me put in more milk for the added cereal.’ And before you know it, you’ve eaten another box of cereal. And a whole carton of milk, too. You would think, all these years of cereal eating would make one a pro at this, but the perfect cereal-milk ratio has always been so elusive. It’s almost as hard as figuring out a math theorem. Or something like that, you know what I mean. These are the things I spend time thinking about.


This Halloween, I'm dressing up as Global Warming!

Halloween is near. I'm too old to go trick-or-treat, of course, but something about this crisp, fall weather makes me feel so nostalgic. It makes me want to make a cup of hot chocolate, wear a pair of pajama pants, lounge around in my old Michigan hoodie, and sit in bed just to read ..

But wait a minute. I'm drinking iced coffee, wearing shorts, a tank top, and sitting in an air-conditioned room, working on a crossword puzzle. And it's October.

Here in the Northeast, we usually get a variety of seasonal weather: it's hot in the summer, it's nice and cool in the fall, snowy in the winter, and sunny with a refreshing breeze in the spring.

So what the hell gives?

Whoever still thinks that global warming is just a silly little gimmick the crazy liberals came up with, better be sweating their balls off. And they better be getting used to it, especially if they still insist on driving their stupid Hummers and other SUVs to the local market down the street.

Can you imagine going out to trick-or-treat in this kind of weather? I imagine a lot less fancy costumes and kids dressed up as "lifeguards" or "kids who really wanted to dress up as a mummy wrapped up in shrouds, wicked witches in their black capes and pointed hats, or an Easter bunny .. but decided to wear their summer clothes instead 'cause it's so freaking hot."

This Halloween I'm going to stay in a nice air-conditioned room and if kids are actually brave enough to venture out in this heat, I'll give them ice pops.


Monday, October 8, 2007


America! The top five movies at the box offices are The Game Plan, The Heartbreak Kid, The Kingdom, Resident Evil:Extinction, and The Seeker. Are you kidding me?!?!? Talk about getting lazy with the quality.

The Rock (I can't bring myself to calling him Dwayne Johnson) I'm sure is charismatic but this movie is clearly meant for seven to ten year old girls. Ben Stiller has played the same character in the same movie for the past 10 years. I am officially rooting for the zombies so we can bring the Resident Evil series to an end. The Seeker...terrible, F. I have to admit that I was somewhat curious about the Kingdom but I've been warned aplenty about how disappointing it is.

Ok movie industry, the people have shelled a combine 47.6 million dollars on this crap. You owe us the good stuff!



A Little Word of Welcome.

Hello. If you are reading this, you are in for something that will rock your world. Lifeinboxes will be your resource for all things entertaining, biting, informative, and f-ing awesome.

We are a group of friends who have spent a good part of our lives in a little square mile (a box, get it??) town called Palisades Park, whether it was surviving one of the worst ranked school systems in the state of New Jersey, or leaving to live out of the county/country/state and coming back for more. We are former students, bums, working “professionals”, and/or whatever else you want to label us as, or box us in as.

The name of our blog is pretty self-explanatory. Lifeinboxes basically means that we're all young and living lives of transitions. For us specifically, that means we're adjusting to post-college life in various ways, and trying to navigate the real world that has been thrust upon us. Some of us are literally living out of boxes, with all of our college baggage still packed up and in various states of unpacked-ness. But whether you fit into our 18-24 demographic or not, you are most likely living in a box (town, city, house, office cubicle, so forth), being pigeonholed in a box (check one: male/female, white/black/asian/hispanic), itching to break out of a box, wanting to think outside the box, or simply enjoying your lifeinboxes.

The purpose of our little blog is to write about the things that interest us and are relevant to us, and therefore, to you. Hopefully. We all come from varied walks of life (so, never mind the fact that 75% of the writers on this blog are Korean American, ok??), have different experiences, and have diverse feelings when it comes to things that matter and don't matter. Should make for an entertaining, or in the very least, a readable, blog, right? Check back often for regularly updated entries of shrewd observations, insightful reviews, and hi-larious commentary on everyday life. Riveting stuff, folks. Lifeinboxes. It's where you want to be.