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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.


My Top Ten: Movie Monologues

25 Feb

10. Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind (1939)


9. Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver (1976)


8. Michael Douglas as Andrew Shepherd, The American President (1995)


7. Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham, American Beauty (1999)


6. Robin Williams as John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)


5. Spencer Tracy as Matt Drayton, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)


4. Peter Finch as Howard Beale, Network (1976)


3. Hugo Weaving as V, V for Vendetta (2006)


2. Robin Williams as Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting (1997)


1. Charlie Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel, The Great Dictator (1940)

My Top Ten: Classic Movies

24 Feb

I. Love. Movies. My Dad was well-known for his breadth and depth of trivia knowledge; in particular, he was a history and film buff. As a six year old, I watched such “classics” as Frankenstein and Dracula, mocking the poor special effects instead of trembling with fear (much to my Dad’s chagrin). This upbringing recently led me to a lifelong undertaking, which began in the summer of 2008: to watch every Best Picture nominee and winner since the first Academy Awards. (Secretly, I’m glad that Netflix does not currently have Wings in stock.) Now that I’ve seen well over 100 movies on the list, I feel I am in the position to create my first draft of my top ten classic movies.

*Note: Who and what defines a classic movie? Welp, it’s my blog so I’m defining it as a movie that contains timeless qualities, that captivates people generation after generation. And while I recognize this list omits such classics as Gone with the Wind and Casablanca, frankly, my dear, they’re just not my favorites. (See what I did there? I used part of a famous quotation from Gone with the Wind. Meh.)

10. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb




"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"




9. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner



"It never occurred to me that I would fall in love with a Negro, but I have, and nothing's going to change that."




8. All About Eve




"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"




7. It’s a Wonderful Life



"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"




6. Rear Window

"Nobody ever invented a polite word for a killin' yet."

5. E.T.



"Come..." "Stay..."




4. The Wizard of Oz



"Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?"




3. It Happened One Night




"I'll stop a car, and I won't use my thumb!"




2. The Godfather




"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."




1. Some Like It Hot

"Well, nobody's perfect."

My Top Ten: Beatles Songs

20 Feb

10. “Octopus’s Garden” – One of Ringo’s two songs. Light-hearted. Lovely. Littoral.

9. “Come Together” – Absurd. Animated. Acid trip.

8. “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” – Simple. Smart. Sexy.

7. “In My Life” – Passionate. Pensive. Pure.

6. “When I’m 64” – Merry. Melodic. Memorable.

5. “Something” – Harrison’s best. Romantic. Rousing. Real.

4. “Hey Jude” – Invigorating. Inspiring. Infectious.

3. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” – Bewitching. Beguiling. Breathtaking.

2. “Get Back” – Fun. Fast. Fantastic.

1. “A Day in the Life” – Complex. Crazed. Calming.

Honorable mentions: “Rocky Raccoon,” “It’s Only Love,” “Helter Skelter,” “If I Fell”

Least favorite Beatles song: “Revolution 9”

My Top Ten: Things That Will Always Remind Me of My Dad

24 Jan

In honor of what would’ve been my Dad’s 60th birthday today, here are the top ten things that will always make me think of him:

1.       “Hi Lili, Hi Lo” from the movie Lili

2.       Cooking big meals, especially when it involves chopping onions…and making knishes.

3.       Watching old, classic movies, like Lost Horizon, She Done Him Wrong, and It Happened One Night. Other random movies that remind me of him: The Goonies, It’s a Wonderful Life, V for Vendetta, Once, Return of the King, Ben-Hur, Gunga Din, High Noon, and Night at the Museum.

4.       The New York Mets (and Butch Huskey)

5.       Huge, ripe cherries

6.       Pistachio ice cream

7.       Klezmer music, and the way he would dance in the living room to it

8.       Curb Your Enthusiasm, especially the theme song for which we had our own routine

9.       Whenever a famous person dies

10.   “Who loves ya, baby?”

While I won’t share it here (at least, not yet), I created a much more extensive list last summer that far surpasses ten items. How lucky I am to have had somebody to miss so much.

My Top Ten: Feel-Good Songs

11 Jan

Important life lesson: Do not put on depressing music when feeling sad. Instead, play* one of these joyous tunes:

*In most cases, you will have to follow a link to YouTube. Lame-o, but still worth it.

1. The Four Tops, “I Can’t Help Myself”

In and out my life
You come and you go
Leaving just your picture behind
And I kissed it a thousand times

2. The Beatles, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on…

3. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

If you need me, call me
No matter where you are, no matter how far
Just call my name, I’ll be there in a hurry
You don’t have to worry, ’cause baby,
There ain’t no mountain high enough

4. Rodrigo y Gabriela, “Diablo Rojo”

5. Coldplay, “Life in Technicolor ii”

Time came a-creepin’, oh, and time’s a loaded gun
Every road is a ray of light
It goes on, time only can lead you on
Still, it’s such a beautiful night

6. Guster, “Come Downstairs and Say Hello”

To tell you the truth, I’ve said it before
Tomorrow I start in a new direction
I know I’ve been half-asleep
I’m never doing that again

7. The Turtles, “Elenore”

Elenore, gee, I think you’re swell, a-haaa!

8. David Gray, “Please Forgive Me”

Please forgive me if I act a little strange
For I know not what I do,
Feels like lightning running through my veins
Every time I look at you

9. Regina Spektor, “On the Radio”

This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

10. John Denver, “Take Me Home, Country Roads”

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads