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the thinking behind Natalie Portman's last two film jobs? Gig 1: Black Swan, super intense year long training period, yielded a baby, a future husband, and a possible Oscar nod for her (actually, really good) performance, Immediately followed by: Gig 2: No Strings Attached: A RomCom so bad they had to stick a menstruation joke in the preview. Also, Ashton Kutcher.

maybe there's some clause in her contract that she can only work with former cast members of That 70's Show?
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Because on Jezebel, Huffington, Gawker, etc, you can only express your opinion if it matches everyone else's. The minute you say anything different, you'll get the virtual shit kicked out of you.

If you were bummed about missing the opportunity to take the HuffBus to the Rally to Restore Sanity earlier today in Washington DC, you needn't be. Most of us didn't see anything. I showed up at 5:20 to ABSOLUTE CHAOS. There was one security checkpoint for 10,000 people. There was no order to the line, no one telling you where to go, just Ariana Huffington there with a film crew waving to us as we shivered. We were told to expect a 6AM departure, and I didn't make it onto a bus until 8. We had been told there would be coffee and snacks for the bus ride courtesy of sponsors, and there were none. Add in the DC traffic and a complete stop to the Metro, and I was at the rally for no more than an hour, of which time you couldn't get close enough to the mall to see or hear anything. I can't imagine how the people who showed up later than 5:30AM fared. While I appreciate the intent of offering all of us a way to get there, the execution of this 'EVERYONE ON THE FREE BUS!" plan was extremely flawed, and I can't help but feel I wasted my time.

I looked around all the message boards, but can't find any opinions other than "ARIANA, YOU ROCK! AWESOME RALLY! SO GREAT!" I wonder where the 8,000 of us who didn't see anything are? Oh, probably still waiting to catch the bus to come home.


The only plus I noticed was that everyone, from the Legalize Pot people to the Anti Tea Party group, were nothing but nice and polite. Everything was "excuse me" and "pardon me" and people helping with baby strollers and taking pictures for strangers. That part was kind of cool.

NOT 12 hours on a sweaty bus cool, mind you, but cool.


UPDATE: Oh. Now the stories about the Huffington Bus clusterfuck are starting to be posted, I see (twitter is calling it "#HuffbusFAIL", but I can't speak hashtag, so there you go.)
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So, I'm making a wedding cake. This isn't that strange; the list of "things I have baked and successfully served to other people" already has 4 wedding cakes and countless birthday/christening/whatever cakes on it.

What's unusual about this cake is I have to transport it 2 1/2 hours north of New York City in Friday night traffic, so new precautions had to be taken. Research (um, the Internet, which knows all things) showed me chilling the cakes 12 hours before they go in the box would keep everything in one piece on the way to the party. So I had to clean out the freezer to make room for all the cake.

I don't cook, but people keep giving me food as if I will somehow one day decide to make a meatloaf or roast a chicken, so there a lot of frozen *StuFF* in there.

Including: A package of chicken breast from 2005, a package of ground turkey from some time in 2007, and a box of grape Smucker's Uncrustables of unknown origin, since I eat neither white bread nor grape jelly.

GROSS. Maybe one day I will learn to use the food before it's gone rancid. But not this day.
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I think my apartment decided to commemorate the 5th anniversary of hurricane Katrina my flooding itself. In reality, a pipe in one of the upstairs apartments broke and the water ran down to me, since I'm on the ground floor. Awesome.

It's not as bad as it could have been, except that the water for the entire building had to be turned off, so if you have to pee, you'd better use the gutter or the bodega up the street.

Oh well. the living room carpet is pretty trashed, but I've hated it for almost 4 years. Maybe I'll finally get new?
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I know I'm supposed to be distressed about how the weather is so hot and it's only the beginning of April because that indicates we're all going to burn to death by 2019 (If we don't burn to death in 2012 first), but it's really hard to do that when every time I walk outdoors, the sense memory of "IT'S SUMMER!!!!!" hits me. Since I don't even leave the house if the temperature is under 60, it's a pleasant change to be out of doors.

Oh well. According to the weather report, this ridiculously warm stint was a one off; it'll be back to 52 degrees the day after tomorrow.

I did a shoot with These guys yesterday, making a parody of this. Their wardrobe coordinator requested we dress as closely to the people in the original vid as possible, so I wore my rippy jeans*, an American Apparel v neck, and put on enough costume jewelry to re-stock a Claire's. 8 layers of eye makeup (with body glitter courtesy of the hair and makeup department) and two handfuls of hair paste, and I looked like a greasy, glittery, walking STD. [livejournal.com profile] billyfleetwood was working near the CH studios in Williamsburg, so when I wrapped I walked over to say hi. Initially, I was sort of embarrassed to be walking around looking likea herpes-chlamydia combo platter, but it turns out the closer you walk towards Bedford, everyone looks like a dirty sweaty mix of disease and ironic haircuts.

I almost never hang out in Williamsburg, and now I am reminded why: I am equal parts grossed out and intimated because I am definitely NOT cool enough to walk around over there. My hair isn't asymmetrical enough, my jeans aren't skinny enough (and neither are my thighs). EVERYone is riding around on skateboards and walking around in the sunshine and I'm pretty sure nobody there actually has a job. Part of me wants to move there so that I might one day feel like I fit in with Manhattan's cooler baby sister Brooklyn, but I'm pretty sure living in Queens for nigh on a decade has made me a bit too cynical; I'm accustomed to being the only blonde getting off at my subway stop. I find it comforting that I can still walk to the grocery store in my sweatpants without having to be "ironic" about it (oh, and I also like, you know, being able to afford my rent.)


*ironically, these jeans are probably the most expensive thing I own, as they are of the $350 True Religion variety- a gift, not a purchase.
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And thus, today begins that last week in which I am a full-fledged member of the Free-Money-From-The-Government Club (Street Name: Club 405). I honestly have to say, when I filled out the paperwork for this months ago, I really, truly believed that I wouldn't need more than a few months of supplemental salary, because I was going to land in a production job that would utilize my talents, and my days of sitting in a cubicle with a bunch of financial nerds looking sideways at my pink hair and black frame glasses were over.

I have run wardrobe on dozens of shows, helped to dress at least a hundred dancers and actors, fixed costumes, set wigs, lifted scenery, run lights, set up events, staged managed 6 runs, and helped produce 1 awards show, and I think I've probably grossed $1500 this year of my own earnings.

Not really enough to pay rent.

Right now, the only option that seems even a minor possibility is temping at another financial institution, which gives me an ache in the pit of my stomach. I feel completely stuck with what to do next. Every birthday candle blown, fallen eyelash, or coin toss into a fountain is accompanied by a wish for a job I don't completely loathe.

while my privacy-loving personality really wants to make this a friends-only post (and I will probably lock it later), I have to wonder if there's somebody out in the ether of the Internet, floating around out there, with the one idea or suggestion I haven't thought of yet. Lord knows, at this point, I would take it.

God's Day

Feb. 21st, 2010 12:58 pm
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I think Sundays must exist so that we're forced to have a time where we can look back on the past two nights and simmer in the guilt of, "Why the fuck did I do that?"
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I swear to G I've lost like 8 pounds since I've gotten here. At first I was blaming the fact that I've been running all over so much (movies/music during the day, work shift at night, then whatever after hours house party I can find) that I don't have time to eat, but that can't really be true because food is allowed at pretty much every venue of the fest, and I carry a ziplock bag full of snacks and a sandwich everywhere I go. I just haven't been hungry. I'll go 10 hours and forget to eat.

I was talking this over with my roommate Little One and he said, "Well, you said you haven't smelled anything since Laguardia..."

"Oh my God you're right that's it! I can't smell anything so I'm not hungry!"

It's a plausible theory, I think. The elevation is so high here and it's so cold I haven't smelled a thing since New York.

I could be sitting on a gold mine here.
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Not a regular flu shot. The one for H1N1. I always get a regular flu shot, because while it might be mostly the paranoia in my head, I'm working in and out of doors in any weather, on trucks rolling scenery and costumes that have traveled all over the world,in theaters that haven't been washed since some time in the early 1970's, and putting my hands all over performers who probably haven't showered since the early 1970's either.

I thought the regular flu shot would be enough, but then it occurred to me: What if you gave Robert Redford the Swine Flu?

While it would be an absolute impossibility for me to pass piggy fever on to the sundance kid under normal circumstances, I could totally pass it on by accident if we were in the same place at the same time.

Which we will be. This time next week.

This is a very roundabout way to say I have been offered a staff position at Sundance Film Festival, and I have graciously accepted.*

Only a week into 2010, and already it's going better than 2008 and 2009 combined. Wild. I hope it becomes a trend.



*We all must give major props to [livejournal.com profile] jupiterjuniper for giving me the idea and necessary information for applying for this new adventure in the first place. Sundance is the third major festival I'll be working at (Tribeca Film Festival, and three locations of the Fringe Festival are the first two), leaving only two more major crown jewels to earn (Toronto, Cannes) for my shiny sparkly to-do list!
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Stop talking incessantly about your wedding, Engaged Friends. Yes, we all realize it's a very important event in your life. But The Wedding has suddenly become your life. Every phone call, every text message, every status update is about The Wedding. Place settings, favor choices, wedding "colors", who on your guest list is allowed to bring a date ("Only other engaged friends and people in REALLY SERIOUS relationships!"), and who isn't ("Everyone else!"). I mean, Christ, I even got a Christmas card this year that was a lot of garble about The Wedding, and then had a teeny tiny "Merry Christmas!" tacked at the bottom.

Engaged Friends, it does not have to be this way. Why, I have several friends who are engaged and are still perfectly capable of, you know, having a life separate of The Wedding. We can go to a bar and talk for hours and have The Wedding not even come up. Some of these people are even on this blogroll. Let them be an example to you, Engaged Friends, of how it is COMPLETELY POSSIBLE to talk about things like white dresses and reception locations while ALSO talking about things like grad school, awesome new recipes you've tried, and the crazy life one can live in this great city of ours.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive to all this stuff because I've reached my mid-to-late 20's and suddenly this is all everyone is doing, pairing up, and so this is what everyone wants to talk about, and I'm simply burnt out on it. Please understand, Engaged Friends; I care about you, we were friends before you decided to be a Legal Pairing, and we will be friends after. But if we're still talking about The Wedding by this time in 2011, I'm going to unfriend you, unfollow you, and make sure to leave your spouse's name off of our yearly Christmas card. I want you to be happy. I just want to talk about something else (ANYthing else) for a while.
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My Cat* is nigh on 21 years old. At this point in the game, she is a minimum of 147 cat years old, and I begrudge her nothing.

This includes but is not exclusive to:
- bites of People Food (though over the years, she's become something of a "picky" eater- She loves anything poultry, but turns up her whiskers at meatloaf.) If she likes whatever it is, she gets multiple bites

- Pets any time she likes. Her favorite one is the one where you cup your thumb and pointer finger around her face so her eyes pull back like a kitty with a Rodeo Drive face lift.

- a stockpile of tiny cell batteries for her $60 laser pointer (it came in a gift bag and she likes playing with it, so now it's hers. The way I figure it, if you still have the urge to play and chase things when you're 147, you should have a quality toy to do it with). We keep the batteries around for the laser pointer and the laser pointer alone.

- most importantly, she is granted entrance to The Tree Room. This cat LOVES a Christmas tree. She has a favorite ornament (a wool armadillo my mother bought while on tour a few years ago), likes to gnaw on the the tinsel, and she loves to partake in the Dom Perignon of the feline world and drink the water out of the Christmas Tree stand. I don't really get it. She'll sit there next to a full bowl of filtered water in her dish, but she'll wait until the door to the Tree Room is left open and run for it. Eventually, someone will notice there is no cat underfoot and find her half-drunk in a yuletide induced haze, wrapped in tinsel.

Unfortunately for her, my mother has started using vintage lead-based tinsel as a finishing touch (I think it's tacky as sin, but it reminds her of the Christmas of her childhood, so I won't judge), and has also put a family heirloom rug on the floor of The Tree Room. The cat likes to gnaw on the lead tinsel and pee on this rug in particular, so she can't lap up the Christmas joy unless it's supervised to make sure she doesn't poison herself.

The cat has figured out that I'M the soft touch. If I'm visiting my parents (which is often), she comes running up to me, walks herself around my ankles, and then stares pitifully and the gate mewls in a way that rips my heart out. So I spend an awful lot of time sitting on the carpet by the tree, alternately shining a laser pointer over the floor and making sure the cat doesn't pee on the heirloom carpet. It's worth it, though, since she likes it so much.

The cat who loves Christmas
This cat has me wrapped around her ancient little paw.






*I should specify, "MY" cat, is the cat I've grown up with, in my parent's house.
MY cats, the Scottish folds I've blogged about countless times, are currently residing with my sister on Long Island.
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Dear MTA,
I just want to let you know; your 1-day Fun Pass Metrocard is a full on bullshit ripoff. It's supposed to be good for 24 hours after your purchase it, but it seems as if now you've decided they "go bad" any time after midnight of the date that you bought it? Not knowing this, I offered a "Hey, I paid for it already!" right home to my friend who was doing a show at UCB tonight, only to find out it had timed out. That's bullshit, MTA... that fucking card cost me $8.25. It should have lasted all night, and having it come up blaring "INSUFFICIENT FARE" was embarrassing, to say the least. Look, I know I'm not really cool with money right now, and so do you. You don't need to rub it in.

I swiped her in with my "Emergency card" and then bought myself a Singleride in Quarters that have been riding around in my pocket for awhile.

On the ride home, there was a boy (I guess you could say "man", but he had a boyish face) who kept falling asleep and then JUMPING to attention at every stop. Then, realizing this was not his stop, he would sit down to doze again. Feeling bad, I finally tapped his food and said, "What stop are you? You keep jumping up at every stop. I'll tap you when it's time to get off," to find he lives at my stop. I made sure he got off at the right time, but he seemed annoyed about it. Sorry dude. Just trying to make sure you didn't end up in Corona.

I give upon the MTA, and everyone else tonight. It's just that kind of evening.
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Does anyone remember when this whole "Black Friday" thing caught on?


I feel like all of a sudden, so many people are eating early on Thanksgiving so they can catch a nap and then get up at 3AM to get 10-packs of $1.99 tube socks from WalMart. It's become a new family tradition, like the big giant meal is just a pre-game to the main event of rampant hysterical shopping.

Granted, many of my Thanksgivings were marred by the occurrence of a very large Irish Dance competition the next day, requiring me and one or the other parent to pack it up and drive to Philadelphia on a tryptophen hangover. So my remembrances of delicious Turkey Day are a little skewed as to what might pass for "normal".

But I feel like this whole Black Friday As Main Event is kind of the new family tradition, no? Isn't lying flat on your back with your tummy full of good stuff enough anymore? There will still be sales to get a good deal on Christmas prezzies, people. You should rest up tomorrow.
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...call to hair follicles?

I need suggestions for a new haircut. I'm lining it up with my 10 year coughcough High School reunion next week (because in the immortal words of [livejournal.com profile] crushjunky and Missy Misdemeanor Elliot, I should get my hairrrrrrr did.)

This is what my hair looks like on a good day. I like it a lot, but it's a ridiculous amount of maintenance, and I've seen lots of photos where the length of the bangs is very unflattering for my face.
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...Of course, I haven't had it cut in awhile, so it's all grown out and I'm reduced to putting what little hair I have in a stubby little pony and letting the bangs hang out all over the place, trying to give the impression that "of course I wanted it to look this way!"
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I'm looking at any of these cuts, which are all pretty much the same thing, and I'm not sure I picked these photos as ones I like because I like the CUT or because all the models have the same hair color as I do, making it easy for me to envision the cuts on my head.
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I like looks that are choppy, preferably done with a razor and flatironed. Not such a fan of the "Classy" bob, Allison Janney circa The West Wing. Does anyone have any additional suggestions?
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Being less than gainfully employed leaves me a lot of time to peruse things that are being broadcast through the idiot box. I love me some teevee, having not had time to watch much of it until recently. I have discovered that there is one metric shit ton of garbage out there to be watched. I guess the advent of netflix and On Demand has left the door open for a lot of crap to hit the free airwaves us poor folk have to watch.


Since 'Tis The Season for me to spend lots of money I don't have on stuff my friends and family don't need so they know how much I love them, Gap had to come up with their yearly "BUY THESE AWESOME HATS AND SCARVES YOU GUYS! WAAAAAY COOLER THAN LAST YEAR'S HATS AND SCARVES!" commercial. I actually didn't hate some of their commercials from previous years, but this one? It's a Big 8 School type cheer that includes the words "Kwanzaa" and "Solstice". I dislike it so much, I change the channel every time it comes on.

I would bet money that the ad execs who pitched this were thinking "DIVERSITY! ACCEPTANCE! EVERYONE IS WELCOME!", but what I heard is, "FIND A REASON, ANY REASON, TO SPEND MONEY THIS WINTER!".



At least the Gap ad is seasonal. It'll stop running in a month. The first time I saw this Depends commercial, I really thought it was a gag. I had to see it 3 different times before I believed that they were legitimately selling a product.

The mention of the product comes so far out of left field that instead of having that light bulb moment of, "OH! I get it now!", I sit there for the next 2 or 3 ads going, "...wait. What the hell do adult diapers have to do with driving?". Also, if the time ever comes where I require such a product *knock wood*, I want an ad that says, "YO, IF YOU PISS YOURSELF, THIS PRODUCT WILL MAKE SURE NOBODY NOTICES." Leave all that cutesy Men Are From Mars crap for an M&M"s commercial.



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Aw, Sethy baby, you know I love you boo. I'm there for you for
every musical theater joke you slip into your shows, and I applaud all of them.

...But this Cleveland show?
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I've never SEEN such shit as this outside of Public Access television. At least sometimes on your other programs, you hit on something that is offensively funny. Way to go. But this show? It's just offensive. And never funny. Please just do us all a favor and kill it now. Nothing ever makes it in the spin off, you know that.

...well, except Frasier, but we all know you're not smart enough to produce something like that.
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I know, I know, it's past 12:01AM on November 1, so technically, memories of Halloween should be flushed way out of everybody's system and we should be knee deep in fabricated holiday cheer by now, but I'm reluctant to move on. At least, until I've documented Zombie Halloween 2009: The Year It Rained:
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Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaainnnnnns )
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Yo, what's up with all the pre-school and kindergarteners with the pacifiers still stuck in their mouths?

I'm going through a veritable ton of Facebook photo updates from friends who took their kids-or-nieces/nephews-or-Godchildren trick or treating over the weekend.

A plethora of 3-4-5 year old Firemen, Pirates, and Tinkerbells, all grinning with a plastic pumpkin full of enough refined sugar to keep them hyper for a week. All with a paci stuck in their mouths. This is not okay, new parents of my generation. If your child is old enough to walk and talk upon its own accord, it's old enough to leave the paci at home. Especially on Halloween. Your mouth should be full of candy, kid, not a rubber nipple.

Maybe I just never noticed before, but this seems to be a newish trend- kids being babied past the time when they are actually babies. I went out to eat with a friend and her 4 year old a few weeks ago, and the kid had a paci in his mouth the whole time- while talking, while eating, while playing with the salt and pepper shakers on the Formica table. By the end of the meal, he had the most disgusting ring of drool/chewed food/detritus around his mouth I've ever seen. GROSS.

TAKE THE PACI OUT, PEOPLE. TAKE IT OUT! and don't start with me about how "each kid is different" and "I don't understand about security items". I sucked my thumb until I hit puberty. I just knew not to do it in public. I'm not saying take it out forever. Just reserve it for "at home" time. Because a 5 year old trick or treating with a paci is just weird.



I AM TOO BIG FOR THIS!
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I've always had a love/hate relationship with hollyween. The years when I have a really great costume I'm totally into it, and the years when I can't think of something good, I don't even bother to go out. A few years ago (with special guest [livejournal.com profile] sui_generis) I dressed up like a zombie for Hollyween, and hey, we discovered my Stupid Human Trick: acting like an (un)dead person. I LOVE the response I get, especially from the annoying drunk girls in those awful "Sexy" costumes I hate. "Oh my GAWD! You're so SCAREEE!" they shriek, and try to totter away on too-high heels.

Now my zombie-fying is an annual occurence.
Zombie: The Beginning


2008:
Last year was my 4th time dancing in the NYC Halloween Parade, and I started working with ThrillerNYC (That's the group that does the original choreography to Michael Jackson's "Thriller", and they do it dressed like ZOMBIES, so I get to lurch and drool at people for 35 blocks, and nobody calls a policeman).

I got a uniform from the catholic school where I ran the
theatre program, because they made me crazy.
Hollyween 2008



Apparently, I did a pretty good job, because my photo got picked up by the AP
and has been reprinted a ton of times, like in last year's 11/1/08 issue of the Daily News:
this is thrillerrrr

Yesterday, I was riding the LIRR to go get my hair done, and I was paging through a left-behind AMNewYork on the seat next to me, and Hey, Look: It's the costume that won't die!
AM NY, Baby!
I never thought the day would come when I would be badly photoshopped onto low grade newsprint and be shoved into the hands of cranky commuters, but here it is.


200Now
I'm psyched to get to dress up and dance with all the Thriller zombies this year (because it's really, really fun), but now I'm kind of nervous too. Every body keeps asking me about what "awesome" costume I'm going to pull out this year. Too much pressure! I couldn't think of anything clever enough ro zombiefy, so I'm hoping to do well in execution with my "Cheerleader who fell from the top of the pyramid" outfit.
This year


Keep your fingers crossed. Happy Hollyween!
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11:36 Whoa, Megan Fox... is than an Adam's Apple? Maybe you really are a dude?

11:55 Whoah, U2. Your songs are getting really, really long.

12:06 I LOVE YOU KRISTEN WIIG.

12:37 Seriously, U2... SNL is not the forum to start going all Jam Band. SHORTEN YOUR SONGS.

12:42 Aw, Jenny Slate. I want to wish you luck in the cast, but so far I'm not into it. ALSO, way to say "Fuckin" on national television and let it show that you know you blundered.

12:44 I STILL LOVE YOU KRISTEN WIIG.

12:59 Bono? You're swinging over the studio audience with a neon microphone, wearing a suit that shoots lasers. You're gonna be 50 next year, dude. Time to give it a rest.
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Dude. I HATE September and October. Anything that can technically be classified as "Autumn" puts a pit in the bottom of my stomach. By the time we get to Halloween, I can accept that, okay, summer is over... and magically, the day AFTER Halloween, you suddenly have the best holiday ever to look forward to, Thanksgiving. But right now, I'm still clinging to summer by the teeny tiny itsy bitsy threads remaining. Today's weather forecast is mostly sunny with a high of 80. Starting tomorrow morning, it's going to be cold and overcast and rainy from here on out. Dead leaves ahoy.

I don't know when exactly I started hating on Fall. Lots of people I know can easily claim it as their favorite season. But in the past few years, bad things always seem to happen upon the end of summer: breakups of serious relationships (3), deaths of friends or family members (2), not to mention September 11 (flashing back to running over the Brooklyn Bridge with a gas mask and the National Guard urging us along is something I'd rather not remember anymore, thanks). Also, now that I'm a grownup, I have the worst allergies in this season. Hard to love a season that causes a violent sneezing fit every time I try to go outside and enjoy the Autumnal splendor.

Now I'm off to the beach to pretend like Summer will never end.

...where's my Beach Boys tape?


One thing to look forward to (hopefully) in October is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut with "Whip It". Pros: A show about beauty pageants, roller derby, and Ellen Page? Yeah, I could get into that.
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