Monday, March 30, 2009

What Is The What?

I am a victim of myself. I don't go to bed at a reasonable hour...ever. I've been up until 2 for the past week. But I haven't exactly been out partying, or even watching I guess it's excusable. 
I just finished reading "What Is The What", by Dave Eggers. Like 5 minutes ago...I literally just finished the last page. Anyway, it really was one of the most remarkable books I've ever read. I usually like books that make me feel good, and this ultimately did not. While uplifting, it just made me feel bad for having the life that I've had, despite the many reiterations that the main character (a Sudanese refugee–it's a true story) makes that those of us born here in the US should be so happy and are so lucky and SHOULD enjoy life. I still feel defeated. I feel as though I've done nothing but revel in things that are completely inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. And this is true of most of the people I know; we don't have a global outlook in the US, because for so long we haven't had to. On an even smaller scale, it is too easy to become completely absorbed in everyday life and forget that the world is a place that is full of civil war, famine, genocide, starvation, etc. 
I'm sorry, I hate preachy people, and I'm really not one of them, generally, but I just feel as though something has happened to me in reading this book. I've become aware of the world in a new light, and with that fact alone, the book is a complete success. Kudos to Dave Eggers for telling Valentino Achak Deng's story in such a compelling and beautiful book, and even more so to Deng, for having the courage and the chutzpah to get this book published. 
If you don't want to read the book, at least check out his website, it's really amazing (even more so if you've just read the book).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reiteration, Mostly.

I made it home early tonight and hit the small grocery down the block to pick up some essentials. I've decided I'm not eating bread this week, so I made sure to buy some salad essentials, a carton of milk, and a jar of my cinnamon raisin peanut butter. I'm pretty sure that the pb negates the lack of bread, but life is about negotiation and compromise, right? Anywho, I've just seated myself on the couch for a little r&r, pulled out a big ol' spoon, poured a glass of milk, and dug into the peanut butter (just in case you doubted my habits), and I can't find any raisins. This is not a catastrophe because I've promised myself to put the jar away after just a few spoonfuls (which is looking like quite a few spoonfuls). But a bigger problem has arisen. It is 11 pm and "Two and A Half Men" is on. I know this blog is supposed to be about what I like...but I feel it necessary to stray off topic to discuss my disdain for "Two and A Half Men". It should be noted that I've never watched an episode, however, the last 30 seconds before "Friends" starts leaves me with a similar feeling to that of eating a whole jar of peanut butter, minus the deliciousness...just the desire to vomit. AND when I don't think it can get any worse, that song comes on: "men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men, manly men, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo...meeeeeennnnn". It's like they threw this show together at the end of a four day bender on the plane back from cabo and asked the perky flight attendant what a show called "Two and A Half Men" should have as its theme song and she started singing "men, men, men, men..." I won't continue, it's giving me a migraine. I haven't figured out why the network picked it up yet though...maybe one of the buffoons was sleeping with a network exec and she okay-ed it to get out of fellating him least until he got tested.
I changed the channel and watched "Seinfeld". 
I've recently discovered The Daily Intel (NY Magazine Blog), and while I must say that I'm not really a huge fan of reading all sorts of internet blogging crap (but you should probably keep reading this...just kidding, no one is reading this except me. Over and over again. Marveling in my own genius.) I find that The Daily Intel has some seriously good features. Mostly just the one where once a week I get to read about slutty New Yorkers sexing it up all over town (and out of town). My favorite was The Recent College Grad Who'd Never Been In A Relationship, but this week the entries bored me The TV Producer Who Knew Everyone seemed predictable. However, what I wanted to point out was the comment section, where "GirlMonday" wrote "Very New York, and just goes to show that brunch is indeed the new Saturday night." I hate to say "I told you so", but I told you!! This TV producer had hot sex with a British guy she met at brunch...I love brunch! (And British guys...but that is a whole different topic, for a whole different day).
Summary: Tonight I ate peanut butter and someone else thinks brunch is fun. 
PS: This photo is what I look like eating peanut butter on the couch, obviously.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Led Zeppelin Makes Me Cry...

Not like Norah Jones makes me cry. Led Zeppelin makes me cry because they're so fucking good. Norah Jones sounds like naptime. But this isn't about Norah's about Led Zeppelin.
Firstly, when I was little I thought that Led Zeppelin was one man. I thought his first name was Led and his last name was Zeppelin. It's funny to think about now, but then again, not all that irrational. It could be a guy's name. Led could be a first name. Led, clean your room. Can you do me a favor and pick up some milk on your way home, Led? Yeah, it's possible.

Anyway, I owe my father big time for popping on Led Zeppelin records in the living room when I was a kid. I also owe my father big time for still owning and operating a record player up to this day. I owe lots of things to my mother, but my musical and film knowledge were mostly acquired through my dad. Probably because my mother can't seem to remember if she's seen a movie or not. Ever. I know my brother would agree with me on these points, in fact, I sent him a link to this blog because I was writing this post. 

It stopped being cool to like the music that my parents listened to after I turned 8, though, until I turned 16...then something shifted. All of a sudden I was digging through the cabinets and stealing my mom's Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan albums (okay fine, she knows good music). All of a sudden I realized that my father being a jazz fanatic might be pretty cool after all. 
My brother and I spend too much time complaining about how we were born at the wrong time for music. In fact, I got a text from him today that reads, "[Almost Famous is] such a good movie. Every time i watch that or dazed and confused i feel like i got jipped and should've been born when our parents were". Touche, bro. Touche.
Per usual, I digress. Led Zeppelin. We were talking about Led Zeppelin. Listening to When The Levee Breaks might be a sexual experience, I'm just throwing it out there, it might. Tangerine makes me cry...especially when it plays at the end of Almost Famous (which is what prompted me to write this whole rant right now in the first place...yes, my Amazon dvds have arrived). Listen to Dyer Maker while walking around NYC in the summer...the song and the city smell the same (songs have smells...just roll with it). I wish Going To California was 5 hours long so I could listen to it for the whole plane ride to California. I could go through the whole catalogue, but I don't need to, because you can. 

Bottom Line: Every day should start with Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. And a big cup of coffee...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Drug Movies

Recession cutting into your drug habit? I've got a solution that you've probably heard of and already indulged in. 
Rewind. When I was in high school I began my dvd "collection". Most of these early movies were leftovers from girl's nights at my house and were never redeemed, and some were birthday presents from people who didn't know me very well, but as a result, the first few dvds in my collection were "Charlie's Angels", "Bridget Jones' Diary", and "The Princess Diaries". Bad start, "Diaries" and "Angels" do not a film collection make. 
But, I digress, and luckily, I discovered in college. I remembered all the old movies that my dad forced me to watch on TNT Sunday nights, I watched "Spun" in a fraternity bedroom, and I borrowed "Traffic" from a girl down the hall. The rest is history, a love story between a girl and her addiction--to movies about addicts, or selling drugs, or people getting their faces punched in because of drug money...well, you get the picture. 
I like to laugh my ass off at Seth Rogan and his silly man-boy antics, I thoroughly enjoy the Oscar winning films of yore (and present), and "The Wizard of Oz" will always hold a very special place in my heart (regardless of the field of poppies), however, props to the Drug Movies.
Lots of people like this isn't a weird quirk I have, but I think it's worth pointing out that waking up and popping in "Pulp Fiction" is a great way to start your Saturday morning. And I'm pretty sure that I just ordered "Blow" and "Boogie Nights" from Amazon yesterday (I know...I should've already owned them). Umm, I forced my roommates to watch "True Romance" roughly 34 times last year, "GoodFellas" made me proud to be half-Italian, and I think that I told someone once that I wanted to lose 40 pounds and play a junkie. Oh yeah, and "Trainspotting".

Bottom Line: Drug movies might be better than drugs...they're certainly cheaper and less illegal...and they probably have a longer shelf life...and your mom most likely won't cry if she finds them in your apartment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Peanut Butter

About a month ago I came home from work hungry and decided to park myself on the couch with my current obsession (pictured left) and watch some mindless tv. 3 episodes of That 70s Show and half a jar later (literally, half the jar) I found myself on top of a sugar high, lying wide-eyed in bed wondering how I could possibly fit into my jeans the next morning. But you know what? It was worth it, and I'm not just saying that. It was actually worth the 500 (or some odd) grams of fat and the several hours of sleep lost. Seriously. It is, in fact, that good.

I truly LOVE peanut butter. There is no arguing this point. Peanut butter must be the greatest invention ever. Apparently, if Wikipedia is right, which it probably isn't, the Aztecs first mashed peanuts into paste hundreds of years ago...and then, in 1884 a guy named Marcellus Something (he was Canadian, whatever) invented a process of milling roasted peanuts until they had a "butter"-y consistency. Then the Kellogg guy got a patent for "Nut Butter" in 1897. But, however it started, I'm happy about how its turned out. In fact, I'm so happy that I eat it every day. It's why I keep running and can't seem to lose any weight.
Mostly, I eat it plain, while drinking a glass of milk and watching Friends and then the transition into Sex and The City on the CW on weeknights. Sometimes, I dip a spoon in peanut butter and then put a little strawberry jelly on top and eat that together. It's like a sandwich, without the carbs (rationalizing works wonders). 

I will point out, however, that Smuckers has the best standard, non-fancy, peanut butter. Natural, creamy (or chunky), Smuckers is by far the most delicious. There's really no difference in taste between their organic, reduced-fat, or just standard natural. I am a peanut butter snob, so I don't like non-natural peanut butter. Skippy, Jif, no thanks. Judge as you will, but I am not willing to compromise here. There is no discussion. It has to be the natural stuff. Sorry, kids.

This past summer, though, I discovered Peanut Butter & Co. I don't know if they sell their jars outside of NYC or not, but they're located in Greenwich Village. They have flavored PB. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl is possibly the most genius combination ever created. Just check out that first paragraph again. Worth. It.

I'm gonna put this out there, but peanut butter is going to officially replace cupcakes in trendy-land. I like me a red velvet from Crumbs as much as the next girl, but I'd trade it all for a big spoonful of natural PB.

All You Can Drink Brunch

It's difficult to find something more genuinely joy-inducing than an all you can drink brunch deal. I used to think that drinking during the day was irresponsible, exhausting, and just not worth it, however, my perception has shifted. I've come to realize that there is virtually no pressure involved in daytime drinking. Weekend nights yield high expectations (finding someone attractive to talk to, just for one), but daytime brunch deals have no such expectations (unless I'm issuing them which case, I apologize).

Think about it this wake up on a Sunday morning needing something greasy and delicious, you call a friend, they're desperately in need of curing their hangover. You decide to hit up a local brunch spot. In Manhattan, this can end early, with a $50 bill and only a mimosa or two down the hatch. BUT, there are a few places that have the answer for you. Your brunch comes with an all-you-can-drink won't be able to stop. It's a beautiful thing to make friends with the people sitting next to you at 12:30 on a Sunday because you've all had 6 mimosas  and your bill won't be higher than $23/person...with tip. Everyone is happy. Everyone is drunk. Everyone is well-fed. It is truly a beautiful thing.

(Try, but make reservations: "The Sunburnt Cow", Ave C @ 9th St, $18/all you can drink+food, "Bondi Road", Rivington St. @ Suffolk, $18/all you can drink + food,  "Essex", Essex @ Rivington, 3 drinks+ food/$16)

If you don't live in NYC...visit...or just move already. Plus, I'm sure there's more of these deals around that I just don't know about yet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

But Why?

I like lots of things. I like lots of things a lot. In fact, there are few things that I dislike. But there is an all-powerful, all-consuming, abandon of rationality when it comes to those things that I take a specific liking to. Now you have a chance to try all the things that I like, and maybe somewhere along the way you'll abandon all rationality and indulge yourself.

With the world becoming so interconnected, you can find almost anything anywhere, so while some of the things listed are specific to NYC, chances are you've got them within reach, no matter where you are. So don't fret, kiddies.