Wednesday, December 31, 2008

At A Crossroad: To Get Inked or Not To Get Inked?

For the past few years, I've been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo. I know, I know .. it's kind of very permanent, painful, blah blah. And my one problem was that I didn't know what I wanted to get the tattoo of, and instead knew where I wanted to get it (inner wrist, very unique, I know).

Anyway, with the new year approaching and the idea of turning 24 in a few months becoming more real to me, I figured it's time. I found a design that I like enough to contemplate it for the past few months, envisioning how it would look and why I would want such a design.

Now, with today being the end of 2008, I am still questioning whether or not it's worth getting. Inner wrist tattoo can mean trouble, especially if I ever do decide to go work at some major corporation (for those who don't know me and my current job, a good portion of my coworkers have tattoos - and I'm talking sleeves and such), so I'm wondering if getting a tattoo at such a location will leave me with regrets.

We'll see what happens in 2009.


News of the Year by Month

2008 provided us with a lot of news. Historical presidential election, economic crisis, the highs and lows of gas prices... It was a dream year for the folks at CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC for sure. Here are the most interesting headliners of each month.

January- "Stunner in NH: Clinton Defeats Obama"
After a convincing win in Iowa, Barack Obama was the favorite to win the primary in New Hampshire by a 3 percent margin. This race also proved that John Edwards was not going to be a serious contender.

February- "Hollywood Writers Strike Ends"
After 100 days of striking, 90 percent of the members of the Writers Guild of America voted to go back to work. The strike lead to a three year contract that guaranteed writers a portion of the revenues generated through the Internet. No more Re-Runs!

March- "A More Perfect Union"
Obama delivers this speech after questions mount of his relationship with Jeremiah Wright.

April- "Running Out of Plane to Exploit"
New York Time Op-Ed columnist, Paul Krugman, outlines the ever decreasing resources of planet Earth and their effects.

May- "California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban"
A close 4-3 decision extended the right to marriage to all, regardless of sexual orientation. In November, proposition 8 which allowed marriage only between and a woman was passed into law.

June- "Clinton Endorses Obama, Calls for Party Unity"
Hillary Clinton officially ended her bid for the presidency as she lent her support to fellow Democrat Barack Obama.

July- "CDC: Salmonella Illness Spreads to 16 States"
Salmonella had us picking out tomatoes from our favorite sandwiches. I took my chances.

August- "McCain Names Alaska Gov. Palin as Running Mate"
A lot happened in August. Russia invades Georgia, the Olympics in China, Michael Phelps wins a record 8 gold medals. Yet, nothing as exciting as McCain's pick of Sarah Palin as his VP choice. Conservatives and comics rejoice.

September- "For Stocks, Worst Single-Day Drop In Two Decades"
The Dow Jones fell 778 points, nearly 7 percent, after an initial bailout plan was rejected.

October- "Senate Passes Bailout"
After rejecting a similar plan just two days before, the senate passed a 700 billion dollar bailout plan to help major financial institutions.

November- "Barack Obama Elected 44th President"
On November 4, Barack Obama won the general election in a 365-173 electoral vote drubbing of John McCain.

December- "Bernard Madoff Arrested Over Alleged $50 Billion Fraud"
Former Chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, Bernard Madoff, was accused of running a Ponzi scheme in which early investors were paid with money that came from later investors. Some victims include Elie Wiesel's Foundation for Humanity, HSBC, and most recently Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick.


[Mixtape] Best of 2008

My favorite gift to give at the end of the year is to burn my friends a mix cd of what I deem to be the best songs of that year. I really like music, so this list takes time to compile and figure out, since there's only so much room on an audio cd. So to mark the end of 2008, here is my mixtape of the best of '08!

Best of 08

1) The Ting Tings - Great DJ (Just a really fun song, their whole album is fun.)
2) MGMT - Time To Pretend (I love their sound. Electric Feel is another favorite of mine.)
3) Santogold - L.E.S. Artistes (No song on her debut album sounds the same, and I love that.)
4) Joshua Radin - I'd Rather Be With You (Mellow little song, he was invited to sing at Ellen DeGeneres's wedding earlier this year)
5) Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma (One of my favorite bands of 2008, I love how conversational this song is. The whole Vampire Weekend album is GREAT.)
6) Sia - Soon We'll Be Found (Her Breathe Me is my favorite song ever, and her latest album didn't disappoint. The music video for this song is SO AMAZING- it's a little piece of art.)
7) Britney Spears - Circus (Her current single, I also love the video for this song, especially from the 2:03 mark. Hot.)
8) Death Cab for Cutie - Cath.. (I went to go see them live this year, they put on an amazing show. Cath.. is one of my favorite songs off the album, I also like Pity & Fear.)
9) Pink - Sober (What a great song. She performed Sober at the American Music Awards, and I remember being thoroughly impressed.)
10) Duffy - Warwick Avenue (Not a huge fan of her- she kinda sounds like Minnie Mouse live, but I LOVE this song and the video.)
11) Estelle ft. Kanye West - American Boy (This song was everywhere this year.)
12) Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love (This song was also everywhere, I think she is so lovely.)
13) Adele - Chasing Pavements (Her debut album 19 has a really old-school flavor to it, and she has some really great set of pipes. The video for the song is extremely well choreographed.)
14) Kings of Leon - Use Somebody (My new favorite band. Apparently it's the only modern band my crush Robert Pattinson likes, which makes me like him and the band even more.)
15) Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue (Former child actress and Rilo Kiley lead singer released a solo album this year. The song is simple, it's kinda twangy, I love it.)
16) Coldplay - Viva La Vida (Their biggest hit ever, and with good reason. The swelling string section is the best.)
17) Lenka - The Show (Reminds me of Regina Spektor and Kate Nash- a poppy, fun, catchy tune.)
18) Rihanna - Disturbia (How do you not love this song? So catchy and dance-able.)
19) Britney Spears - Unusual You (I know Britney is on ths list twice, but this is the best song on Circus. I really really hope this is her next single.)
20) Jason Mraz - I'm Yours (Technically this song is a couple of years old, but was released officially in 2008. One of my favorites ever.)


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Entertainers of the Year: 1) Tina Fey

Well, kiddies, we made it to #1 on my countdown for Entertainer of the Year. Comedian/leading actress/writer Tina Fey beat out Twilight, the Beijing Olympics, Britney Spears, and Robert Downey Jr. for the title. The Associated Press actually stole my thunder last week when they announced her as their pick for Entertainer of the Year. And with good reason! In 2008 alone, Tina won an Emmy, continued producing/writing/acting on 30 Rock, was a leading voice in the Writer's Strike, proved she had star power to open a Hollywood movie, and, who can forget, turned in one of the most memorable impressions EVER as Alaskan governor Sarah Palin.

Let's see just how awesome 2008 was to Tina. In April her first starring role in a film was released, and Baby Mama went on to gross over $60 million at the box office. At the Emmy Awards in September, she won her first acting Emmy for 30 Rock, effectively squashing talk that she's just not that great of an actress. 30 Rock, a show she executive produces and writes for as well, went on to win for Best Writing and Best Comedy Series. And to prove that she has star power- earlier this year, she talked about wanting Oprah to guest star on 30 Rock, and well, it totally happened. In addition, she became $5 million richer, with a sweet little book deal.

But really, even without all of the stuff I listed, she would've taken home the Entertainer of the Year title for one of the greatest political impressions of all time- her take on
Sarah "You Betcha!" Palin. Her cameos on Saturday Night Live (where she was the first female head writer until she left in 2006) gave the show some of its best ratings in a LONG time, as well as helping 30 Rock's ratings in return. In a year that could be defined by the exciting presidential race, Fey's Palin impression made political sketches and impressions as relevant as the real-life candidates themselves. It's hard to be simultaneously entertaining while giving people something to really think about, and that is what Tina Fey's Sarah Palin was. I love her because she is more than just a pretty face. She is smart, she is a writer, she is a nerd, she is Entertainer of the Year.


Song of the Day: Thunder by Boys Like Girls

This song has been stuck in my head for the past few days. Granted, the beginning of the song kind of reminds me of a country song intro, but the lyrics are pretty sweet (not to mention that it is one of my "Twilight" songs - you know, a song that reminds me of Twilight :x).

The video seems kind of cliche, with the emo kids and their lip piercings, but deep down inside, when it comes to that little warm feeling you get when you are totally crushing on someone,

And though I hate to admit it, I kind of like Boys Like Girls :x


Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Entertainers of the Year: 2) The Twilight Phenomenon

Much has already been discussed on this blog about the Twilight series, both the books and the film. For restoring interest in reading again, the Entertainer of the Year title goes to the 4 books that make up the Twilight series: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. For the author who created the most talked about fictional characters we've seen in awhile, the Entertainer of the Year title goes to Stephenie Meyer. For the actors who made those characters come to life on the big screen and made tween girls squeal with delight, the Entertainer of the Year title goes to Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and the rest of the Twilight cast. And for the millions of teen girls, not-so-teen-anymore girls, and everyone else who took part in the phenomenon, the Entertainer of the Year title also goes to you. You can see where I'm going with this? Collectively, everyone and everything involved with Twilight mania is my pick for 2008 Entertainer of the Year #2 spot.

The Twilight phenomenon is actually nothing new, but it reached its peak in 2008. The first book was published back in 2005 to a lot of fanfare, leading to 3 sequels, the last of which was released this past August to a frenzy. Books don't usually drive people in droves to to their nearest bookstore, so the fact that the last book in the series, Breaking Dawn, sold 1.3 million copies in the first day of its release is super impressive. And of course, we had the film version of Twilight, which also broke all kinds of crazy records when it was released in November. By mid-December, Twilight has grossed over $175 million. It has also made superstars out of the young cast, especially Robert Pattinson, who made girls all over the country swoon and faint with his every move, and who now regularly graces the pages of US Weekly and other tabloids.

It doesn't look like the Twilight mania will die down anytime soon in 2009. Production/filming of the second movie, New Moon, is set to begin in March, with a goal of a November release. With director/cast shakeups already, the film is going to be much talked about throughout the year even before it is released. So, Twilight fans, congratulations on being a part of a huge pop culture phenomenon, and see you back here next year!


Friday, December 26, 2008

It's Official: Lifetime Wins How I Met Your Mother

Great news or bad news?

Lifetime has syndication rights to How I Met Your Mother.

Awesomeness? I mean, it's definitely a great win for Lifetime, and it'll definitely help me remember why I love HIMYM (I seriously am not impressed with the current season).

Catch HIMYM on Lifetime, starting January 5th on weekday nights. They will be airing back-to-back episodes from 7PM - 8PM.

I wouldn't mind seeing old episodes about the slapbet:
Slap Bet a.k.a Robin Sparkles


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays! :)



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 Entertainers of the Year: 3) 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

What to say about the month of August '08 other than that it was freakin' awesome. And it was so awesome for one reason- the Beijing Olympics, or the Games of the XXIX Olympiad as it is officially known. For 16ish glorious days, we were treated to a barrage of 10,500 athletes, 302 events, 28 sports, 43 new world records and 132 new Olympics records set. In the US, NBC Universal paid lots of money for the sole rights of broadcasting the Olympics, and it paid off- the Summer Games became the most viewed event in American TV history, with 211 million people tuning in for the 16 days of coverage. Worldwide, some 4.7 billion viewers watched the Games, compared to 3.9 billion who tuned into the 2004 Athens Games.

The 2008 Summer Olympics was so entertaining for numerous reasons. We had the stars- the record breaking Michael Phelps, the "World's Fastest Man" Usain Bolt, the director of the spectacular Opening Ceremony Zhang Yimou. We had the heartbreak- Chinese hurdler/national hero Liu Xiang unable to compete in his home country due to a busted Achilles tendon, US men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon's father in law dying of wounds from a knife-wielding man on the first full day of competition. And oh, the controversies- people protesting China's human rights abuses and crackdown in Tibet, which made the Olympic torch relay difficult, threats of terrorist attacks, and boycotts before the Games, and of course, questioning the age of the Chinese women's gymnast team, most of whom barely looked 12, let alone the minimum competing age of 16.

All in all, controversies and pre-Games worries aside, the 2008 Beijing Olympics is widely received to be a logistical success, as well as boosting the national pride of the Chinese people, who fought so hard to be a host of the Games. I was not as invested in the Athens Games 4 years ago, and so the 2008 Games made me realize just how amazing the Olympics are. The dedication and perseverance of the athletes, who spend pretty much 4 years of their lives training and training for this one moment on the world's biggest stage, it's pretty amazing to think about. And it shined the spotlight on some of my faves- the 41 year old swimmmer Dara Torres and the bubbly gymnast Shawn Johnson- proving that the Olympics really are about anyone and everyone- young and old, from all walks of life and from all corners of the earth. Amazing. See you in London, 2012!


Signing of the Day

What is recession proof and black and white all over? If you guessed the New York Yankees you are correct! The Yankees will soon sign first baseman Mark Teixeira to an 8 year, 180 million dollar contract. The team has signed 423.5 million dollars worth of contracts in the past month. They now have the four highest paid athletes in baseball (Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and CC Sabathia). Merry Christmas, Yankee fans. I can't wait till April to open this present.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Entertainers of the Year: 4) Britney Spears

Are you surprised? I think not. Just like Robert Downey Jr., B. Spears has had a hell of a comeback this year (she says she doesn't like that word, but really, who are we kidding). She started 2008 in the psych ward, which cost her custody of her sons and forced her father to become the conservator of her estate, effectively ending her freedom. Up to that point, every time she did something bad (shaving off her head, beating up a paparazzi car with an umbrella, the 2007 MTV Music Video Awards performance), I'd be horrified, asking myself if things could get any worse. And then she'd go and do something that answered my question with a resounding YES. Except...

Starting in February, all of the unflattering paparazzi shots of her stumbling out of nightclubs and not wearing underwear started being replaced with semi-flattering shots of her doing things like going to the dance studio. Going into the recording studio. Going to Bally's and working out. Reconnecting with her old manager Larry Rudolph and her formerly estranged parents. And then came her well-received 2 guest appearances on How I Met Your Mother. Well, things really started looking uphill from there. She won 3 MTV Music Video Awards in September, her single "Womanizer" hit #1 in October, MTV aired a much talked about documentary called "Britney: For the Record" in November, and her 6th studio album, Circus, was released on her 27th birthday in December. The album sold over 500,000 copies its first week, easily doubling the first-week sales of her last effort, Blackout.

Hopefully 2009 will be another good year for Ms. Spears. She is starting her worldwide tour in March (I'll see you at the 3/14 show in Newark!!), and after that, who knows. Like Robert Downey Jr., Britney had done everything she possibly could to ruin her career, yet she's managed to turn her mess of a life around and show the world what she is capable of. Move over Rihanna, Katy Perry, and anyone else who was just keeping the Princess of Pop seat warm for her triumphant return. Britney Spears is a phoenix- just when you think she's down and out, she rises from the ashes better than ever. Take that, bitches.



One of my students, Mingi, gets into trouble more often than not. I could imagine dealing with divorced parents at the age of 9 has that effect on children. To say that he keeps the day more interesting than it should be is an understatement. He once threw a football at another kid's face and then ran away and hid out in the library. I told him next time he throws a football at some one's face to man up and deal with the consequences. A couple of weeks later he and group of his friends got in trouble for throwing somethings around at the after school program. I asked each of his friends if they had thrown things and they each denied it. When I asked Mingi, however, he looked at me straight in the eye and said "Yes, I did." I was so proud him.

On Thursday night, Mingi's dad died. I found out yesterday and I couldn't help but feel heartbroken for this kid who's gone through so much already. I'm pretty stoic over death. It happens. I'm not sure if this is useful to you. Can you imagine, though, what it must be like to be 9 and to deal with this?

Mingi, your dad loved you very much.


Site of the Day: F*ck You, Penguin

The bf shared a site with me the other day, claiming that it was soo hilarious and funny. So being the thoughtful gf, I totally skimmed the site, politely agreed without actually reading entries, and forgot about it. But after perusing through the usual sites via RSS feed, I asked him for the link again .. and LOVED the site.

F*ck You, Penguin is basically a site that features an animal in a cute photo .. and the writer "tells the animal what's what."

My favorite entry by far is probably this little fella.


Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Entertainers of the Year: 5) Robert Downey Jr.

My life = pop culture and entertainment. It's really the only thing I know, love, and can talk at length about without ever getting sick of it. So it's fitting that since it is the end of the year, and 2008 was, as entertaining as ever, that I have put together my list of the top entertainers of the year. A single person or a phenomenon, each of my top five has played a part in making their mark on pop culture this year.

The number 5 spot belongs to actor Robert Downey Jr., who had a hell of a comeback year in 2008. After a tumultuous period in the late 90s where he was arrested numerous times on drug related charges, it's good to see someone get clean and put his talent to good use. The part of Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, was practically written for him, and great reviews and a great performance from Downey opened the 2008 summer blockbuster season with a bang. Iron Man made $98 million in its opening weekend, and worldwide, it has brought in over $500 million. He soon followed that up with Tropic Thunder, another well-received film in which he puts on 'blackface' and portrays a method actor playing an African American soldier.

Though Iron Man and Tropic Thunder came out in the summer, Downey is still reveling in the success of the two films. This month, Iron Man has topped many critics' best of the year lists, and he's received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his performance in Tropic Thunder. He is currently shooting Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, and next year will start work on Iron Man 2. After spending years doing everything possible to ruin his career, it's good to see this movie star back on top.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Old People of the Day

If you had one shot to be an online video sensation at the age of 70, wouldn't you want it to be rapping in a choir? Shocking, hilarious, disturbing are all suiting adjectives for this. Think about a group of senior women singing to you "don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" Hot flashes, anyone?


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Michael Phelps Backlash

So, the more important issue of my post should be that Time Magazine, for their annual Person of the Year issue, picked Barack Obama as their #1 person this year. Deservingly so, the man got people of all walks of life excited about politics, and won the most exciting and history-making election of our time. But what I really want to talk about here is Micheal Phelps. He came in as one of Time's People Who Mattered in 2008, and also deservingly so. The man got the world glued to the Olympics, and shed a new interest in the sport of swimming, and kept breaking records along the way, and made the last couple of weeks of summer incredibly exciting. He is one of my entertainers of the year, for sure. Yada yada yada. What I REALLY REALLY want to talk about runs a bit shallower than that. Oh, Michael, I don't know what you did to deserve this, but someone in Time's photo department hates you. HATES you!!

Omg. I have no words for this picture. You know how sometimes on Facebook, your friends will tag you in a picture where it's like a really unflattering angle, or there's a flash of a double/triple chin, or your eyes are half closed? And you get all embarrassed and angry, and immediately detag yourself? Well, this is like that, except a thousand times worse. He can't detag himself, and MILLIONS will see this photo. Yeah yeah, I'm sure he's flattered that Time Magazine thinks he's so important, and they wrote a nice blurb about why he mattered in '08, but really? This picture is so awful! Now, I'm in the minority of people who actually don't think Michael Phelps is a bad looking man. I mean, yeah his face is kinda long and he looks kinda underdeveloped in certain lights, but overall, he's like goofy looking (not always a negative thing) and hence oddly cute.

But even I am appalled by this photo. The constricting goggles, the weird bug-like effect the eyewear creates, the thick neck, the dumb you really need me to go on?? And this comes at the heel of another 'We're honoring you man, but uh, we're also going to torture you at the same time' awful picture- his Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year cover. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I don't know, Michael... You might have had the best.year.ever, but I think this is just the beginning of your downfall! So, stop hanging around with Vegas cocktail waitresses, stop being douche-y, and get back in the pool and do what you do best!! And now I'm gonna go YouTube your exciting summer races to erase this awful image of you from my mind. Bleh.


Retail Site of the Day:, oh how I heart thee! Any store/site that has the tagline, "Stay Cute!" wins a place in my heart. And cute, they are. I've had FredFlare bookmarked as one of my favorite sites for about a year now, but never bought anything from them until last week. Boy, was I missing out. First of all, from time to time they have free shipping codes that are AMAZING, because even with the free shipping, you get your stuff really fast. I ordered my gift for a Yankee Swap my friends and I do on Monday, hoping that I'd get it by the time we exchange gifts next week, and lo and behold the package arrived today. Everything was the same as it looked on the site, it was packaged thoroughly, and I was super impressed.

Head on over to the site to check out really cute stuff/last minute gift ideas for yo self and/or others, they have everything from apparel and accessories (someone get me these faux-Ray-Bans!!) to novelty gift items (colorblock roller skates, anyone??) to fun camera stuff for the photography buffs. They also recently opened up a physical store in Brooklyn which I want to check out sometime SOON, and their blog is really fun to read, like Life-in-Boxes fun.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Movie I Want To Watch: I Love You, Man

I know, I know. Another post. But hey, we're just excited for the movies of 2009!

Reasons why I want to see I Love You, Man:
5. Use of a Vampire Weekend song in the trailer.
4. Comedy flick - I loves me a good comedy!
3. Andy Samberg - I heart him on SNL, and I've been scared because of their lack of showtime for him on air. It's a relief to see him in a decent-looking film.
2. Jason Segel - I LOVE him as Marshall on How I Met Your Mother. And he was pretty funny in that other movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
1. Paul Rudd! Need I say more?

Other reasons might include awkward moments, puggles, etc.

Keep your eye out for it - its theatrical release date is aimed for March 20, 2009.

Here's the trailer for your viewing delight:


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Movie I want to watch: Veronika Decides to Die

Like Julia, I really like romantic comedies. I also really like movie adaptations of books. I know movie adaptations can be hit or miss, but I like to think that they start off better than your average movie, just cause no one is going to try to make a movie out of a bad book. So you at least have a good story as the foundation, even if the execution of it falls apart. There are several movie adaptations of books that I actually like better than the book itself, Bridget Jones's Diary being one of them, so I normally have high hopes for books-turned-into-films.

Well, I've been intrigued by the plot of this book since I stumbled upon it a couple of months ago, and though I still haven't gotten around to reading this Paul Coelho's book (or the supposedly AWESOME The Alchemist for that matter), I was super excited when I heard it was going to be made into a movie starring the talented Sarah Michelle Gellar. Veronika Decides to Die is about a 24 year old woman (Gellar) who seems to have everything but the will to live. So she decides to off herself, only to wake up in a mental institution, with the news that her botched suicide attempt has left her with a damaged heart and only days to survive. In this time she discovers a newfound will to live, and well, you know the rest of the movie/book is about that journey. Sounds interesting, yes? Veronika Decides to Die will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. From there hopefully it'll find a distributor so that the rest of the world can see it.

Oh, and bonus points for using the awesome Foo Fighters song Stranger Things Have Happened. Well done, trailer people!


Song of the Day: Just Wanna Be With You - Troy & Gabriella (HSM3)

Disclaimer: Please don't judge me -_-

Okay, I feel a bit shameful to admit it .. but I kind of love High School Musical. (hangs head in shame) If you look at my current iPod playlist, there's a couple of songs from the three HSM movies.

Sure, a lot of the songs are cheesy, but the one song that I can easily listen to without cringing is "Just Wanna Be With You," which was featured in the more recent film, High School Musical: Senior Year.

It's upbeat, cute, and a happy song to listen to.

Anyway, here's a crappy, ghettoriffic Youtube clip of it:


Monday, December 15, 2008

Movie I Want To Watch: The Ugly Truth

I am a fan of chick flicks. The Wedding Planner, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Definitely, Maybe, etc. - you name it, I've probably seen it (and probably dragged the boyfriend, too!).

Anyway, I saw the trailer for The Ugly Truth today .. and I WANT TO SEE IT! Besides the fact that I kind of dislike Katherine Heigl (she really likes to bite the hand that feeds), Gerard Butler is a handsome piece of man, and I love a good chick flick. It'll be out in theaters on April 3, 2009.


The Skies Are Falling Today

All is lost! All is lost! The Giants lost to the Cowboys yesterday in an ugly, ugly game. The Giants have now lost two games in a row bringing their record down to a pedestrian 11-3. Tied for the best record in the conference. Tied for best?! Is that the best they can do? In fact this is such terrible news that after the game last night, NBC news opened with a story on the Giants' loss. Economic crisis, window left. War abroad, window right. Local fire, you're riding bitch. The Giants are riding shotgun tonight!

Let's calm down, Giants fan. We're already in the playoffs.
My favorite status from last night comes from my friend Suah who wrote "my hatred for the cowboysPlaxico."


Friday, December 12, 2008

Art Review: Cindy Sherman @ Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman, Nov. 15-Dec. 23
Metro Pictures
519 W. 24th St. New York, NY 10011

One of my biggest passions is modern art, and Cindy Sherman is one of my favorite post-modern artists. She is best known as a conceptual photographer, where she intills herself into high-concept photographs to call attention to the stereotypes women face in the eye of media- film, television, and print. It is her ability to manipulate every part of herself, from her weight to age to expression and be a performer in front of the camera is extraordinary and has drawn me to her work. She works by herself, acting as her own model, photographer, make up artist, and stylist, which makes all of her works that much more impressive. My favorite thing she's ever done is a series called the Untitled Film Stills, a series of black and white photographs in which she presents herself as an actress in various familiar scenes out of film noir, B-movies, and Hollywood films. Every film still looks oddly familiar, like images we've all seen a thousand times before, and it is this instant flicker of recognition that makes her work so poignant.

Right now, until the 23rd of December, the Metro Pictures Gallery in Chealsea has a Cindy Sherman exhibition that is worth checking out. In this series of portraits, she presents herself as heavily made up, heavily dressed up aging women, effectively calling into question ideas of self-awareness, beauty, and aging. It's really fascinating stuff, to see these giant portraits of Cindy posing as different women, every photograph overloaded with detail in every sense. And while you're at it, check out the multitude of other galleries that line 24th St. It's a great and cheap (i.e. FREE) way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.


Things I Love Update: Harry Potter, Twilight

Harry Potter: The Exhibition may be coming to a city near you! Get a first-hand look at all iconic props and costumes from the Harry Potter movie franchise - the international tour starts in April 30th at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and will be in Chi-town till September 7, 2009. Tickets are already on sale - $26 for adults, $19 for children, and $25 for senior citizens. The exhibit will be updated as the newer films come out.

After "firing" Catherine Hardwicke, EW is reporting that Summit Entertainment has officially passed the Twilight franchise torch to director Chris Weitz, who is expected to start production for New Moon (book two in the Twilight series). Chris Weitz has most recently directed The Golden Compass, which got mixed reviews. He is better known for working with his brother (Paul Weitz), on comedy films such as American Pie and About a Boy.

After all that drama with New Moon's upcoming production (as well as the issue about recasting the role of Jacob Black), I just want them to start production already! But it'll be a lot riding on Chris Weitz's back, especially since the Twilight series are considered to be more for girls, and if he effs it up, a whole army of Twilight fans will be sure to make his life a living hell..


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Song of the Day: Muse - Supermassive Black Hole

If you've been reading this blog for the past couple of weeks, you know that I have been obsessed with 2 things as of late: Twilight and Britney Spears. I've probably listened to Britney's album nonstop for the past week (she has the #1 album this week, with over 500,000 copies sold, that is MY GIRL!!!). When I'm not listening to Britney, I am listening to the Twilight soundtrack, which is actually a pretty great compilation. Julia wrote about her love for one of the songs on the album, Iron & Wine's beautiful Flightless Bird, American Mouth. I want to recommend my favorite song on the album, Muse's Supermassive Black Hole. The song is used in the baseball scene in Twilight, which is like the greatest use of this song ever. I love Muse, an English rock band who I don't think many Americans know about. Hysteria is one of my favorite songs EVER and like my favorite song to run to, I think their cover of the otherwise annoying Can't Take My Eyes Off You is pretty awesome, and I just love their overall sound. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is always citing them as a huge inspiration in her writing, calling them her muse (get it???). I love the name! I love the band! I love this song!!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Deal Of The Day

I am not talking about Target. I'm talking about the New York Yankees signing CC Sabathia for 7 years 161 million dollars. I'm not the biggest fan of this deal especially considering the size and length of this contract. But you gotta love getting one of the top pitchers in the game. Besides, it's the Yankees, the money tree grows even during winter. The Yanks starting rotation is now at CC Sabathia, Chien Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes. Put AJ Burnett in there, and we are good to go.

Yankee fans, rejoice. This is just the beginning. Texeira is next, and if they don't get Texeira, lets give Manny two years and see what we can do with a 3-4 of Manny and A-Rod. *Shivers*


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Power of Airbrushing

We all know Jessica Alba is a beautiful person. More than one guy I know would count her as their favorite hot celebrity, and she used to be my girl crush during her Dark Angel days (she was a good actress then...). And to prove that the universe does indeed hate the rest of us non-beautiful/non-famous people, these pictures of her for a limited edition Campari calendar were recently released. Hot dang it, this woman had a baby not so long ago. Look how sizzling hot she looks, surrounded by all those equally hot guys. Le sigh. Did I mention, SHE HAD A FREAKIN BABY A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO?!?

Except... Well, not everything you see is what is real...

So yesterday, these new pictures of Jessica Alba hit the web. Same Campari pictures, yet vastly airbrushed, as you can see from the evidence. Look, she's still hot, 92% more hot than your average woman. But as you can see, she's curvier, thinner, and boobier (yup, that's right, I made up the word) in the airbrushed photo. It just goes to show you that none of the pictures you see in magazines are what people actually look like, not even the hottest of the bunch. This is hardly the first time something like this has happened, last year, there was a huge controversy around country singer Faith Hill's photoshopped cover of Redbook. They turned a 40 year old woman into a 20-something! That's some misleading stuff, and probably why women and young girls in this country, no make that half the world, are so obsessed with things like plastic surgery and Botox and weight loss.

So, on your ugliest of days just remember- not all of us can have makeup artists and computer artists make us look pretty and skinny and perfect all the time. You know, until you become rich and famous anyway.


TV News of the Day: Leno Stays

After months of speculating whether or not Jay Leno would be leaving the Peacock network for good or not .. NBC is expected to announce that Jay Leno will not be leaving; instead, the network plans on putting Leno in an earlier, prime time slot - 10PM. That way, Conan O'Brien still keeps the late night show slot that was held by Leno, and even more previously, Johnny Carson. And Jimmy Fallon is expected to fill in Conan's current time slot.

This seems to be an interesting move for NBC. Understandably, they don't want to lose Jay Leno .. but to pit Leno against other prime time shows such as the CSI shows, Bravo programming (Top Chef!) seems to be a bit of a gamble.

I, for one, am more of a Conan O'Brien fan, so as long as that awkward, lanky, red-haired man is still on, then I am good (though, I'm sad that he will no longer be based in NYC).


Monday, December 8, 2008

Get Fat or Settle!

Most people think that the US is the fattest nation in the world, but that is a myth. Australia is actually the heaviest nation per citizen. A report done in June showed that 26 percent of Australians are considered to be obese, narrowly edging the United States' 25 percent.

The US has never taken finishing second quietly so if you want to help the cause of increasing the US's obesity rate by 1 percentage point, here is a link to the 272 highest calorie fast food items. The top choice is White Castle's Chocolate Shake in the Louisville region with a whopping 1680 calories.


Vampire Weekend Concert Review

Thursday, December 4, 2008. 7PM at Terminal 5, NYC.

After an exhausting week-long trip to Seattle, the last thing I wanted to do was go to a show on a rainy night in the city (seriously, rain in Seattle really did it for me). Because fellow LiB writer Jen and I had purchased tickets about 3 months in advance, it was one of those things that sounded awesome at the time .. but as the date drew near, I was regretting such an early commitment.

My ears hurt that night .. from the AWESOMENESS that was Vampire Weekend.

Sure, the waiting was a bit long (VW got on stage at 9:10PM), and the opening act was very .. unique (anyone hear of Telepathe?), but nonetheless, VW was amazing in concert. Their energy on stage was viral, and the crowd was really feeling it.

The highlight of the show was when they brought out a string quartet to accompany them on songs from their debut album. Favorites of the night included "I Stand Corrected," "M79," "A-Punk," and of course, "Oxford Comma." And though I've yet to see Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, hearing VW's song from the soundtrack ("Ottoman") was awesome in its own.

I definitely recommend people to see them live. Sure, their sound is a bit funky, but after dragging along a friend who a) had never heard of them before, b) has questionable taste in music, and c)is not really a fan of indie music .. he LOVED them. He bought the album the very next day, and has been obsessing over "M79."

And if you still haven't tried listening to Vampire Weekend, I definitely recommend them.


Friday, December 5, 2008

These Four Things I Know Are True

1. Britney Spears is hot, again. I remember a time when I told people that Britney was the hottest person on Earth and people would call me crazy. Maybe not the hottest person, but close. I still remember our high school baseball team rocking out on the bus to Hit Me Baby One More Time. Womanizer, I can do without.

2. There will be a lot more Knick fans in 2010. Be prepared to order your #23 jerseys. On another sports note, Christiano Ronaldo (wooer of ladies) Nike wants you to go to Inter Milan. We'd love to have you and make up for the last Ronaldo we had.

3. Ponds clear pore strips don't work. Find something else to get that filth off your nose.

4. Korean BBQ chicken is better than turkey on Thanksgiving every time!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Analogy of the Day

You can fly the plane, but can you land it?

What does it mean to you? You can get dressed, but are you ready? You can complete the 60 yard bomb, but can you score? You can win an election, but can you lead a country? You can shoot yourself in the thigh, but can you man up to the consequences? You can make them believe, but can you make them feel it? You can say all the right things, but can you make it happen?


You can fly the plane, but can you land it?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Music: Britney Spears - Circus

Album: Circus

Artist: Britney Spears

Release Date: December 2nd, 2008

Genre: Pop

Welcome to Circus, Britney's very aptly titled record that was released this Tuesday. So this album has been streaming on for weeks now, but I didn't want to listen to it until I had the full album in my hands, because I'm a huge dork like that. Anyways. I've heard very mixed reviews about this, her sixth studio album, but I am liking it more and more after each listen. I will say, it is no Blackout, which was pure pop/dance delight, and probably her best album yet, but this is a pretty good effort. Combined with some heavy promoting which she is actually doing for this album, a newly announced tour (crossing fingers on getting tickets), hot new bod (admit it, she is looking mighty FINE), and chart topping singles Womanizer and Circus, Britney is back, bitch. And no, I am never going to stop using that phrase.

If you're gonna get the album (and it is my unbiased opinion that you do), spend like $5 more and get the Deluxe Version, which comes with 3 bonus tracks and a DVD with a making-of featurette and the Womanizer video. By now, you've heard Womanizer like a million times already- proof that you too can write a hit with a max of 6 words in the entire song, as long as it is stay-in-your-head-all-day catchy. While I enjoyed Womanizer very much, it's not my favorite of hers, and certainly not the best song on the album. Her second single, Circus (the video was leaked, it is SO awesome as I predicted) is so much better. You'd think the title Circus meant like, the state of what her life has become, but it's actually kind of an empowering, 'duh i'm hot, so let me entertain you with my awesome dancing on the dancefloor' kind of song. Yes, it's repetitive. But when the song goes from the slowed down pre-chorus and launches into the amped up chorus...ILOVEIT!

I also love If You Seek Amy, which is easily the other best song on the album. Um, in the context of the song, the way she sings the title, it turns into Eff-You-Cee-Kay-Me (I'm trying not to spell it out for real, for the more conservative readers of the blog). I LOVE WORDPLAY! Is that wordplay..? Soundplay? Whatever. And I've said before that I'm not a fan of her singing ballads, because that's really not the best use of her vocals. Perhaps what made Blackout so great was that there were none on the entire album. There are 3 on Circus. While two are predictably just whatever, man oh man is Unusual You a GREAT song. It's a bit faster than a straight up ballad, but did I mention it's a GREAT song? It is.

Recommended Tracks: Circus, Kill the Lights, If You Seek Amy, Unusual You
Grade: B+


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thought of the Day: Which City Do You Love the Most (in the US)?

As most of you may or may not know, I've been in 3 different cities for the past 3 weekends. First weekend was spent in New York City (yeah, big deal, right?), the following weekend was spent in Philadelphia (was anyone else at the Philly Marathon?), and this past weekend was spent in Seattle (well, I'm still here until tomorrow).

Being in such different, yet somewhat similar cities made me realize one thing: NYC is the best city in this country. (runs away from angry mob)

Sure, I mean I pretty much grew up to know the city to be New York City, but no other city has got anything to trump it.

And I really thought that people were exaggerating when they warned me about Seattle's cloudy, rainy weather. I think that during my past 5 days here, I've seen the sun for a total of one hour. -_-


Monday, December 1, 2008

[Mixtape] It's Britney, Bitch!

So it's officially Britney week here at Life in Boxes. Ok, KIDDING, Jorge and Julia would kill me if I even so much as floated that idea around. Let me re-phrase. In honor of Britney's comeback (Circus, out in stores tomorrow, my review coming later this week), I've declared it Britney week for me...In my heart. So, don't expect posts about any other subject from me this week! If you haven't checked out the MTV documentary Britney: For the Record, I think you should- it's a really interesting look into the craziness that is her life, and I'm pretty sure MTV will re-run the crap out of it. Say what you will about her, but I don't think many of us can be thrust into the spotlight/fame/money as she has and come away with it unscathed.

I was going through my iTunes collection, and I realized that Britney has a pretty extensive songbook, considering her decade long career. So, here are some of my favorites for this special Britney mixtape edition, some probably familiar to you, some probably not as much. Ch-ch-check it out.

1) Hit Me Baby One More Time - Her debut song, she certainly made a splash by making Catholic Apparently the idea behind that was all Britney. Even at the age of 16 she knew that sex sells. The music video recently was named #1 most iconic video of all time on the now-defunct TRL, and it was also the last video to be played on the finale of that show. This is the song that made me a die-hard Britney fan. Classic!

2) I'm a Slave 4 U - Oh how I love this song. From her third album, Britney, this single was a defining moment in her career, when she shed all traces of the virginal girl-next-door image for a more steamy, grown up look. Love the hot hot video, and who can forget the MTV VMAs, when she danced with that giant snake (my favorite performance of hers ever)? Say what you will about her, but no one puts on a show like Brit.

3) Oops I Did it Again - This is my favorite song to sing at karaoke. Mainly for the awesome dialogue in the middle of the song, which I turn into a monologue. I can recite it for you at any given moment... "All aboard! Britney, wait before you go there's something I want you to have...Oh it's beautiful, but isn't this... Yes, yes it is..."

4) Born to Make You Happy - A song off her first album, she released it as a single in Europe but not in the US, which is a shame cause it's my favorite off that album. It's ballad-y, which is not my favorite sound on her, but she makes it work and even shows off her vocal capabilities. YES, SHE CAN SING WHEN SHE WANTS TO.

5) Piece of Me - Her Blackout album is generally touted to be her best, and this is the best song on that album. This might be my favorite of hers of ALL TIME, and it makes me sad that it wasn't a bigger hit, but it's not surprising considering it came at the heels of her public meltdown. The video did manage to win Britney her very first MTV VMAs in September.

6) Toy Soldier - Also from her great Blackout album, it's one of my favorites. So darn catchy, and my friend Ed and I were obsessed with this song for awhile.

7) I Run Away - This is an unreleased B-side song that can be found on the 'expanded version' of the Britney album, which I don't own. It's a sad little song, and I love it.

8) Circus - I LOVE THIS SONG RIGHT NOW. It's her newest single off the album of the same name, and I just love it. The video debuts later this month and from this preview, it's looking good. Very aptly titled for what her life has become, I cannot wait for her to go on tour next year. YESSSSS.

Bonus: Oh, and I hate Christmas songs (probably cause my heart is cold and black, idk), but there are only 2 holiday songs I can tolerate- Mariah's All I Want For Christmas is You (just imagining the amount of money she probably gets off the royalties of that song makes my head hurt), and Britney's sweet My Only Wish (This Year). Happy Holidays, and Happy Unofficial Britney week!


That's What She Said of the Day

We all have that's what she said (TWSS) moments through out the day, but when of my coworkers and I get together we look for those moments with every phrase that is uttered. It's never mean spirited but it can be quite funny. Here are some of my favorite that's what she said moments of the past couple of weeks.

Person (after being pelted with TWSS through out the day): "I'm going to have to be so careful of what I say now, but I don't know things just come out of my mouth sometimes."

Person (while rock climbing): "This is so hard! Even if I try to keep my legs open."

Person 1 (commenting on one thing or the other) "I usually take mine from the back." At this point I can't hold my seltzer water in and spit some of it on Person 2 who yells, "AhhH! You got it all over me." An impressive double TWSS.

Person (trying to put something together) "No it didn't go in right. Pull it up harder! Okay now bring it in slowly."

Person 1 (email on playing basketball) "Just come...I suck too...we can all suck together"
Person 2 (replies) "That's what he said"