Thursday, March 31, 2005

a great week in media

I had the best week of new movies and music thanks to my blogging buddies.

It started off when I checked out Gaelic Storm from the library. We've already heard about that. On the same trip I picked up Hedwig and the Angry Inch, DVD and soundtrack. I've been singing the songs in my head all week now. "Put on some makeup, turn on the 8 track..." etc. What a beautiful movie. I think that my favorite scene from early in the movie was in the Sizzler looking restaurant, with the band all around the salad bar with all the Jewish sugar daddies. I love Hedwig's monologue. What the heck city were they supposed to be in anyway? I watched the movie trying to imagine the play and wondering what it was like. I'm so happy to have the songs in my head even though I returned the CD and DVD today.

Great as this movie and music are, I have gotten a little weirded out lately as I just saw that John Cameron Mitchell (director/writer/star of this movie) is planning another movie, Shortbus, with real sex, but not porn. I just saw today a call for "sextras," people who will be having real sex in the background of some scene. They are calling for couples, which somehow makes me feel...better? I believe in artistic freedom in principle of course, but given the reception that Brown Bunny got, I wonder how well received this will be. I can't really imagine going to see it, must as I loved Hedwig.

Anyway, on a lighter note...I also convinced Isaac that we should rent Wet Hot American Summer even though Blockbuster charges $4.79 or so for one rental. Gag. It was delicious - I used to love the State and it was fun to see those guys again. I love the absurdity of the whole thing having 30-somethings play teenagers. The montage in town was our favorite. It brought back memories of the montage in Team America, but was a lot better done. There was a lot of good montage action in WHAS - the later one with the "new way" was also so funny.

Gee, I really should go to bed. I'm supposed to wake up in less than 5 hours to go on a field trip to a pharmaceutical company. Cheers.

I'm the worst movie reviewer ever, I realize.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Conversation overheard on the bus between girl and her gay friend... they are going to her parents' house in New Jersey for Easter.

Girl: So there are a few things you should know about how the trip is going to play out and who we will be hanging out with to fill in the background.

Gay Friend: Yes, tell me all about it.

G: So one thing is, we are going to see Jason, and my parents will talk about Jason, and Jason will come over, and he's just my brother's friend. It will not be mentioned that I was ever WITH Jason - my family just pretends that whole thing doesn't exist.

GF: Oh, so it's kind of like my gayness.

G: Right.

GF: Got it.

G: Next, you should know about my Uncle Frank. He's going to be at dinner on Sunday, and he's mentally ill. You know, like manic-depressive. So if he says anything weird to you, just ignore him.

GF: So does he talk crazy talk a lot?

G: Not really, he never says anything to me because he's just all doped up on so many psychiatric drugs. He hardly ever talks.

GF: Oh, okay.

G: Actually, he's gay too, but that probably won't come up.

GF: So is he single? Sounds like quite the catch from what you've said so far.

I was quite amused with these people for that part of their conversation. But then it got totally quiet, as gay friend seemed to be trying to nap. Too bad, as he was the really amusing one, of course. And then Girl has this huge cough attack which lasted like 30 minutes. Like 10 minutes in I turned around to offer her a cough drop (Isaac is sick too, poor thing) and caught her with this nasal squirt thing up her nose (and she was not really an attractive woman to begin with) and she's like, no thanks, I've already got one. Eeek.

I wonder how their weekend turned out.

Monday, March 28, 2005

That was fun!

Isaac and I had a lovely extended Easter celebration by doing a few things:

1. We went to my grandparents' house on Saturday and my mom and dad and siblings and brother-in-law met us there.

2. We didn't go to work on Sunday either -yay! (We usually work at least one weekend day if not two.)

3. Tonight we had a lovely Easter dinner of our own with Cornish Game Hens and Stuffing (made in the oven)and a beautiful green salad.

Photographic evidence of number 1. That's us in order of age, what else, me, Beth, Katie, Rich - left to right. Now I feel bad that I didn't put up a picture of Beth sooner but it wasn't her birthday and she didn't come to visit me the weekend after I got my new camera. She loves purple, so easter is a great time of year for her. Don't we look alike? I was Chrissy when we were little and she is Bethie of course.



Photographic evidence of number 3.


We ate in courses because we were too hungry to wait for each thing to finish and too stupid to get it to all come out at the same time. It was good - I think the stuffing came out pretty good, although it was kind of damp because I didn't use really dry bread. Just cooked it a little longer to even it out. I cut the butter by 2/3 after that super-buttery stuffing that we made for our Thanksgiving/Hannukah/Christmas party. Why would you need more fat than that? That was still aplenty.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Happy Easter!

We are about to leave to catch a bus to my Grandma's house and meet the rest of the family there.

Happy Easter and here's an old link that I can't resist posting.

Peeps Research

PS Purim correction - I mentioned King Hamen before, but that was wrong. Isaac corrected me yesterday that it is really King Something-or-other and Hamen was the evil prime minister type. Esther was the Jewish queen who saved the Jewish people from Hamen's evil plotting.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Stupidest Nightmare Ever

Some people dream about knife-wielding maniacs, alien invasions and the end of the world, flying yogurt or even sink parties. I had this horrible nightmare about vanity sizing. You know, the sizing protocol whereby a 12 today is much much bigger than a 12 was in 1950. I know this because I wore my grandmother's wedding dress, which she bought off the rack at Saks in 1947 - it was a size 12. And then my mom had it altered a bunch when she got married, and then I had to get it altered a bunch yet again to fit my 2003-sized self.

Well in my dream, I was trying on the skinniest jeans ever, and so happy because they were fitting me so nicely. It started off great. And then all of a sudden I saw the label and they were 20 sizes bigger than any of my usual sizes (ranging across many sizes because of the aforementioned arbitrary sizing). And the snotty salesgirl in my dream said they were going back to the old system. NOOOOO!

So I guess they can't have vanity sizing for men because aren't the sizes actually related to inches, waist, neck etc. What a good idea. I'm just as happy not to shop for everything like I shop for bras though I guess. I can't even really get that right, even though it's supposedly objective. I know someone professional could measure me at a Victoria's Secret, because every time I go in there, someone offers. I know that they are professionals, and theoretically there should be nothing awkward, but that seems like one of the more psychically painful interactions I could subject myself to. What kind of small talk would you make when she is measuring you in your old bra? Will she comment on the ratty state of the old undergarments to go for the upsell? Or will I say, wow your hands are warm. Shudder.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

gaelic storm

I picked up my first Gaelic Storm CD from the library on the way home from work! I heard about Gaelic Storm from Stacy. She talks about them occasionally- like here, here, here and here (this was before I was a Stacy's Random Thoughts and Opinions reader I think!)

Since I'm a person "who enjoys" Stacy (by the way, I like the fact that the tagline of Stacy's blog is "A journal of random observations, reviews, and opinions I want to catalog for me and people who enjoy me." Because Planet Dan's tagline is "A site for people who love dan". Must we love you Dan? Can't we be friends first?) I thought I might enjoy Gaelic Storm. And I DO! In fact by the 13th track (Cab Ride to Kingston) I was improvising an Irish jig for Isaac's amusement. Well, he looked more annoyed than amused, but I was amused. Until I realized I was jumping up and down in clogs on the foot I broke last summer, and then it kind of hurt. But this is some really fun music. I also realized that I could have heard samples at which is printed in huge letters on their CD. Guess I forgot how to do a google search there.

Anyway, thanks for recommending this band Stacy - they are coming to Long Island while I'm in China, but I see that they are playing in Annapolis next month too, I will have to tip off my sisters.

help me spend my gift certificate.

So the haircut thing went off okay yesterday. I don't think that Nelly liked me very much. She turned out to be a motherly looking Russian lady, as were most of the stylists, although I think the place was French-owned. Maybe it would have gone better if I'd had the chance to tell her the name of my friend who sent me there, but there was no opportunity. As soon as I sat down in her chair, she took the towel off my head and was making this face and expressing major disapproval about the ends of my hair which she could hardly get her comb through. I knew the ends were not doing so hot, and I considered chopping them off myself before showing up there. Oh well. My hair looks much better now, and I think it was pretty obvious that I needed a low-maintenance cut from the state of the hair, because that's what she gave me. No pictures yet, maybe for Easter! I'll try to get one of myself with half a chocolate bunny sticking out because that's what I feel like doing. Must. Eat. Chocolate.

So does anyone have any book suggestions for me? I have this Barnes and Noble thing to spend. I like to buy cookbooks, (i'd rather get fiction from the library mostly). Speaking of cookbooks, what is going on with Rachael Ray? I might even buy this cookbook still (I liked her 30 minute meals 2, though not the first one so much) but what is up with her shirt and makeup? It's scaring me. I just don't understand. In this picture even she looks kind of deer in the headlights, not her usually over-perky sometime annoying self. The smile doesn't reach her eyes.


I'm so glad that the week is almost over - Isaac and I are going to my grandparents' house on Saturday for a family Easter celebration. My parents and siblings are going to drive up to meet us there. I can't wait. And the best Jewish holiday of the year is tomorrow (although I don't know that we will do anything special to celebrate this year. It's Purim, where you are supposed to get drunk. The historical reasons for this are unclear to me...probably because I was drunk when I was supposed to be paying attention to the history of the event. But it has something to do with King Hamen, who was BAD. And Esther, who was good. And you also get to eat these cookies, Hamentashen, which resemble the tricorner hat that Paul Revere, uh...Hamen wore. Whatever. The cookies are good. Here's what they look like:

Latke Hamentashen Costumes

Like the guy on the right. If it weren't a costume.

Anyway, Purim actually starts tonight! So have a drink and eat a cookie. Then fast tomorrow because it's Good Friday. In this battle of Judaism vs. Catholicism I think we can see which religion is winning on fun. But Catholics will be back with Easter bunnies on Sunday, and then where will the Jews be? Back to feeling guilty and not getting drunk! You know I'm just kidding right?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

can't sleep

I'm up past my bedtime. I fell asleep at 10:30 reading Home Comforts, a book that always makes me feel cozy and slovenly at the same time, but then Isaac came to bed and woke me up at 11:30. After a little tossing and turning...Now I'm feeling all icky and wide awake.

At least there's Dan's music box. I will hopefully check out the Hedwig and the Angry Inch movie and soundtrack soon, courtesy of the library. Can't wait. The movie had been recommended to me a long time ago and I don't know why I never got around to it.

I got a great birthday CD this weekend from my friend Brian. Among the songs was something I'd never heard before by Antony and the Johnsons called Cripple and the Starfish. I think I figured out how to link that from his website. You can see more songs and other info at Antony's website. I just love this song. I freaked out my coworkers by playing it a little too loud, especially the new Japanese postdoc who shares my work computer with me.

OK i'm going to try to sleep again.

hairy problems

So now that Birthfest 2005 is over, it's time to use the presents that I got! I got a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble, which I can't quite decide how to use. Probably will buy some new music or maybe the Napoleon Dynamite DVD. I think I would watch it pretty often.

Another gift, which a less secure person might have been offended by was a gift certificate to get my hair cut, with a recommendation for the gift giver's stylist - who "really knows what she is doing!" I haven't had a haircut in almost a year. How stupid can you be. But I really just hate going, maybe the way that some people hate going to the dentist. I hate talking to the shampooer or the stylist, even to describe the simplest possible haircut. I just feel completely ungirly and unqualified to even set foot inside the salon. I imagine they are looking at my ungroomed eyebrows and my gray hairs, and my unexfoliated skin and judging! Maybe if I found a nice hairstylist I would feel differently, but then again, I really don't want to have a personal relationship. Then I would start to feel guilty if I cheated on the stylist, and who really needs the guilt. But anyway, now I really have to call Nelly and set up an appointment, and hope that she will work some major magic on me and my hair and my bad hair attitude. Maybe she can fit me in this week before I see my mom for Easter. Then Mom will be so proud.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

NY Blogs organized by subway line

BigDubb/Matt told me about this website a while ago, and they finally approved my application to be listed as one of the NYC blogs. I'm categorized by my subway stop (68th St. on the 6 line). The site is requesting volunteers to help them update the site - which looks really neat to me, but I did notice that a lot of the linked blogs seemed to be broken links or just dead. I wish I were smart enough to help them set up RSS feeds or update their subway map, but I think that the most I could do is go over their application backlog and/or delete dead blogs.

Then I came across this other website about the "NYC Weblogger Meetup Group". What I think is kind of interesting is the makeup of the attendees. Here is a set of pictures from July 2002. Then look at the pictures from February 2004. Wow. Everyone looks so different. I know that part of it is the different venue but look at these hot girls. Or maybe the bloggers just took these pictures, and these girls aren't bloggers themselves? Anyway, I was intrigued. This guy Roberto was too, in his profile he says, "hey...I'll be honest...i don't know ehat a weblogger (???) is but if I were to judge by the pics of those hot girls...I'd really like to meet some of you!!!" Hilarious.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

good times

I think I can safely say that our party was a success!

This was the final menu:

Chips and Guacamole (biggest hit with most recipe requests)
Veggies and Dip
Shrimp cocktail
Sausages and bread
Cheese, cheese, cheese and crackers
Thai Green Curry Salmon with Sticky Rice and Jasmine Rice
Rice stick noodle salad with shrimp
Bonnie Butter Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting and Ice Cream

We had such a great time. In fact, Isaac and I can't stop saying to each other what a wonderful time we had and how lucky we are to have some really wonderful generous and truly amiable friends. Then we got a little sad because we will probably not live in NYC forever (our "real" jobs are likely to be somewhere else, and we will start interviewing for those real jobs this fall probably). Man. But right now, we are feeling so lucky and fortunate to be surrounded by this great city and great people.

I sometimes feel sorry for myself because I haven't brought many friends (although my friends are of the highest quality, I must say) into our social sphere, and almost all of our friends are college friends of Isaac's or music people. But they all came to my birthday party, and I had a Sally Fields moment of thinking they really do like me! Who cares how we met?

So look at these gorgeous peeps.


This is Tiffany, Dimitri, and Janie - all college friends of Isaac's who I have known for at least 5 years now. Look at Tiffany's adorable dimple, and her adorable vintage shop shirt. You might recognize her as the pianist from Isaac's recital. Dimitri looks tough and is a complete teddy bear. He works a kind of Russian mafia look most of the time. Janie is interning at the UN and used to work in Hillary's office. And guess what - she represented Taiwan in last year's Miss Universe competition. I've got it all on tape.


Here is the cellist from Isaac's recital, Li-Ling, and her boyfriend I-Chin. What fun! And you can see the birthday roses Dimitri brought me behind them.


Awesome. This is the only bloggable picture of me. In the other ones I have a developing double chin. Time to get back on the exercise wagon. But this one is okay. The guy on the left is Kurt, the jouralistically-employed boyfriend of Mai. He is a super-nice guy and a great conversationalist, and he won me over completely when he told me that he actually has met and hung out with multiple Bollywood stars.


And here are Mai, Keith, Isaac and Ian. Mai and Keith are both musicians, and also musicology professors. Mai speaks with an Australian accent which makes her irresistible to everyone of both sexes. Keith and Isaac grew up in Alaska together and happened to both be at Stanford at the same time for grad and undergrad respectively. Ian is another Stanford person - he's studying astrology after working in cryptology on computers. Oops make that astronomy. So you can see, he really isn't very bright. Ha ha. He just got back from Buenos Aires and came to the party because he is a trooper.


And you know what's terrible is that this is the picture with the most of my friend Brian. Look how mysterious he is. And how nicely dressed. I am always having dreams about Brian trying to figure him out. Like the one where he told me he was a gigolo and he thought I already knew that. Then there was the dream where he was running a secret government agency, kind of like the CIA but smaller. He's one of the best things in my life and he's been there for me for 10.5 years now. And I can't even show you his face. Geez. He just got a job and he's going to move to Chicago in the fall. I'm so proud of him because it's a great great job, but boy will I miss him.

By the way, this was the part of the night where they played Happy Birthday to me! The best part is that Mai, Tiffany and Li-Ling are all playing different instruments from their usual. It sounded awesome, by which I mean seriously fucked up! It was hysterical. I wish that we had gotten out the videocamera just for that part of the night. Not much food got into these pictures I guess, unfortunately. I forgot to take pictures of that stuff before we ate it. Oops.

Well, I think this ends Christine BirthFest 2005! Cheers!


Friday, March 18, 2005

happy birthday to me

I just came across this link. I haven't even heard the whole medley yet and it's already made my day!


Cheers y'all!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

everyday miracles

everyday miracles

Very often I find myself saying "thank God". It's a habit, and I remember being a kid and learning in CCD (I never could remember what that stands for) that you really weren't supposed to say God's name unless it was a prayer, otherwise it was breaking that 1st (or is it the 2nd?) commandment. Anyway, I really think these are everyday prayers though, for those occurrences which seem quite miraculous at the time and inspire some serious heartfelt gratitude.

So here's a list of just a few of the everyday miracles which I have experienced in the last week.*

1. I discover that after all, I have not eaten the last pickle in the refrigerator.
2. The drain of our bathroom sink starts draining again completely spontaneously after a verbal threat of Drano.
3. I came home from work to find Isaac watching Looney Tunes and then he begins to marinate some chicken breasts completely unprompted and not making me feel guilty for blogging instead.
4. That wine that we opened two days ago still tastes quite good, thanks to the VacuVin.
5. Everybody is starting to post again today and Blogger seems to be getting back on track!

*I'm being kind of facetious here, but I'm half-serious in a way that I hope will preserve my soul from eternal damnation.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Scientology Celebrity Centre

Scientology Celebrity Centre

We were out walking on Saturday and happened to pass this place on our way back from Central Park. Do you think if we staked it out long enough that we would get to see Tom Cruise or John Travolta or somebody? Maybe the snipers on the roof would get us first though...

I don't really understand Scientology (nor do I really want to) but of course one time in college I got suckered into taking some questionaire at their center near Harvard Square. I couldn't get out of there fast enough, and wished someone had warned me what those people were doing earlier.

When I read articles like this one about Jenna Elfman (do you think they let her into the celebrity centre?) I get a little freaked out.

dreaming about that bus

I'm not sure what inspired this dream, but it happened right before I woke up, and I woke up kind of laughing.

I got to be a part of Puffy/P. Diddy's entourage, and we were all in a room kind of like the one that I went to for jury selection when I had jury duty. I got picked to be part of his posse, and then we all got on a big bus and drove towards the next concert. But I got a little worried becaues we started driving down this highway where cars were driving both ways in all lanes. But somehow our magical bus averted head-on collision and we all arrived safely at the bottom of a big hill. I forgot my bag in the bus (which had kind of morphed into a big pick-up truck of the kind you would take a hayride in) and Puffy brought it out to me and said something very smooth. Wow what a weird dream.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

calling the kettle black

Oops. I've been bitching internally about how no one has posted for DAYS. And then I happened to look at my own blog. Oh well.

Friday night Isaac and his friends played a recital in a space at Juilliard. It was great to see them finally perform this piece that they have been working on for quite a while. They played the Dvorak Piano Quintet in the second half, and in the first half they all separately performed one movement each from a sonata. So Isaac did a movement from a Mozart sonata with the pianist Tiffany, etc. Here are a couple of pictures. Keep in mind that I was not allowed to use flash and I'm a shitty photographer.

Dvorak piano quintet

Here they are after the "curtain call".


This is Isaac with our friend Janie.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Classist bitches still roaming free and marrying

This is hilarious to me. It's all about standards people.

back to talking about me and food

Recently I can't seem to get enough pizza. Maybe it's hormonal or something. I was never one of those people whose favorite food was pizza, although I did look forward to pizza day (friday) back in elementary school. That would be the only day we would buy school lunch and I would take a break from my bologna sandwiches with mayo (yum) to eat the school lunch square of pizza, sometimes with pepperoni cubes and sometimes not.

But in graduate school something horrible happened. My friends and I discovered this place, called Koronet Pizza (open 24 hours, and only 5 blocks from campus) which sold a slice for $1.75, and this was the biggest slice I had ever seen. The whole pizza which they cut into eight slices was approximately 24-28 inches in diameter. It was run by some versatile Greek guys, one of whom looked kind of like a fisherman or something, with a gray mustache and a weird hat, and I feel like I saw him smoking a pipe, but now I'm not really sure. Also, the main guy behind the counter was really REALLY into his job, and liked to make loud noises with the paper bag that they would put your to-go slice inside, and liked to snap your bills around to make noise with them too. They also sold empanadas there for no apparent reason.

But I ate a lot of this pizza, like 3-4 times a week at times, and eventually I couldn't walk by the place without bile rising in my throat. And the snappy Greek server guy who loved his job quit (or I suppose he could have been fired for all I know). The magic was long gone. I totally burned out on pizza - to the point where I was eventually boycotting all slices. Couldn't share a pie with friends at the local Italian restaurant. If I went along I was exiled to the land of greasy lasagna.

Finally, only 3 years after my last slice of Koronet, I am ready to eat pizza again! I was so excited to go to this place Grimaldi's, just across the Brooklyn Bridge, where they have thin thin crust pizza, which is so delicious and crispy. That was a few months ago, and now I just keep wanting more. From wherever. I used to be picky, but now I'm eating the stuff that they serve in our cafeteria at work, which is remarkably similar to the pizza I ate in elementary school.

Anyway I just needed to share. Before I burn myself out on it again. It's the only kind of fast food I still eat, so I don't want to screw this up.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This made me laugh


planning my birthday celebration

My birthday is coming up! In the last few years, I have typically just gone out for dinner with just Isaac and a couple of other good friends. Most of my local friends have been acquired though my wonderful husband, who like a normal person met lots of people in college who he is still friendly with. (even though he neglects most of them shamefully, they always just pick up where they left off) Though I think of myself as a nice person, I did not come out of college with very many friends. I could go over reasons why this happened, but why make my private torture public. At least not when I could stretch it out into a different blog post later...

Right. So as I was saying, I usually do something small for my birthday - but this year I was thinking I'd like to do something BIG. Or if not objectively BIG, at least bigger than usual. Why? Well, today I got some very good news that some of my work was accepted for publication in a chemistry journal. This makes me (and my boss) very happy, because it is necessary for me to publish to someday get a job, and necessary for my boss to get tenure. So that makes me want to party. Also, my birthday is only a couple of weeks before we leave for China, so if we are going to come back from there as shells of our former digestive selves, I'd like to get our party eating out of the way before we go. I know, I'm just being paranoid.
So now the question becomes what to do? I think that I would like to have a nice homebound birthday party this year. But my birthday is going to be on a Lenten Friday, so we will have to do a fish-veggie menu. I asked Isaac to make his ThaiCurry, and we'll have it with salmon instead of chicken. Shrimp cocktail and maybe guacamole for appetizers, and I'm not sure what else for dinner. I guess to stick with the Thai theme we would do Pad Thai or something along those lines. But I'm tempted to do a Things Chris Likes theme which would include STUFFING (possibly more than one variety) and I'm not sure what else. I really like MEAT. My birthday meal would usually be steak, before I knew what Thai Curry was. If anyone has a good recipe for something fitting, let me know. Too bad none of my blogging friends live close enough to come to the party.

Does anyone remember when St. Patrick's Day fell on Friday several years ago and there was a dispensation so that you could eat corned beef and cabbage? I'm not sure if every diocese got the dispensation or only Boston where I was living at the time. I don't think I took advantage because I don't particularly like corned beef and cabbage. My mom is having a St. Patrick's Day party this year and I'm not going to be able to make it down. She has been perfecting her Irish Soda Bread recipe - the first one was too muffin-like, and I didn't hear how the second one turned out. My birthday is on the 18th, so I sometimes like to make my birthday cake with green icing, yum. I really hate the green bagels they sell on St.Patrick's Day though, that's just gross.

That was a pretty meandering post - back to work now...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

back to wine and cheese again

Last time there was free wine and cheese I was feeling sick (even before the drinking started) so I had to go home and skip it. I think I watched Cellular or something equally uncomforting. But nothing will stand in the way tonight.

Oh no I saved this post as a draft, and now I'm coming back to it post-wine/beer, and boy is it hard to type. I should be home in bed soon. It's not even 9:00pm, but my head is very heavy.

Good night!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Not only dancing and a DJ, but there was karaoke!

My boss won the award for best karaoke performance - it was super gutsy of him actually, since he sang "shook me all night long". So that tells you what kind of weekend I had. The 4 mini-glasses of wine, and 2 super strong G&T's (that bartendress got good tips from me) kept me from sticking a fork in my eye. On the other hand the drinks probably contributed to the loss of my dignity around hour 3 of the DJ party. I can only hope there are no surviving pictures.

When I got back we did touristy things wtih Isaac's brother and his girlfriend. It was a lot of fun, but we had to experience some of that pain that you get being with people who are completely unabashed tourists. Por ejemplo, we're walking in Union Square, and BIL's girlfriend is saying, and by saying I mean yelling, "SO THIS IS TIMES SQUARE?? Oh it's UNION SQUARE? Where do you think I can get a T-SHIRT for my daughter?? Oh, those guys are only selling GLOVES and sunglasses and no T-SHIRTS???" Ack, as I lower my head in shame. I know it's bad to be embarrassed, since they were just having a good time. Who really cares what that busy New Yorker thinks who is trying to get past us, or about the guy stuck in line behind us at the bagel shop where BIL decides he must have lettuce and tomato on his bagel sandwich, after he has already changed his order once and his bagel is already wrapped up and ready to go. I just hate slowing other people down, since I take pride in my efficient ordering of food, etc.

Anyway, I think that sums up my weekend, now it's back to work and a hopefully productive week.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Note to Self

yah, note to self: When your brother-in-law is supposed to be arriving any minute from Phoenix, don't drink a glass of wine on an empty stomach because you will inevitably spill the last half of it all over the wall right next to the computer. Shit. And how much of a lush does it make me that all I can think about is whether I can have another glass without getting questioned by Isaac why so much wine is gone? (I wouldn't care except he would ask in front of his brother and that would embarrass me).

Well, BIL is not yet here and no phone call from him or anything. he's supposed to be flying standby b/c his girlfriend works for America West. Still don't know whether she is coming tonight too, or whether she will not come until Saturday. No notice by phone to hear whether he got on the flight or anything. Isaac had a meeting that should have ended an hour ago, and no sign of him either. I think I'd better get that second glass of wine or I will not be a very nice hostess when these people finally show.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a work-related retreat thing and will miss you all terribly when away from the internet. We had no internet for 3 hours at work today and I thought my heart would stop. Quite pathetic...

keep on moving

Somebody just found my blog by searching google for "emasculation pictures". Nothing to see here buddy, keep it moving.

Ghost World Bollywood

I just realized that the movie Ghost World may have provided some Bollywood exposure. Remember at the beginning when Enid is dancing around her room - that's an old Indian movie of the sort I'm talking about. The song is called "Jaan Pehechaan Ho" and when I rented the DVD they had the whole video on there for your viewing pleasure.

I was already a fan of Indian movies by this time, so it was really neat to see them in an American movie. Here is my personal intro to Bollywood story: I happened to be flipping through TV channels early one Saturday morning, and I saw this weird foreign music video with 2 girls in pigtails and towels jumping all around. i couldn't identify the country of origin, was it Japanese, or something? I later found it it was from this movie (Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega).

har dil jo pyar karega

When I continued watching, it became obvious that it was an Indian thing, because this guy was in the next video. I later found out he's one of the dorkiest stars ever. And his dancing sucks.


And so the next Saturday morning I started looking for this program, which was a request hour (actually half hour) where people wrote in to request their favorite videos (excerpts from musical movies) be played for their Grandma's birthday etc. The host was this woman Rajshree, who looked like a suburban mom, and seemed to get great pleasure from doing this job, where she would go to various parks in New Jersey for background scenery, and read the request letters. It was great. Since then they have replaced Rajshree with a younger woman (Sarina Jain) who is supposed to be more "hip". If you check out her website, you'll see she's also really into fitness.

So that's my story...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

more movies I watched this week

And you might be surprised to know that I haven't watched an actual Bollywood movie in about 6 months. Well, unless Bride and Prejudice counts. And since I'm the only person here who has seen it, I say it doesn't.

So this week I saw:

The Grudge: Much worse than expected. first of all, is Sarah Michelle Gellar attractive? Did something happen to her to alter her from a previously cute state? Because I thought I remembered her being better looking. Or have I been confusing her with Jennifer Love Hewitt all this time? Anyway, i can't take any more of these Japanese movies where the ghosts are never satisfied or vanquished, and there's no good satisfying ending. I wish the ghosts would lighten up already. I want to be scared for a while, but then I want someone to beat the ghosties. Like Ghostbusters. Oops. Am I ruining the movie for some people? What a hypocritical bitch I'm being.

Alien Vs. Predator: Much better than expected! I had low expectations, it's true. But it really wasn't bad for what it was. It got downright heartwarming with those Predator things. Isaac kept trying to remind me of various parts of the Alien movies or Predator, but I was totally blank. I was like, ewww, the egg-laying thing is really gross, it looks like an elephant's trunk pooping out eggs. And he was like, don't you remember when Sigorney Weaver blasted that egg-laying thing off the mother alien in Aliens? And I was like, no? It's great to be grossed out all over again though.

and an old favorite: The Jerk. It was fun, and I got it mostly for Isaac. I like that Bernadette Peters and I especially like the part on the beach where they are singing together. How sweet.

Next week: I'm finally going to see the end of Angels in America, which I watched 2/3 of on my friend's digital cable but then didn't get to see the last part. I can't wait. And I think that movie We Don't Live Here Anymore is supposed to come to the library for me too. Mark Ruffalo, yum. Except he's probably doing some horrible adulterous things. Hopefully that won't be too depressing.

paranoia inducing doctors

Yesterday Isaac and I took some steps forward in our preparation for a big trip we are taking in April. Our good friend Nick (best man at our wedding) got married on December 23rd - in China. He is doing research there for his PhD at Columbia. He and his wife Gina (who is one of the most beautiful women you have ever seen, but who we haven't met) are having a wedding banquet in her hometown, which is a very small village in Jiangxi province in China. So Isaac and I are leaving for Shanghai on April 5th, and we should make it to the village by April 8th, with Nick's help. (Nick apparently just started reading my blog so Hi NICK.)

We have had the tickets for a while now, but we had to go to the doctor yesterday to get some vaccinations. We already got the first round of Hepatitis A, and yesterday we got shots for Typhoid, Polio (the one adult booster you need) and Meningococcal vaccine (there is an outbreak somewhere in a region adjacent to where we will be traveling, and apparently this can be transmitted on planes). So overall, the doctor kept saying, you probably won't really be exposed to any of these things, but the CDC recommends this, and I'm going in a month too, and I'm getting these shots too.

But it can't help but make you feel paranoid. I have gotten sick traveling before. I went to Peru to visit a friend on a Fulbright there in 1998. I got sick about 4 days into the trip, and I had whatever intestinal nastiness it was for another 3-4 weeks when I got back. Not enough to keep me in bed, but enough to make me feel icky. I was drinking only bottled water, but I guess that wasn't enough. The doctor gave us a list of things to bring, like Pepto and Imodium (yippee) and bandaids, and alcohol hand rub, etc. And bug repellent, and malaria pills, etc. But it will all be worth it to be there, and I'm glad there will be an occasion to force us to go, because I would be too chicken otherwise.

You can see Nick's pictures of the village where we will be going in his flickr account. Very exciting. And I'm sure I will have lots more pictures when we come back!

Next step, get to the Chinese consulate and apply for our visas!

introductions all around

Just thought I would take this chance to introduce you to a few of my favorite Bollywood stars.

My favorite actress is named Kajol Devgan (nee Mukherjee). She married another actor, Ajay Devgan in 1999, and then was subjected to extreme scrutiny for signs of breeding, usually reserved for members of the Japanese royal family. Poor Kajol had her miscarriage broadcast all over the world, but later had a healthy baby girl. Now she hasn't been in a movie for a few years and I miss her. I hope she comes back soon.


Kajol was often paired in her most popular super-hit movies (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham) with Shah Rukh Khan, an actor that some people call the Tom Cruise of Bollywood. He's very popular, but I have to admit that I prefer...


Hrithik Roshan - who seems like the most good natured and nice Bollywood star. Hrithik is the best male dancer in Bollywood, which gives him a major leg up on the competition. Strangely, he also has 6 fingers on his right hand, an extra little thumb. That's okay though. His best movies (because I know you are all going to run out to see them) are Kaho Naa Pyar Hai (in which there are a couple of stellar, if cheesy, dance numbers) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (ditto on the dance #'s). My favorite Hritik dance number is an extremely catchy song called Bumbro from Mission Kashmir (a movie which I've seen in a lot of regular (non-Indian) movie stores. Unfortunately the movie is kind of crap.

Well, that was enjoyable for me, if no one else! I need to go home from work soon and get some quality time in front of the DVD player.