This makes me more excited than Jessie Spano on pills.

18 May

Ever since I saw Mary Poppins as a young tyke, I have fantasized about jumping into beautiful paintings a la Bert and his sidewalk chalk drawings. Just in case you were deprived of love as a child, here’s what I’m talking about:

If you jump into this picture…

…you get to have a jolly holiday.

While I will still need to find a way to fulfill my other lifelong goals (e.g. swimming in a pool filled with spaghetti, guest starring on Saved by the Bell), the New York Botanical Garden is making this early dream of mine come true this summer. Although I don’t know much about art, I do know two things about the artwork that decorates my room: I like photographs of dogs, and I like the colorful, impressionist works of Monet. From May 19 to October 21, the NYBG is recreating the majestic Giverny garden that inspired many of Monet’s famous paintings, like these below:

Following Bert’s sage advice, I will “think, wink, do a double blink, close my eyes, and jump” into the full bloom of Monet’s work at NYBG. Will also wear Mary’s costume and demand refreshments from penguin waiters.

My Top Ten: New Year’s Resolutions

5 Jan

Among the nation’s top New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more, eat better, quit smoking, manage debt, and drink less. I’m lucky: I already began the first three items before the looming date of January 1, the fourth and fifth items don’t apply, and the last one is just silly.

Therefore, I’ve put some actual thought into things I would like to change or improve for the coming year. Here are my top 10 resolutions for 2012:

1. Drink more water. I’m going to aim for at least six 8-ounce glasses a day, and I am going to keep a tally to ensure I’m meeting the goal. (Shout-out to Eliz who is participating in the #100ozchallenge!)

2. Work on my posture. Sitting at a desk at work all day can be a miz experience for the mind and body. Time to be more aware of sitting up straight.

3. Go to sleep when I’m tired. As alluring as late-night trashy TV can be, I need to resist Bravo’s charm when I can no longer keep my eyes open.

4. Spice up my exercise routine by trying to integrate a variety of activities, including sports (European handball league, anyone?), elliptical, pilates, and hiking with the dogs.

5. Make more time for leisure reading. Since I’m spending nearly 9 hours on a train each week (tears), my goal is to read two books for fun every month.

6. Smile more at strangers. Not the creepy strangers lurking in the corners of bars or the ones who stare intensely without blinking on the subway. But all the other ones.

7. Stop frequenting celebrity gossip sites. These stories seldom have any impact on my life and I waste a lot of time reading this garbage. I am stronger than you, Perez.

8. Become fluent in Español.

9. Volunteer at least once a month at animal shelters, nursing homes, inner-city schools, or homeless shelters.

10. Write more. I tend to write only when I’m depressed, which is depressing. Maybe I should write about it. But seriously, more Saved by the Bell posts are imminent.

My Top Ten: Britney Spears Music Videos

27 Dec

Those who know me know of my borderline-unhealthy obsession with BritBrit, so I’m not quite sure how this blog has been active for so long without a Britney-centric post in its history. And while I hate to admit it, some of her videos have been…less than stellar. Among the all-time worst: Gimme More (tears were shed whilst watching this trainwreck), Break the Ice (anime?!), and I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman (R.I.P. Crossroads). But let’s focus on better days. Without further ado, my top ten Britney Spears music videos:

10. Womanizer (2008)

Why: This is Britney’s comeback from the Blackout head-shaving nightmare. She looks incred, and we revert to multiple-character Britney from the golden days of yore.

Most LOLtastic scene: Britney as a limo driver steering the wheel with her high-heeled foot before magically apparating to the backseat.

9. Do Somethin’ (2005)

Why: It is so horrendously bad that it’s good. Everyone involved in this song and video must have been drunk at the time of its creation.

Most LOLtastic scene:  The flying pink hummer.

8. Lucky (2000)

Why: Quintessential Britney before she entered her bad girl phase. It’s pop magic. And it’s also the innocent precursor to the much more disturbing Everytime, in which Britney basically kills herself due to her stardom. Lucky, beware.

Most LOLtastic scene: Britney 1.0 continually throwing glitter from her perch on a cardboard star onto Britney 2.0, a character whose name is actually Lucky.

7. Oops!…I Did It Again (2000)

Why: This video has more backstory than the unnecessary plotline to a porno. And it takes place on Mars, no less. Obviously. Also, the red leather catsuit. Halloween 2012, prepare.

Most LOLtastic scene: The spaceman brings martian Britney the necklace from Titanic. What?

6. Stronger (2000)

Why: The chair dancing and the superb eye makeup.

Most LOLtastic scene: The crimped strands of hair.

5. (You Drive Me) Crazy (1999)

Why: It’s before Britney videos became intricate storytelling devices and focuses on the choreography instead.

Most LOLtastic scene: Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier, and their awful associated movie.

4. Till the World Ends (2011)

Why: It’s an apocalyptic party in the sewers.

Most LOLtastic Scene: It’s an apocalyptic party in the sewers.

4a. And it’s also because I reserve a special place in my heart for this tune.

3. Toxic (2003)

Why: The costumes, namely the diamond-encrusted Britney.

Most LOLtastic scene: Britney riding on the back of Tyson Beckford’s motorcycle in a futuristic Paris.

2. …Baby One More Time (1998)

Why: Her first-ever, iconic music video.

Most LOLtastic scene: The overall innocence of a 16-year-old (!) Britney.

1. I’m a Slave 4 U (2001)

Why: Defining moment of her career and sexuality, the antithesis of …Baby One More Time. The choreography. Her abs.

Most LOLtastic scene: None. This video is perfection.

 

Two Years and 15 Pounds Later…

25 Dec

After spending two years following Weight Watchers Online, I decided to respond to one of the site’s casting calls this past August. It was simple enough: fill out the basic information, answer a few personal questions, submit a before and after photo. My angle: I wasn’t the “typical” weight loss story in that I didn’t have to lose a huge amount of weight in order to be healthy, and I managed to stick to the plan throughout major life changes.

Fast forward, beginning of October. I get a call that WW is interested in my story. The next few days are a whirlwind in which I have a Skype interview and am subsequently told that WW wants me (and six other girls) to come to the city for a week of shooting. The perks: hotel room, meals, payment per diem, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The downsides: well, there were none. I was sold at free lunch.

I arrived in the city on Tuesday night. I was expecting decent accommodations, but my mind was absolutely blown when I checked into the Mondrian Soho, the epitome of swank. I got the key to my room on the 23rd floor and opened the door to my home for the next four days: the deluxe king-bed suite.

Highlights of these accommodations:

  • Floor-to-ceiling windows, all around the room, providing 360 degree views of the entire city.
  • Shower window overlooking midtown. No curtains. Rather voyeuristic.
  • Welcome package from WW upon arrival, including a Burt’s Bees gift box
  • Ordering room service and setting wake-up calls via complimentary iPad; iHome also provided
  • Did I mention the views?

Despite being over-stimulated by my new digs on Tuesday night, I managed to fall asleep during the early hours of morning. At 7:00 AM, I was ready to go and was met by my driver (!) outside to head off to wardrobe fitting, hair, and makeup. The next eight hours were spent trying on beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories, and taking pictures of each outfit combination to be approved by the corporate bigwigs.

Accessories galore.

My clothing rack.

One of the chosen outfits.

Be still, my heart.

But the best part of this day had to be the shoes. Oh, the shoes. The ones pictured above were unbelievably amazing, and I got to wear them on the day of the photo shoot with this dress. I was lucky enough to get to keep the dress; the shoes, sadly, had to be returned. Let’s dwell on them for a while, shall we?

Oh Miu God.

And more shoes…

Yes.

YES.

YES!

YES!!!

Wednesday came to a close, and on Thursday I finished up the final wardrobe fitting in anticipation for Friday’s shoot. As if this week couldn’t get more wonderful, my mom’s birthday was on Thursday, so my family and I saw Rent and went out to dinner. And then mom and I had a girls’ night in at the hotel.

Friday was crazy. I was the first one to shoot, so I had to be on set at 6:30 AM. The studio, by the way, was in a warehouse in Brooklyn, which I later discovered was an old porn set. Each room had a different “theme”: Southwestern, prison cell, Japanese, etc. The giveaway may have been the defunct jacuzzis in each room. Moving on. After hair, makeup, and wardrobe were complete, I was ready to rock and roll by 9:00. For the commercial shoot, it was all ad-libbing, answering the director’s questions about my WW experience. My video shoot outfit isn’t pictured, but I got to wear (and take home!) jeans, a blouse, a blazer, and a new pair of boots. A photo of the shoes, you ask? If I must.

After the commercial shoot was wrapped up, it was time to change into the dress and heels for the photo shoot. This part of the week falls into top three highlights of my life. As the bulbs flashed away, Britney started blasting throughout the studio. Soon, we were all fist-pumping and cat-clawing. It was absurd and amazing.

Perhaps the best perk arising from the payment was that I was able to invest in an elliptical machine, which is now used daily in my house. It’s ironic, but I feel like I am now in better shape and continue to lose weight after this whole experience. And it’s not too shabby to see myself on the homepage of people.com, either.

Check out my full story (and before and after pictures!) on Weight Watchers here and here.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2012.

La Maison en Petits Cubes

7 Dec

My favorite short film. Please take 12 minutes and watch it immediately.

Meet me in Montauk.

7 Dec

“Death is Nothing at All”

26 Apr

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland