for when you don't know what else to say

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Letter

Lindsay Lohan gets publicly yelled at by her boss, and it's pretty awesome. It's a shame her own mother/manager can't control her, but she seems to be out partying all night too (when not appearing on Access Hollywood to defend her daughter's right to be up all night drinking and drugging her way through LA's finest skank clubs). I hope she takes this seriously and gets back to work. She's very talented, so it's more upsetting when she acts like Paris Hilton and the other coked-out party whores who don't deserve to be famous. Take your life back Lindsay! And lay off the smokes, dear. You're starting to sound like Suzanne Pleshette.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's a nice day for a WHITE WEDDING

Can you feel the Billy Idol menace and lip curl from that title through the monitor? Ah well, me neither.

This past weekend I had the honor of serving as a bridesmaid for one of my best friends, Cala. She got married on Saturday to a strapping scientist named Vik. The ceremony took place just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico in a place called Bernalillo. I had not been back since I was 12, so it was nice to check things out. The food and culture and even the weather is very reminiscent of Phoenix, my hometown. Here is my attempt at a brief travelogue, with pictures sprinkled throughout.

I arrived Wednesday night, and promptly got down to business. Thursday morning I got to conspire with my fellow maids on a casual bachelorette soiree. After the scheming, I began crafting my ass off. I tied things and cut things and tied some more things, all in the service of Cala's exquisite favors and programs. I got a tour of the UNM campus from Cala (go Lobos), and then got prepped for the bachelorette dinner.

I was a little nervous at first walking into that group, because they had all known each other forever and I was the "East Coast Interloper." They really made me feel welcome though. Lucrecia, Nikki and Alisha were so friendly, sweet and fun. I got such a big kick hanging out, conspiring, kvetching, sharing makeup and laughing with these girls. Cala has very cool friends, and I was made to feel like part of the group, so I was very comfy. In fact, we even started a gang of sorts. Our calling card? Packs of Dick Tarts in strategic flavors.

Friday was the day of the rehearsal dinner. Cala and her mom accompanied Lucrecia and I to the nail salon so we could get our manis and pedis on. The fine ladies at Saigon Nails drew blood from me, but what do you really expect from a $10 manicure administered in 7 minutes? I still have the color on my toes, and it's fantastic. I need to find the equivalent and use it all summer long. While the pedicure was kind of scary and violent, I enjoyed the results and have decided to get them at least once a month.

Once we packed up, we traveled to the B&B where the wedding was held and set up camp. We started getting ready with hair and makeup, then helped Cala with hers. She then got to dress in a gorgeous sari brought from India by members of Vik's family. His mother dressed Cala, and we all got to watch in wonder. Saris are not easy outfits to get into, but they look so beautiful, and Cala's in particular was such a perfect color for her. After a brief rehearsal,we went to a place called the Frontier for the dinner. The Frontier is open 24 hours, and has a lot of eclectic artwork. The food was good, and the conversation was fun. We convinced the bride and groom to join us at a bar called Anodyne afterwards. We didn't stay out too late, but we had a blast. The first thing we saw inside was a ginormous dog sitting in a booth. The row of billiard tables and laid-back vibe made it a great spot to have a couple of drinks and hang. It was like a much nicer Buffalo Billiards.

Afterwards, the groups were re-divided to drive back to Bernalillo. We lost our guide to another car, but we managed to find our way back to the main highway and got home alright. Before turning in, we stopped at a gas station. Nick and I decided that in addition to bottled water, we really needed Power Ball tickets to survive the night. I made Nick pay for the Power Play option, so we were both out $4 (and are still out to this day, unless he secretly won and isn't planning on coughing up the winnings we promised each other). Back in the room, Spencer and Nick helped deal with a couple of major beetles. I was pretty freaked out, and then I opened up the sheets on our bed to find a sizable dead spider. Needless to say, Friday night was fairly sleepless.

Saturday was the big day. We woke up early to help with chairs, table placecards, and crafting the table set-up "template." After a ton of rushed work, and a fun trip to the local Walgreens to secure final makeup and hankies for the ceremony, we did some more prep. The owner of the inn was kind of a handful, and she was stressing people out right and left. Luckily, the maids and I carved out some time in the middle of the madness to practice our big poetry reading. I managed to get out of reading the verses that included references to a duck since I was sure that I would screw it up and say "dick" a la Dick Tarts during the ceremony (please excuse the crappy photo, but I'm afraid of what will come up if I try to Google an image). We came up with some sweet Motown-inspired choreography with Cala's mom, but ultimately decided that we'd save that for the reception.

Cala's photographer Vlad showed up and took tons of candid pictures of the prep. Getting Cala ready was fun, and I ended up doing her hair with the assistance of flowers, hairspray, and awesome shine wax stuff. God bless product. Then we got to string our poor bride up in her corset. Lucrecia and I made a good team, and remembered all the helpful hints from Frederick's of Hollywood. It's like a huge iceskate. That's really all you need to know to succeed. All primped and ready, it was time for the couple to be revealed to each other before the photo shoots. That was a very special moment, and I helped lead Cala backwards to her suprise. She almost ended up in a bush, but I steered her out of the way at the last minute and crisis was averted (thank you stunt driving skills!).

The ceremony was lovely, and our poem went off without a hitch. The winds started to pick up, and the judge just kept on rockin' till the ceremony was over. About two seconds afterwards, a crazy hail storm started up. The carnage was massive. Okay, I just got some ice pellets on the forehead and the bridal party's table was trashed. We moved our group under the tent when it was over and the party began in earnest.

The dances and toasts came after dinner. Everything was just lovely. Alisha and I kept threatening, in lieu of a toast, to perform our a cappella version of "The Rose," Bette Midler's classic song experiencing a revival of sorts (for me anyway) thanks to its use in Napoleon Dynamite. Needless to say, we practiced self-control and did not. Lucrecia gave a lovely toast after Vik's brother went. He was very much prepared, with a long-ass piece of paper and everything. Both of them did well. Then it was time to dance! Nick and I jumped onto the floor the moment they started playing "Let's Go Crazy," our party modus operandi. We had an awesome time, laughing and chatting until way past the bride and groom's beddy-bye time.

I won't bore you with Sunday details, other than to say American Airlines sucks, one should not try to fly standby, and if one does, you should not do it at the ABQ airport, where you probably need to visit five or six vendors to get a complete meal put together.

I had an amazing time. By the end of the long weekend, I felt like I had met so many great people, and even identified some dedicated "crashers" for my wedding in Fall of '07. Plus I got to see one of my nearest and dearest get hitched to a great guy, who truly makes her happy. All of this makes my heart smile.

Mazel tov, Cala & Vik!

Waiting for Tim Gunn's Call

Yesterday I completed an emergency fashion assignment at work with such speed and self-assured style that I am now convinced that I belong on Project Runway. My intern came into work with formal shorts, which may have been all the rage a few months ago with celebrities, but are still banned by our corporate dress policy. Faced with the possibility of sending her all the way home to change on a day when I needed her help badly, innovation came calling. I went down to my car, got the pashmina shawl my boss gave me two years ago as a gift out of the trunk of my car (where it has rested for every moment of those two years), grabbed a few paperclips in the mailroom and got to work. Before you could say "voila," I had whipped up an adorable little wrap skirt. My intern was embarrassed at first, but she started getting compliments from people who had no idea it was "homemade" and told her how cute it was.

So I guess I will be getting my application together for Project Runway's fourth season. As long as it has a theme of "improvised fashion using commonplace office supplies," I should be golden.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Congrats to Lance Bass

This was on E!Online this morning:

OUT AND ABOUT: After growing tired of hearing rumors about his sexuality, Lance Bass confirming to People magazine that he is gay and involved with Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl. "I'm more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life," the ex-boy-bander told the magazine.

Good for you Lance! I'm glad that you're out and happy about it. And Reichen is a cutie. It's ridiculous in this day and age that people can't feel free to be themselves. It stinks that the media basically forced it on you, because it really shouldn't even be an issue, but I guess that's the price of celebrity these days. I'm also excited that I was right that you couldn't really be dating that annoying 2nd oldest girl from 7th Heaven in real life. I didn't definitively peg you as gay at the time, but I knew it had to be a publicity sham.

Boy, Lance always generates the best headlines from that band. Coming out, trying to go to space, and helping police track a killer in the backwoods of Florida (TRL does a body good). Who says Justin is the most interesting 'NSYNCer? Hottest, Justin still wins hands down. Sorry Lance.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


For some reason last night, the Billy Joel opus "We Didn't Start the Fire" (WDSTF) came up in a conversation about wedding songs. No, it's not a wedding song and anyone who would choose that for their first dance would probably be some 18 year-old P.A. on the song's video shoot that Joel was getting married to for publicity. Or to have someone to drive him home after his benders, thereby protecting trees and buildings and people all over Long Island.

Where was I? Oh yes, the conversation. We were talking about some typical wedding songs, and "She's Got A Way" came up, and then talk turned to Mr. Joel's career and how many chestnuts he had before he lost his mind and became a victim of historical tourette's syndrome and made WDSTF. See the lyrics here.

Joel has had some great songs, and you know I love "Still Rock & Roll to Me" and "Say Goodbye to Hollywood," among others. No matter what you think of the man, he's got an ability to create instantly memorable, catchy tunes on the fly. That being said, he's also annoying to behold. First of all, he copyrighted his own name so that when his albums are listed in Columbia House catalogs, he's not Billy Joel, he's Billy Joel Circle R. Second, he likes to play dueling pianos with Elton John, which is pretty hilarious, but he won't dress appropriately in shimmering sunglasses and flowing silk and Donald Duck costumes. Thirdly, since 1989 he has tortured everyone in junior high or high school with WDSTF.

WDSTF is a ridiculous rat-a-tat rhyme of random historical events and personnages stung together with an ersatz boppy backing track. Like the crazy man at the train station, Joel just blurts out names and places as it suits his purpose. He doesn't comment on them or try to tie things together. And when he can't make the rhyme fit, he'll end a line with a glib exclamation. Perfect example: "JFK / Blown away / What else do I have to say?" Geeze Billy, I don't know. How's about you mention "Princess Grace / Wrecked her car / Jesus Christ Superstar" or "Don King / Not Tyson's friend / Plastic straw made to bend"?

Like a bizarro, dorky cheerleader on crack, Joel just runs through his routine. And much like the drunken crowd at your average football game, the nation's history and civics teachers ate it up. Not only did we have to learn the lyrics to the song in my history class the year it came out; we also had to the next. Learning is not bad, but spending part of two years listening to teachers talking about Billy Joel like he was the second coming was torture. I still hear of people teaching this song, and referring to its wit and brilliance. Very strange considering it reads like a card catalog.

WDSTF is not a deep statement about anything. It's more like "what stuff from the past can I remember and shout out in a rhyme for three minutes." It's as subtle as an anvil falling on your head. Which is surprising, because the other two legs of his whole social awareness triumvirate, "Downeaster Alexa" and "Allentown" are much more lyrically astute. And now with Sufjan Stevens making intelligent and thoughtful records about the states, WDSTF looks like an even crappier "history" "lesson."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ribbon backlash begins in earnest!

I've been annoyed about those ribbons on the back of cars for a long time, but I think the worm is turning. Driving through Roxborough the other day, I saw a great Fibbon(TM)*.

It's difficult to see the writing, but I have "enhanced" the image for your enjoyment. While this is a great development, the fact that the same car is rocking an autism ribbon at the same time makes it a bit of a hollow victory. Now that I look at it more closely, it's clear that with not one but TWO magnetic sports decals fighting the ribbons for your attention on the trunk, it may be time for an intervention. I'll keep my eyes open for more of these and report back with creepy cell phone pics whenever possible.

*Fibbon is Abbondanzese for Faux or Fake Ribbon; a ribbon designed to make you laugh, not change the world.

Why you should never rely on your cell phone camera

So the last couple of business trips I took, I totally forgot my real camera. That shouldn't matter, I have a handy dandy cell phone with a fancy camera that zooms in. With that idiotic thought in mind, I now present the only two salvageable pics from the camera. What a craptastic travelogue:

Denver's capitol building, in all its scaffolded glory, from the main downtown shopping drag, 16th Street. I was not impressed with anything there. Please note that there is a lot of construction stuff in the foreground of the shot. You can't really see it with the fuzz, but it was there. Also, it was too damn hot to bother walking any closer to the building. That's why I'm approximately half a mile away.

In Detroit's airport, there is a crazy red bullet train thing. You were allowed to ride it between gates, but I was afraid to simply because the thing looked like it was riding unsupported in the air. I paid the ultimate price for my cowardice, when my trip down to the Quiznos in ill-advised shoes ended with a tragic blister on my left pinkie toe. This picture looks much crisper than the Denver one. I must have been drunk on the Coors or something.

The moral of the story? Bring your damn camera.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Tasteful Way To Go

The WB is actually signing off this September with an enormous amount of class. I know, hard to believe given that they always turned their backs on great shows in the end. The final broadcast night, September 17th, will feature a five-hour block of the best shows The WB had to offer. From 5-10, they will broadcast the pilot episodes of Felicity, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dawson's Creek. Interspersed will be major WB promo campaigns of the past, as well as a tribute montage of all the shows they have broadcast over the years.

The WB had such a keen eye in terms of their marketing, so it will be great to see those promos again. I know, how dorky that I love those things, right? But most were put together really well and fun to watch, making you feel as if the network was a coherent, glamorous destination where you and your friends belonged, even if only ironically. You can click here to see the Faces campaign of 1999, a classic which brings together all of the shows I loved the most (Buffy, Angel, Roswell, Dawson's Creek, Popular, Felicity). Although, if you long to see Xander in a pimp hat checking out ladies at a club, click here to see The Night Is Young campaign of 2000.

And I know that I will be reduced to tears with their big montage. I'm a sucker for montages (thank you 80s cinema), and they always choose the right music. It will also remind me of that past, so far away now simply because I've grown up and the world has changed. Watching Felicity's latest blunders with my roommate and cringing with the knowledge of what it's like to make the same blunder yourself freshman year. Getting together with a group of friends to cheer on Buffy and Angel as they saved us all from the latest apocalypse. Raging against the 7th Heaven machine. Trying to explain the "mythology" of Roswell with a straight face. Swooning as Pacey declares his love for Joey and plotting strategies with my girlfriends to find real-life Paceys of our own. Laughing along with the crackling dialogue of Gilmore Girls. Figuring out how One Tree Hill went from terribly awesome to awesomely terrible in 1.5 seasons. Making fun of Dawson's stupid forehead. You know, golden moments. More importantly, great excuses to call or get together more often and come up with our own in-jokes based on the ridiculous antics of our most loved and loathed characters.

The demise of the network is a kinda sad event for me. I am, after all, an eternal teenager at heart. The WB fulfilled my need for melodrama and angst, all set to awesome music with pretty, pretty people in cool clothes, for nearly a decade. I can't think of a better way to honor both the good shows and the overall WB experience. I'll be watching for sure.