Saturday, May 31, 2008

Obligatory SATC Post

Friday I saw Sex and the City: The Movie. One of our publishers, WashingtonPost/Newsweek, rented out a theater for the occasion. All week I had been IMing Rita from work talking about how excited I was for the premiere, but when we arrived, slightly late, everyone was outside. Apparently the theater didn't know about the reservation. All shows were sold out until 2am.

Several minutes later, we found out that because there was a contract, the company made the movie theater cancel two screenings of other movies in order to honor the contract. The show must go on! Saved! (I was a little curious about this because this meant they had to scrounge up two extra prints - were they backup prints? I asked my reps about this and they said the theater also had said they couldn't do it because they didn't have enough prints but then they 'mysteriously' showed up)

I adored the movie. Since the movie was so hyped up, reviews were coming in fairly mediocre, which I expected. No movie can live up to THAT much hype. There was such a media shitstorm of coverage of that movie. Lord. After watching the SATC Oprah I had had enough and just wanted to see the actual movie. I was entertained the whole time. The movie was more drama than the TV series, but that was fine. It had a different story to tell. Film student comment: Michael Patrick King is a fairly competent director, but sometimes his shot composition drove me nuts. I don't think he knows how to compose long shots (perhaps from shooting so much television?) and they just seemed so darn awkward to me. Like the scene of Carrie coming down the stairs after the 'wedding' and even sometimes just walking down the street. Ok enough.

The movie actually shocked me a few times with its vulgarity - since I've mainly been catching random TBS reruns lately, I forgot about the sex scenes. As a fellow redhead, I appreciated seeing Miranda's redhead areolas (swear to god, all redheads have them. except she's a fake redhead. so maybe it's a pale skin thing) and got a good laugh about the bikini wax comment. Seriously, though, close-ups of pubic hair? I thought I was watching She's All That for a second.

Carrie's rehearsal dinner takes place at Buddhakan, and there's one scene outside where over Miranda's shoulder is MY STREET. I couldn't help but whisper "My apartment is right around the corner! Sex and the City filmed around my corner!".

I was also excited to see the scene on New Year's Eve were Carrie comes over to Miranda's apartment. A few months ago, I was looking for an apartment on the Lower East Side (in an area way yet to be gentrified, just like in the movie) and happened upon a film crew setting up a winter night scene. As I walked through the scene one technician asked "How should we light Sarah?" and got all flustered before/as I realized they were referring to Ms. SJP herself.

On the way home, I decided to walk from 34th to 15th along 9th avenue, since I wanted to walk past Buddhakan. EIGHT tour buses were parked out front and around the corner. EIGHT. I don't even think eight tour buses of people could fit in that restaurant (? right ?). All night, I kept on seeing girls in SATC-esque dresses. Yes, it was warm, and one of the first days of summer - but having seen so many girls going into the film dressed like that, I just "couldn't help but wonder" if they were all channeling the same SATC message.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Epstein-Barr me from fun before the three-day weekend

So on Friday I had my third doctor's appointment in three weeks over this nasty sinus infection/alllergies/eight-week cold that's been dragging me down. The doctor ordered full bloodwork and I came up positive for Epstein-Barr. The first thing I thought was "that House disease!" since on that show they ALWAYS test for Epstein-Barr whenever someone is incurable. According to my doctor, Epstein-Barr is a virus that causes three months (minimum) of fatigue, and the only thing you can do for it is good nutrition, hydration (including avoidance of alcoholic beverages), and lots of rest. It was kind of a relief to finally figure out what the problem was. I have been very tired lately, but it's only affected my ability to go to the gym. The few times I have gone in the past month or so I had to down caffeine just to get up the energy to go. So all this time I thought I was just being incredibly lazy, but really it was this virus. Of course, now that I have this diagnosis, eeeeverytime I've been tired I think it's the E-P-V. Yesterday I went Brooklyn thrift shopping with Rita from work, and as we made one of our final stops and walked farther and farther away from the subway station I got more and more tired. Then my cough started acting up and I felt close to that part at the end of the cartoons where the characters are dragging themselves from the desert, unable to go on. I had to turn back eventually. I felt so lame though.

Saturday was a little better. I went up to Macy's on my own, since I desperately needed shoes and I was enticed to enter by a coupon I found in amNewYork (which turned out to be invalid for the brand I wanted to purchase. boo.) On the way there and back I took the subway for literally one stop, which I wouldn't have done ordinarily, and in general walked slowly. I was fine. Today I'm feeling so incredibly tired, but also antsy because I really want to leave the house since it's so nice out. If only I had a good book to read, argh! Someone please lend me a good book. I have burned myself out of tv. I got to the point where I DVR'ed The Real World. Which is really, really, really bad this season

[Aside: I WILL be watching The Real World: Brooklyn. I also want to make it my mission to run into them in a bar. But no hooking up; they always look like TV-whore skeezes when outsiders infiltrate the group through sex.]

Since I feel such an obligation to 'take it easy' (in addition to a genuine fatigue, argh.) I am so stir crazy. I've been cooking a lot, but often without regards for what I actually want/need. This morning I wanted cereal, but I also needed to take up time, which meant I should make eggs or my breakfast fruit crisp. I ended up eating my cereal and making my breakfast fruit crisp, just because I felt like I had nothing else to do. Toooo much time. I'm just so sick of television and really want to get into a good book. I might need to make an emergency trip to Barnes and Noble today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weekend Update

So this week started ouut with two exciting concerts: Tegan and Sara and The Glow in the Dark Tour (Lupe, N.E.R.D., Rihanna, then Kanye West).

Monday I met Anna after work and walked over to Terminal 5, munching my beet salad with asparagus and goat cheese and walnuts that I picked up from Thalia to Go (my faaaaavorite lunch spot) along the way. We listened to the opening band, An Horse, a bit, but they did not compare to Tegan and Sara. Only one of their songs seemed unfamiliar - at every opening chord I had that "ooo" of recognition and anticipation. Compared to their recordings, their concert voices and instrumentation was right on par. Occasionally in the few opening lines their voices would fumble a bit, and once Sara started off-key a bit, but overall they were quite strong. They also changed the tempo and added extra lines, bridges, etc., of some of their songs which I appreciated. I expected to be able to see above the crowd, given my 5'9'' height, 1 and 1/2'' heels on my boots, and female demographic of the Tegan and Sara audience, but alas, this one 6'6'' boy kept moving around and obstructing my view. Then I would move, then he would move. It was annoying. Although I think Williamsburg Music Hall is my favorite venue, I still liked Terminal 5 more than the next venue I would go to, Madison Square Garden.

We got the Kanye tickets through work. One of our vendors offered to take us, and even dangled backstage tickets in front of us, since one of her friends works on Kanye's legal team. Although she got two, since she couldn't get enough for the whole group so she had to give them back. We still had pretty good seats - I was actually happy not to stand on the floor, since I was (am) still feeling a bit sick and didn't want to stand after the concert the previous night. A lot of teenagers from New Jersey were at the concert. Some of them created matching neon graffiti t-shirts, and ALL were wearing those plastic slatted neon aviators popularized by Kanye. I actually planned on procuring a pair for myself before the concert, but I was kind of happy my plans fell through since everyone else had the same idea. A lot of these teenagers were from New Jersey - "New Jersey in the house?" got an embarrassingly loud response.

I didn't really get into the concert. Much of the music seemed pre-recorded, I felt so far away from the artists, and I also felt like I was part of an audience selected not by fandom but by dollar signs and subscription to mass popular culture. With a lot of concerts, I get a sense of kinship - I like bands hyped on the internet, etc., but not on the radio, so it's like a big mass of people who all have the same artist playing on their iPod, and you can finally figure out exactly who the audience is for the band's music. So m Not so for this concert. It was all, whoever saw Kanye on TRL and spend $150 bucks on ticket kind of audience, picked not because of their unique interest but their willingness to spend money to consecrate their radio-induced fandom. I think my disinterest also stemmed from the people I was with - you can't really get crazy with managers and directors, your boss and your vendor's boss. I was chatting with the head of sales, who was sitting next to me, and when I mentioned how much I liked the Peter Bjorn and Paul song "Young Folks" playing in between sets, even though it was kind of over, he whipped out his Blackberry, imputing the bands I mentioned (I also had to correct his spelling, saying no, it's spelled B-J...) While his eagerness to get hip with the times was cute, I felt like I was at a moment where indie culture was being commodified. The people I was sharing this music with, this experience with, were just noootttt the people Kanye raps to - we were all pretenders. The whole experience felt so fake and hollow. Rihanna also did a remix where she covered a few songs, including M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" and Lauryn Hill's "That Thing". Her cover of "Paper Planes" bothered me much more than the Lauryn Hill cover. To me, much of M.I.A.'s music is subversive and political - just as she has publicly displayed outrage for having her gunshots removed from the tracks on her David Letterman performance and MTV viedo, I worry that her political message gets lost when it's transferred into popular culture. I feel rather rusty on this, though cultural hegemony/imperialism, etc., come to mind when I think of this experience. I need to brush up...

Kanye's performance itself was such ego - he had his songs tell of story of him being stranded on a planet and needing some force to bring him back to Earth. He sang a song about shooting stars. Sadly, these were not enough to bring Kanye back to earth. His fem-robot eventually revealed to him:

"We need the brightest star in the universe to bring your spaceship back to Earth. We need YOU, Kanye. You're the brightest star."

For sers?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Doctor, my sinuses are infected!!!

So literally a month ago, at the beginning of April, I had a bad ten-day cold. After about ten days, my symptoms changed, leading me to believe I had either pink eye or stubborn allergies. I suffered through for another two and a half weeks of not being able to sleep and feeling stuffed-up, red-eyed, and generally shit-eating in the morning, occasionally getting to the "fuck it" point where I would either drink, smoke, break celibacy, or leave a message for a doctor who would not call me back. Earlier this week, I talked to my Dad, who finally convinced me that I had a sinus infection. Duh! I've had these numerous times before, and they require antibiotics to fix, meaning I would have to see a doctor.

With renewed determination, I called numerous doctors' offices until I actually spoke to someone. (Press random digits on the phone; they will not call you back). The visit itself involved a forty-five minute wait before I went up to reception only to be informed that there were still TWO people in front of me. Luckily, they let me go ahead of them. My doctor was actually amazing, a bubbly woman who made me feel "aaallllll better" just by commenting on how awful my nose and ears looked and validating the fact that I've been feeling like crap for the past month. She even was kind enough to ask about my insurance situation. Although I should have good insurance through work, I stupidly chose the HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) for my medical needs, which so far has seemed to be the 'pay full price until you have thousands of dollars of expenses' plan. She gave me drug samples and we both gave a collective f-u to Big Pharma. I love this woman. So now I'm halfway through my antibiotics, although still not feeling 100% due to the most clogged up ears ever, as well as an inability to taste which is driving me NUTS. I really hope these antibiotics work because I didn't read the whole pamphlet and it turns out you aren't supposed to take multivitamins while taking these antibiotics because the calcium makes the antibiotic ineffective. Anyway, enough medical talk. I am going to be the worst old person ever, the kind of person who's always talking about their hemorrhoids. I apologize in advance.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Cat in the Hat gets a Wax

I just had the most gruesome experience in my entire hair-removal career.

This Saturday afternoon, I decided to forestall my Bed, Bath & Beyond exchanges and take care of some serious hair growth. I hadn't shaved my legs for a week, so I thought it would be a prime time to whip out that SurgiWax I bought on clearance for $3.19 a few months ago at the end of bikini season. I'm no stranger to the waxing world. Usually in the summer I'll wax a few random strips off my legs until I get bored or the pain overwhelms me, and it helps cut down on how much hair grows back and gives me a somewhat smoother shave. With at-home wax, it's kind of hard to do a thorough job, but it's a really good complement to shaving.

I open the box, skim over the instructions, and crack open the lid. The foil cover that's under the lid has peeled off and curled up in a smile, but the wax looks ok so I heat it up for the suggested minute. It's still as hard as a rock, so I give it another minute. It's kind of clumpy but I stir it up and it seems to dissolve into the same consistency.

I look at the instructions - hmm, it seems like I just use this mini wooden paddle (the kind you eat ice cream with when you're a kid) to smooth on the wax, let it get hard a bit, and peel it off with my fingertips. I can do that!

I try a bit on my leg first. It gets some hair off, although it does seem like there's lots of mini tacky bits (kind of like chewing gum, but taffier) left on my leg. No matter. I do a bit on my high upper left leg. Again, it doesn't really seem to come off. Man, I just did my nails this morning. There's green gunk all over my hands. I do one strip on my hamstring. Yuck. This doesn't work either. I think I only got three hair follicles, and there's green gunk stuck all over my leg. Oh well - this all dissolves off in the shower. Thank God.

I'm not one to give up easily, so I decide to do one last strip, the quote unquote bikini line, where if someone looks straight at you they'll see hair unless you're shaved. This does not work at all. The wax is a little colder now, and it hurts, and is already starting to look red. Shit, maybe I'll just go return my sheets to Bed Bath & Beyond now and deal with this later. But no - I don't want to get my jeans and underwear sticky. And I pulled my back two days ago, and I'm literally walking like Quasimodal and FUCK I need more advil RIGHT NOW. Ok. Hot water will help my back pain, and the wax will wash right off in the shower.

I get in the shower, and discover that is not the case. It's only melting this green salt water taffy substance even more. I have green gook all over my hands, and this green gook is in turn covered in hair. I'm like the Edward Scissorhands of waxing. Wait, don't you use ice cubes to get sticky stuff out? Yes! I get out of the shower, and hear a squishing noise. I flooded the bathroom. I keep on doing that with our new shower liner. Alex is going to kill me. I hobble to the refrigerator, clutching my back, and get an ice cube, attempting to harden the wax and get it off the various places it's stuck all over my body. This works slightly, but I still have green wax all over me. I also realize I broke my blood vessels, as the instruction pamphlet warned. I have a giant hickey next to my pubes. I have a date tonight. If it gets that far, I'm now going to have to explain my waxing disaster, as well as the green plasticine clumps clinging to my remaining hair, lest he think I have sores or another relationship with a bikini line biter. Oh God. Why did I do this!?

Shaving! Shaving is the answer. I've already tried to run a pumice stone all over the stuck-on wax, but maybe I can just shave everything off. Hmm, this seems to be working well. Look at all the hair stuck to my razor. Wait. Now nothing is shaving off. The gunky hair has clogged my razor. I try using a scissors to get rid of the hair, I try using the showerhead. I go over my legs again, then feel them. Hair. A week's worth. Shit. I hop out of the shower again, wade through the flooded bathroom that has my male roommate's black pubes and chest hair floating everywhere, and search for another razor. I get back in. I try again. At some point I shampoo my hair and condition. I rub more and more soap over my body in vain. I get out of the shower again. I certainly hope my roommates aren't home because I'm dripping water everywhere and one hundred percent naked. I grab another razor (#3). I try shaving my legs. Ok, hair coming off. Avoiding green gunky areas. I've been in the shower for a good half hour now. Ow, my back. my back. There's green gunk stuck all over the tub. I have green peas of wax all over the ledge. My hair, my roommate's hair, is stuck everywhere. Like the cat in the hat, I have turned everything and everything, everywhere, pink with my mess. Oh lord. And my date. Well, I shouldn't hook up with him anyway. It's a sign. But maybe if he accepted a girl with green wax all over her and red inflamed hairs and hickey-sores? No, that just means he's desperate. Argh.

So now I'm laying on my back, barely able to move because of the back pain, with random green sticky spots all over my body. And four random patches of red bumps where I attempted to wax. And one giant clump of broken blood vessels in a hickey-like formation. I'm SUCH a lucky girl. I'm never buying wax on clearance again. In fact, I think I may bite the bullet and let a stranger get down there and outsource my genital grooming. Because oh my lord, there is absolutely no way anything can be worse than this.