tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This is the kind of hipster I am?

The tortured intellectual hipster

You're sensitive, you're emotional, and you wonder why everyone else in the world exists on a different plane. You cannot eat, breathe, or sleep without analyzing each action to death. You're usually sombre, depressed, lethargic, but you can be nearly glad from time to time. You wear whatever you can find on your cluttered bedroom floor. You carry books, notepads, reading glasses with you wherever you go. You have friends, but only a few who truly get where you're coming from. You frequent coffee shops, libraries, and the less crowded bars. You're obsessed with past people, past ideas, past lives. You wish you could die and be reborn as Jack Kerouac.

I dunno. I mean, I do have a thing for past ideas and my bedroom floor is cluttered, but I don't have any strong feelings for Jack Kerouac.

Update: I neglected to give the link to the quiz so my readers (all three of you) can find out what kind of hipster they are: hipster quiz.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Confirmation of my last post

Just wanted to post this little tidbit about Kimora Lee Simmons, which further confirms my attitude toward her.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Really annoying celebrities

Today's topic is celebrities I can't stand. A few weeks ago, I would have said Paris Hilton was at the top of my list, simply because she's completely annoying and lacks any reason for existence, but hating Paris is just so easy. She gives you so many reasons, it's hard to even work up any enthusiasm these days.

So I am having to try a little harder with annoying celebrities. Among my latest annoyances are:

1. Sienna Miller. Why am I confronted with this woman every time I look at US Weekly? And I open up this month's VF to discover that she has made their "Best-Dressed List." Best dressed? She wears peasant skirts and cowbow boots for crying out loud. In VF, she lists “anything to do with animals” as one of her fave charities, yet in the picture she is wearing a fur vest. She cares about animals except when they are being clubbed to death? She is famous mainly for being Jude Law's fiance. Her other big claim to fame is her role as Keen Eddie's annoying British roommate (who I was convinced was played by Melissa George of Alias fame for months, before Brian finally convinced me otherwise. Guess that shows what an impact Sienna's performance had on me). Why do I find her so annoying? Well, it's not just Jude Law jealousy. I have issues with people who are famous for no apparent reason, and she falls into that category. I have just discovered that she will play Edie Sedgwick in an upcoming biopic. Another reason to hate her. I dressed as Edie for Halloween one time in high school. I'm not convinced Sienna has what it takes to portray Warhol's tragic muse.

2. Kimora Lee Simmons. My intense dislike of her began a couple of years back, when Vogue did a piece about New Yorkers who made a difference post-9/11. Her husband Russell Simmons does a lot of serious charity work, but she spoils the effect by saying, “The most fashionable thing you can do is give back to the community. People need to realize that it’s fashionable to help others.” Yes, I’m sure all those people who gave so generously to 9/11 relief efforts would be delighted to know that Kimora approves of their fashionability. What a moron. This month’s VF (they have a lot to answer for) has a fawning profile of her. They talk about how she puts her two small children in all her Baby Phat ads as if that isn't at all exploitative. I stopped reading when she started talking about all the women who are after her shriveled creepy old man husband (who hooked up with her when she was a teenager and he was 20 years her senior). “I will beat a bitch’s ass,” she says. (Note to self, drop plan to convince Russell that I am the one for him. She is an amazon and could totally take me.) She also said she feels like Coretta Scott King, which is so beyond insulting, I can barely comment on it.

3. Renee Zellwegger. I don’t deny that she can act, but ugh, she is just so annoying, what with those teeny tiny little eyes and the way she always carries on about her “immigrant parents.” Her parents are from Norway and Switzlerland. I’m so sure Northern European Aryan type immigrants faced horrible discrimination in the post-War World II U.S. She also strikes me as someone desparate to please and be liked, and that is just so not movie star. Take a lesson from Angelina Jolie.

And just so you don’t think I only hate women:

4. Ben Affleck. I have always found him kind of annoying, but it reached a fever pitch during the publicity-fueled romance with J.Lo. I won’t go into great detail, but here are a few annoying things about Mr. Affleck: 1. J.Lo. I know it’s over, but still. 2. Gigli. The 20 people who saw it want their money back. 3. His professional poker career. 4. His dull, dull, dull on an off screen persona. He’s just so bland. I just don’t get the attraction. Everytime I see him with Jennifer Garner, I want to scream, “you dumped Michael Vartan for this?!”

That’s all the bile I have the stomach for today. Who are your least favorite celebs? Come on, don’t be shy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Chicago, Chicago

Over the weekend, I made my first trip to Chicago. It was a blast. I’ll break down the details below.

Day 1, Friday

I run screaming out of my office around 1:45 and had no problems at the airport, so within an hour, I was at the gate with my fellow travellers, Karen, Kristin, and Mel. Since our flight wasn’t leaving ‘til 4, we had plenty of time for a cocktail in the lovely airport sports bar. When you order a drink, they offer to make it a double for another two dollars. How can you turn down that offer? (For the record, I am opposed to all forms of supersizing, except when it concerns alcohol.) The flight was uneventful, although there was a strange smell coming from behind me, sort of like musty socks dipped in vinegar. That turned out to be the vinegar fries that Mel brought on the plane. The chatty midwestern guy sitting next to me tried to engage me in conversation (“Are you visiting Chicago for business or pleasure, he said, with just a touch of a leer on “pleasure”), but I shut him down by sticking my nose in my book and keeping it there for the rest of the flight. You can hop right on the subway at the airport, and it was about a 45-minute ride to Kristin’s dad’s condo.

The condo is amazing. It’s pretty much all windows, so the view is fabulous. The lake is only a few blocks away, and when it wasn’t foggy, we had a really good view of it. I think the neighborhood is called the Gold Coast? We chilled at the apartment for a while, drinking some of the wine that Mel transported from DC. We had dinner at a great French restaurant, Bistro Margot, which was just a few blocks from the condo. I had the mussels as an appetizer, which was crazy since there were about 400 mussels on the plate. Appetizer, my ass. For my entrée, I had rack of lamb, which was to die for (love love love that delicious lamb. baaah!). I tried some of Mel’s fish, which was also great and probably cooked in about a pound of butter. It was a long dinner and we were all a bit tired, so we made it an early night, intending to get an early start on the next day.

Day 2, Saturday

We did manage to get an early start, heading out for brunch at a place called Orange, which is sort of a juice bar. While we were waiting for our table and doing a little window-shopping, we realized that they did not serve drinks. This would happen again on Sunday. How do we keep finding brunch places that don’t serve brunch drinks? Still, this place was worth the wait. You can order any kind of combination juice. I had orange/pineapple/mango. I think Kristin’s was strawberry/banana/pineapple. All delicious (although a shot of vodka wouldn’t have hurt). They have this thing called a pancake flight, where you get four stacks of silver dollar pancakes, each done differently, but all within a theme. We got that as an appetizer (sweet brunch appetizers being a new trend begun by Nathan, which I think I am going to be adopting from now on). The theme was Italian. There was a stack of tiramisu pancakes, one covered with flan, one with ricotta and something else, and I can’t remember the fourth, but they were all fantastic. I then had huevos rancheros. Having the pancakes first solved my usual brunch dilemma of sweet versus salty (honestly, I spend ridiculous amounts of time staring at brunch menus, saying “sweet or salty? sweet or salty?”).

After brunch, we spent several hours shopping in the same neighborhood (can’t recall the name of it). There is some great shopping in Chicago. There are tons of stores with really cool, inexpensive clothes, shoes, and bags. DC just does not have this kind of variety. I went a little nuts, but everything was so cheap. I regret not buying a purse, since I saw about 45 that I wanted. I guess there were just too many to choose from. I am still obsessing over the basket purse. It was shaped like a wicker basker and had hot pink handles and a big hot pink flower on it. Why did I hesitate? I did get two pairs of supercute shoes, two skirts, and a top.

Later in the afternoon, we headed back to the condo to meet up with Megan, who actually ended up knocking on the door of another apt. 2501 at a completely different building. There’s a great grocery store down the street, so we picked up some wine and cheese and relaxed for a couple of hours (shopping is hard work). Had some interesting discussions over the wine and cheese, but I won’t go into specifics. Kristin’s friend Scott came to meet us and was kind enough to chauffeur us around. We all went to dinner at Adobo in Wicker Park, a very good Mexican place, where they make the guacamole at your table a la Rosa Mexicana (is this a new trend?). I had Kahlua flan for dessert, which I am still raving over. You have no idea how good it was. We went to a bar around the corner after dinner called the Rainbow Club. After less than an hour, Karen and I went back to the condo. It’s official: I can no longer party like a rock star. What happened to me? I am glad to say that some of us are still capable of it (as Mel said many times this weekend, “you go, girlfriend!”).

Day 3, Sunday

We got a slightly later start, probably having something to do with all the alcohol consumed on day 2. We made our way back to Wicker Park, intending to have brunch at a place called the Bongo Room, but the wait was an hour and 45 minutes (!), so we ended up down the street at the Ann Sather Café. The original Ann Sather is a really famous Swedish restaurant. This one is an off-shoot and didn’t seem particularly Swedish. My sweet/salty dilemma was solved because you can get cinnamon rolls as one of your two sides with any egg dish. Those cinnamon rolls were amazing. I should have brought some back on the plane. They may have been the best thing I ate in Chicago (it’s a tight race with the flan). Again, no alcohol at brunch. I probably sound like a huge drunk, but I just happen to really like brunch drinks. I can’t imagine a juice that isn’t enhanced by a little vodka or champagne. They did have something called “oxygen water,” which containes 10% more oxygen than regular water and was claimed by the waiter to help hangovers. Those at my table who drank it were not impressed.

After brunch, we did a little more shopping. I was still jonesin for a purse, but I just couldn’t find one that was right for me (again, regretting the basket purse and that cute little pink fake Kelly bag from day 2). I was enraptured by a pair of mary janes at Fluvog, but I couldn’t justify paying over $200 for purple and red shoes that would match maybe two things I own. We checked out a really cool used bookstore called Myopic, but it’s definitely a place you need a lot of time for. It’s packed and kind of claustrophobic. I did find a book on the Wars of the Roses that I had been wanting to read for a while, so I picked that up.

We headed back to the condo, packed up our stuff, and got back on the subway to O’Hare. The airport was interesting. Right in front of us in line were a young couple carrying the strangest thing in their suitcase. It appeared to be a giant piggy bank in the shape of a pig wearing a cowboy hat. It was two feet tall and they had tried to stuff it into a rollerbag. It totally didn’t fit in the bag, so the hat was sticking out the top and they had put bungee cords all around the bag to hold it together since they couldn't zip it . I was thinking, they are so not gonna be able to check that bag, and indeed, one of the airline employees pulled them over and told them so. They seemed genuinely surprised at this.

Security was fine. I was marveling at having gotten through security two times now without having my bra checked to make sure that really is an underwire in there, but I now know that they stopped doing the breast exam because it made people uncomfortable. Imagine that! Our flight was delayed, so we decided to get something to eat and drink. The only option was Chili’s. We actually waited in line to get into a Chili’s. That may have been the strangest part of the whole weekend. The last check was still on the table and from the credit card receipt we could see that the last customer had only tipped like 10%. What an asshole. Our service was just great, and I think we tipped at least 12% (kidding). The gates at O’Hare are pretty small, so most people end up sitting on the floor. The wait wasn’t too bad, and I think we took off within 30 to 45 minutes of our original departure time. It was another uneventful flight and then I dragged my tired ass home and into bed.

Some random thought on Chicago: I really liked it. It is perhaps what New York was 50 years ago, in terms of neighborhoods still having a real ethnic identity. The architecture was very interesting. I wish I had gotten to see more of the city, but I’m sure I’ll be making a return trip. People are definitely friendlier out there, none of that East Coast reserve I’m used to. I never knew that the nickname “the Windy City” has nothing to do with the wind, which is funny because it is really windy there.

Monday, March 07, 2005

An interesting weekend: beer, paella, Spanish drama, and a little ancient Rome

This was a very cool weekend. A bunch of us went to see Moving Units (Brian's friend Johan is in the band) at the 9:30. They were great, as were the other opening band, Autolux. The main band, Secret Machines, were really bad, sort of like Rush mixed with Def Leopard. After one song, I escaped to the back bar until the end of the show. I scored a really cool hot pink Moving Units tee shirt (thanks, Johan!).

On Saturday night, I went to a friend's for paella, which was amazing, and delicious Spanish wine, and got to see his new house (also amazing). After dinner, a big group of us saw Federico Garcia Lorca's play Yerma at the new Gala Theatre, which is in the old Tivoli Theatre building in Columbia Heights. The theatre is a bit cramped, but they have preserved the old ceiling, which is really beautiful. The play was in Spanish, so that was an interesting experience, since I do not speak the language. They had surtitles so it wasn't too hard to follow. I enjoyed the production, but I feel like I missed a lot of the subtleties. Still, it was very interesting.

Last night was the inaugural viewing of my I, Claudius group. Wwe only made it through one episode since everyone was pretty beat. Only 11 more to go. If you haven't seen this fabulous Masterpiece Theatre production, I can't recommend it enough. It's very faithful to the books, I, Claudius and Claudius the God (also highly recommended).

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I am way popular

I am going to steal an idea from Kathryn’s blog and discuss some recent MySpace.com hijinks. When I logged on yesterday morning, my profile view number was hovering around the same place it had been for days, about 95. When I checked my page again after lunch, it had jumped to 214 and I had gotten a couple of messages, which is unusual. (Since my profile states that I am in a relationship and not looking to date, I don't hear from too many people.) One of those messages was from an online aquaintance telling me that I had shown up as a “cool new person” on the site. For those of you not familiar with MySpace, everytime you log on, you see two people in the “cool new people” box. I occasionally click on these profiles, but generally only when the person looks really bizarre or whatever. I spent yesterday afternoon being astounded by my newfound popularity. I was far more astounded when I logged on this morning and found that my profile now have 677 views! I have never felt so popular in my life.

The best part are the messages. I will share a few of the best ones here.

Jon. I’m not going to post his profile b/c he doesn’t deserve to have his numbers bumped up. His message is my favorite:
Subj: Hi
Body: my name is jon and i saw your pic. you know that you are a very beautiful woman. i know this is wierd and i am nervous because i have never asked this before. i was just wondering if you had any sexy pics you would share with me? punisherjon@yahoo.com. i just really would be honored to see more of that amazing body. thong? less? anything... thanks jon
He has “never asked this before” Why don’t I believe him?

Then there was a message from the amusingly monikered ®™~Ghô§twôÍf~™©:
Subj: =]
Body: pardon the interuption here,I mean no harm or anything bad at all but... GREETINGS!

How r ya doing today? I am doing purdy gud- heh- except - i didnt sleep very well- musta been those damn glowing rocks under my bed- but- other than that- i am ok =]

...sorry...I'm just bored- so just ignore me...actually - I am surfing thru myspace...and ended up on your space- so I just figured I would drop a quick hello to ya!

Anyhow, I just like to meet new ppl is all- so please excuse the intrusion here...I guess I oughta look busy anyways- take care and if you want, message me back- if not- I respect and understand that :-)
Doug aka ®™~Ghõ§tWõÍf~™©

we now return you to what ever it was you were doing ps- may I add you?
he gets point for originality.

A couple of messages were from people who appeared to have at least glanced at my profile, since they commented on my thing about my wanting cake. Thanks for reading about me, guys, but I’m still not going to add you.

I got a dull message from a guy named Fabio. Sadly, he is not the Fabio. I won't post a link to his profile, since it gives absolutely no information.

Most people just want me to add them. I have my page set up so that you must know my last name or email to add me. This is apparently not common as most people are surprised that they can’t just add me. Here is one of them: Rain
Subj: Wanting to add you, if thats alright
Body: My name is Rainier. I saw the pics you have of yourself. I think your very attractive and you sound nice so I was kinda wondering if I can add you. But your settings are set for those you know so I figure I'd send you a message instead. I hope you'll add me if your ok with it. I'm somewhat a nice guy depending how you look at me ^_^ Uh yeah, so uh, I guess i'll cya around. You can add me if you want. If you find anything on my profile, pics, etc, appealing to you. Laters. ~Rain~

At least he asked politely. Shahid’s message simply said “add me.” Not even a please? I don’t think so.

Pasha thinks very highly of himself.
Subj: Read this...Body:
My Space. My Face.
Current mood: thoughtful

All rolled into one, gather yourself here.
These souls feel nothing, all of them fear.
Lust for achievement.
Strive to be viewed noble.
What is your purpose?
A number? A total?
Do you keep running, due to its comfort?
Is it them lost?
Or your soul playing star-search?
Love not those others, too poor, to love self.
Do you think poor is money?
Or no spiritual health?
No drive to exceed, except in my eyes.
That is no person, only a disguise.
They, i mean you, we both have hearts.
You stray off the path, to ask why i depart?
I have stood still, here and there.
Sometimes my drive, was to not even care.
Thats never solved much.
Yes indeed, we know this.
But its easy to walk and easier to focus.
Blinded by my space, poisened my own thoughts.
Then came the clearing, my voice could then talk.
The first thing i said, was right in my ear.
Is this your face?
Are you still here?
Why are you seduced?
Its you fooling you? again!
Didnt you learn the first time?
Or does contemp claim the win?
To be drowing, and have rain, wouldnt add much.
Dont lose yourself.
Your already losing touch.....

Pash....hmmm i like that one
Wow, he’s a poet.

I was somewhat intrigued by BOSA’s pic, although not so much by her message:
Body: You are so gorgeous and intriguing...I wanted to add you to my good network of friends but coud not! Sorry girl!
Bosa girl from SanFrancisco
You really should check out this profile.

These messages could totally go to my head. Dora says “wow. ur beautiful.” Aw, thanks Dora. Dora is a swinger with kids by the way.

Sideshow Bob is a Kid Rock lovin’ pagan who says: "You are so beautiful. Please add my name, so I can get to know you?.” Hey, at least he said please.

One guy actually took the time to read my blog and added a comment about a museum I might want to check out when I am in London. Thanks!

That's all for now. I must be off the "cool new people" rotation, because I'm stuck at around 730 views at the moment.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

incoherent ramblings

I was going to comment on the Oscars, but I really should have done that yesterday, so I'll just make a few random notes. I like how they make the non-actor/director/producer award nominees stand on stage (a la miss america) or receive their awards up in the aisle. It's a really nice way to say that these awards are not important and that all we really care about are the pretty people. I guess Scorsese was robbed (saw The Aviator Saturday night and didn't hate it, which is by way of a compliment for me), but since I didn't see Million Dollar Baby, I can't say for sure (a film about boxing and euthanasia--no thanks).

The city looked incredibly beautiful as I was walking to work today. The snow hadn't started to melt yet or turn dirty, and all the trees were covered. It was the perfect kind of storm, just enough to make everything pretty, not enough to make a complete mess.

I had Baked Alaska the other day for a friend's birthday. In case you weren't alive in the 1950s (I certainly wasn't), this is a dessert that was very popular at that time. It's cake with ice cream on top, baked in a meringue crust, which somehow keeps the ice cream from melting. Once I scraped the meringue crust off, it was pretty good, but at that point, I was left with cake and ice cream, which no longer seemed exotic.

This week's New York magazine has a profile of Lizzie Grubman (http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/people/features/11259/index.html) and how she has been able to put her life back together after that unfortunate Hamptons incident in which she backed over the peons in her Mercedes SUV. She's an inspiration to us all. The high point of the article: "“No one believed in hip-hop but me."