Monday, February 26, 2007

Best Achievement in Cattiness

At my parents' annual Oscar fete last night, my mom, ever the gracious hostess, bowed out of winning the ballot contest to allow her guests to obtain the coveted prize, which meant I had a chance to win! I had tied with two others, but glory could still be mine! After my initial excitement, I realized that I was kind of a hostess too, so I had to let the others battle it out. Rats. But congratulations to Sarah O who picked the Grand Prize ribbon and made such a fabulous comeback! If she takes her mom to the movies with that gift card, I'll try to be understanding.

I'm always thankful to my parents for throwing this little bash because 1) the guestlist consists mainly of my friends and 2) it makes a potentially snooze-worthy awards show extra entertaining. Ellen was cute and amusing but did nothing spectacular. The highlight of the show resided in Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly's musical stylings. I had little passion for the movies nominated, save for Pan's Labyrinth which deservingly won 3 or so Oscars. Yeah, The Departed was cool. Go Marti and all of that. Ultimately, this year's Academy Awards was nothing to scream "they were robbed!" about.

Yes, even the fashion was dull. There were a few winners of the night, though. My pick for the Best Dressed Even Being Slightly Too Skinny But I Still Love You award: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And the Best Attempt to Be Quirky and Different but Ending Up Just Horrid award:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I'm awful. The real winners are all of my friends and family who shared laughs and sinfully good food. Thanks again, Mom & Dad!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fashion Slavery

I admit it. Even more, I'm a sucker for it. My most girly trait reveals itself in deep fuchsia, stacked pumps, skinny indigo denim, and silky teal camisoles. Blistered heels and credit card debt, be damned! I adore all things fashion, including snarking over its victims a la Go Fug Yourself. But sometimes I'm also a slave to style. Quel surprise.

For the last two fall/winter seasons I've coveted a cashmere dress. And I've hunted for this ultimate luxury that will be the happy ending to my closet's fairytale for just as long. I'm convinced that not only will this dress make me eternally chic but it will somehow soothe whatever ails me and probably find a cure for AIDS. (See? I'm not completely shallow.) The piece de resistance!

Why haven't I found this perfect specimen? Well, cashmere- quality cashmere anyway- doesn't come cheap. I've carefully browsed the end of winter sales and have an ongoing search on ebay, but I have yet to come across thee dress. The one that's both amazing and affordable. Less luxurious knits have begun to beguile, but I'm not giving up on the holy grail. Lately the search has been all-consuming. I surreptitiously fit online boutique searches in between work tasks (I love the tabs feature on Firefox, by the way). I dream about fondling a heather grey mini version. But alas, no shouting of Eureka! By the time I actually find this thing, it will be summer and I won't give a 2-ply crap about it.

Or you'll see me strutting down the street in all of my cashmere glory, sweating in the midst of an August heatwave. I told you before- I'm one sorry sucka.

Friday, February 16, 2007

High Fidelity Steelo

Whenever High Fidelity happens to be on TV (and I invariably watch it), I'm inspired to make top 5 lists. I've learned from my friend Red that lists can be fun, even to a non-listy person such as myself. And High Fidelity reaffirms the joy in favorites listmaking for me. Sometimes choosing favorites can be a challenge, though, especially for someone as indecisive and as non-exclusive as me. Like choosing a favorite food- just one? That's like picking my favorite child or something. But top 5 is manageable. I could easily pick my top 5 favorite children, especially since I don't expect to have more than 3 of my own someday. Then the other 2 could be a relative and some cute kid I saw in a movie or something.

Speaking of movies, today's top 5 list highlights my favorite movies of the past year. As the Oscars are about 2 weeks away- I can decidedly say that the Oscars are my #1 favorite awards show- I'd like to present a flyrish perspective of the best films of 2006.

1. Pan's Labyrinth
- amazingly creative and engaging; definitely worth seeing in the theatre
2. The Departed
- very entertaining and very Scorcese; I actually liked Leonardo di Caprio
3. Water
- beautiful, melancholy and fascinating
4. The Illusionist
- just plain cool story with great acting by Paul Giamatti
5. V for Vendetta
- Natalie Portman is awesome, the storyline is so timely

Now, mind you, I haven't seen all of the reportedly great movies of the year, but these are the best of what I've seen. I'm not a critic- I just look like one.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Andre 3000 Day

Today I'd like to give props to the one artist (that I'm aware of) that created a Valentine's Day carol, Andre 3000 from Outkast. Here's an excerpt from this funky little track:

Happy Valentine's Day
Every day the 14th! (You got it!)
When Cupid knocks at your door
You can't ignore me!
There's no need to run!
So, Happy Valentine's Day (Hey!)
Every day the 14th!
I may have it all wrong, see
If you know what loves mean, well
Well, somebody tell me!
'Cuz they just don't believe in me!

He really captures the spooky nature of this holiday.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Life in the Carpool Lane

As most of my friends and family know, I partake in the East Bay's Casual Carpool every morning on my way to work. It really is an ideal commute in that 1) it's free and 2) it's quick. And I don't mind my 12 minute walk to work from the carpool drop-off. A decent way to start the day actually.

Some friends have asked me if I'm ever nervous about getting into a stranger's car or, on the occasional day that I drive, if I worry about some weirdo passenger riding in Jetson. Fortunately, I feel fairly safe, and, after 3 years of carpooling it, I recognize most of the folks participating in my neighborhood. But one quickly learns that there is a precise etiquette involved in the carpool experience. A breach of said etiquette can disrupt the start of one's day, to say the least. If you're new to carpooling, here is my handy guide to Casual Carpool rules for a smooth ride to work (a work in progress):

1) Greet the driver/passengers with a pleasant "good morning" or "hello."

2) As a driver, the radio should be kept at a low to moderate level. No jarring, loud music as to avoid blowing out the eardrums of passengers. No shock jock morning shows. When in doubt, NPR is usually a crowd-pleaser.

3) Keep talking to a minimum. Friendly banter about the weather or light news is acceptable. No cell phone conversations! If it's an emergency, ask if driver/passengers mind a short phone call. Drivers really should avoid this though, especially phone calls just to say hi to your mom when you're a pathetic 50-year-old man.

4) Drive safely/wear seatbelts. Learn to drive well (no jerky, elementary stick shifting or weaving in and out of traffic at 80mph) if you're going to take passengers with you. Try to avoid fits of road rage. Actually, just because you can afford a BMW doesn't mean you should drive at all.

5) Don't flirt with the driver/passengers. See rule #3, pervert.

6) Extra credit for letting passengers know where you're headed and dropping them off on the way, especially when it's howling wind and pouring rain. Otherwise, drop-off is at the corner of Fremont & Howard.

7) Say "thank you," "you're welcome" or "have a nice day" upon drop-off.

See? Easy enough. Then why this morning was my driver blaring '60s rock and tossing me around the backseat (seatbelt on) with his swervy driving?! Have a nice day indeed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

29 again?

I remember thinking that all of those cards, t-shirts, mugs and other supposedly humorous references to having multiple 29th or 39th birthdays were silly and trite. Um, I still do, but now I'm beginning to understand their minimal appeal. I'm 98% excited to enter the world of 30-somethings as I've heard I will become oh so comfortable in my own skin and be in my womanly prime-- that the late 2o's are too much about transition and figuring out what you want to do with your life. I will apparently find myself in my 30's!

But there's that 2% (statistically significant in my wacky world) of me that's all, "Well, what have you done with your life so far? Are you really where you want to be at age 30?" That must be the influence of others talking because that's never been me. I'm not one to make lists of goals to accomplish by a certain time. In recent years I've made New Year's "aspirations" instead of resolutions because the word "resolution" seemed too- I don't know- final. Too much pressure, I guess. I'm just not a very future-oriented person. And while I never pictured myself in a very specific place in life at age 30, I still feel somewhat unaccomplished. I certainly haven't been writing enough-- my confidence is pretty low in that arena. A friend has told me that she admires my "not just talk about it, be about it" way of living and sometimes that haunts me. Am I really being about it as time tic-tocs its way through another year? But enough of the pity party.

Since I'm turning 30 in a few weeks, one thing I'd like to do before the big day is create a public blog. I've had one just for me in the past, but it's time to share my musings with the virtual world (or with whom I choose to share this blog). Ta-da! I'm feeling more accomplished already...