Random musings

* Hillary, I like it when you talk sternly to moronic men. Women, everywhere: let’s talk sternly to moronic men.

* Women in combat, please kick ass. I’m sorry it took so long to ALLOW YOU TO RISK YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

* Is Safe Haven a real movie? If so, could one view it as a comedy?

* To those of you watching the 11th season of Project Runway: hello, Geraldo Rivera! Right?

* How is it possible that the gun control debate has been overshadowed by the Beyoncé lip syncing debate?

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Olympics miscellany

+ The more I think about, the more I realize I’m not ready to win a gold medal. Not because I have no sport or a lifetime of training, but because I wouldn’t want the pictures of me in my defining moment on the podium with a track suit and wet hair.

+ Wouldn’t it be refreshing if athletes spoke their mind before their event, so that instead of the pat, “I just have to go out there, stay relaxed, and do my best” it was more like “I have to kick some serious ass and take what belongs to me.” Instead of the usual post-race response from a silver medalist who says, “I just didn’t get it done and I’d like to congratulate my opponent,” I’d rather hear “I am soooo pissed and cannot believe that chick won.”

+ There’s no crying in baseball, but there’s a heck of a lot of crying in gymnastics, swimming, diving and—I’m guessing, though I haven’t watched it—table tennis.

+ When do the boring sports start? These high-profile events are costing me sleep.

Olympic fever

I love how you can become a rabid fan of a sport in less than 10 minutes during the Olympics. All it takes is a story. A montage. An underdog. I watch supposedly washed up Alexandr Vinokourov from Kazakhstan duke it out with a young Colombian in the homestretch of the cycling road race. I’ve never wanted anyone to win more. The Colombian rookie turns his head for a second and Vinokourov breaks away and wins the gold, jubilant, even though the commentators are calling him the old guy. At 38. And for the record, I had no idea he was this adorable until he took off his helmet.

Was it me or was the tribute to the National Health Service at the opening ceremony a way to say In your face, America?

I wonder if Michael Phelps gets tired of hearing about Michael Phelps.

Odd lots

> You know what costs more than a root canal without dental insurance? Window treatments. I got an Amazon local deal (think Groupon) for a local home decor shop and was excited that I wouldn’t have to install a damn thing. Already prepared for the investment after getting quotes for two custom shades at Home Depot, I thought this place might be a bit more than the $200 estimate, but worth it. They do the measuring and wield the tools. So the saleswoman and I browsed dozens of colors of “product” in the comfort of my living room, and I chose a set of shades in cinnamon blush that opened and closed like butter, and already I was picturing the light streaming through them on my patio doors, when she said something that sounded like “They’re $800,” and I said something that sounded like laughter. Then she said, “each” and I said, “Thank you for your time,” and showed her out the patio door.

> I watched NY Med, despite my aversion to Dr. Oz, and you know what? It was good. Or I need a doctor.

> This is why I hate ordering online. SO much packaging. To be clear, I don’t actually hate ordering online, because that little shopping cart is so darn cute and there’s little effort involved (click!), but with all the cardboard, paper, and bubble wrap you could destroy the earth while also losing a small cat. But my set of plates did arrive unscathed. Still, with all this bubble wrap, I could set up an eBay account and be able to ship things in a very cushiony matter for a long time.

> You can tell by looking out the window how hot it is by how slowly tourists are walking through the city. Like turtles on vacation.

> I participated in a video shoot this week, providing a quick overview of academic support services at the college where I work, and like a good reality TV star, I practiced what to say, so that I’d be ready. I was feeling prepared until the director and interviewer arrived with two cameramen with towering lights and an audio guy in tow, and before I knew it, a microphone was snaked up my skirt and I was talking into the camera. My speech went out the window when I realized we were improvising a sketch, apparently.. Suddenly, I was acting. Just a heads up that if I disappear for a while, I’m probably answering a flood of calls from agents.

Project Accessory

Reality shows make me sad, but I do adore one: Project Runway. And I must not be the only one because cable execs have gone spin-off crazy: On the Road with Austin and Santino; Christian Siriano: Having a Moment, Project Jay; and coming soon Project Runway: Masters, not to mention those vapid model shows and After the Runway.

Enter, Project Accessory.

Really?

Is it me or is your first thought when you see this promo: Saturday Night Live skit?

A few good things

The unexpected return of Parenthood this week with its savvy kids, spot-on music, and giant, quirky family that always ends up dancing in the kitchen or amid twinkly backyard lights—a backdrop to serious, ongoing family drama.

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A friend getting married this weekend sent me his vows in a rush to get a chick’s thumbs up. I toyed with changing some choice words to add a little comic relief to the ceremony but resisted. To ensure they were words a woman wants to hear, I called Javier Bardem to read them to me.

“Just say these words, Javi,” I told him. “And don’t skimp on the accent.”

Sufficiently swooned, I gave my friend the go-ahead.

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Watching, ahem, toned, kite surfers at Castle Island while waiting for my friend Katie where we exchanged Best News Ever! and Worst News Possible! while walking around on a summery September night before scoring the perfect wooden desk chair left on the sidewalk (not stolen, promise) and rolling it ten blocks to her apartment where the wheel only fell over every other block.

The return of House

House returns tonight. Finally.

I like watching that House fellow solve medical mysteries in that formula that never varies: act disinterested in patient, flirt with Cuddy, belittle the team, have a revelation while talking to Wilson.

And I like cotton candy.

Ergo, I like watching House through a haze of cotton candy.

Losing and winning

I think it was a considerate move by the networks to air the Golden Globes directly following the playoffs so that at the moment when you realize the Patriots’ loss is inevitable, before a funk even sets in, you can switch to the glitz of the red carpet and get swept up in the cattiness: Annette Bening’s hair looks like a porcupine! and Wait, The Tourist was nominated? The one with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie? Seriously?

And you can almost forget that your team isn’t going to the Super Bowl, and it’s no big deal, right, because there’s Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon lookin’ fine, and so what if they came with other people; you know they would have taken you if they could have, and you would have been a charming date after taking out a loan to buy a dress; and hey, there’s Aaron Sorkin telling girls that’s it’s good to be smart, and Ricky Gervais is ripping people to shreds in a biting but truly hilarious way, and you’re glad you’re not famous because you’re not sure you’d want to hear what he’d say about you, but then it would hardly matter when you’re on the arm of Mr. Damon who’s whispering in your ear: I’ve got this locked up and you have to tell him, gently, Honey, you’re not nominated this year, and when the water works come, you wipe his tears and tell him you’ll make it up to him later when you’re alone.

Loser. Winner.

OWN: Oprah’s new network

Like millions of other women who have enjoyed watching Oprah over the years (aside from the low moments of salaciousness when the producers got desperate for story ideas), I was curious to check out her new network, OWN, launched this week, because my elaborate 200+ channel offerings are just not sufficient. Who doesn’t need someone to champion their hopes and dreams through inspirational guests and You go girl! chants?

However, the show Master Class: Jay-Z and more Dr. Phil do not a new network make. A venture of this magnitude takes enormous planning and offerings, but already her reality show (Your Own Show) and Season: 25 Oprah Behind the Scenes are playing on an endless loop, as in every night. Really? Reruns in week one?

Tomorrow is a snow day at work (woo!), which means a serious indulgence in daytime TV. I mean, who can shovel when the ladies on The View are sharpening their claws? It would have been the perfect day to settle in on the couch and bond with the big O, except I can’t see spending my day with Dr. Oz who will have me analyzing my pee followed by hours of obsessive research on WebMD.

Stuck in Career Day

Remember Career Day in high school? I was so enamored by the world of journalism. But when I spent the day shadowing a local newspaper reporter, I was crestfallen to see how little the job resembled the newsroom in my mind. My mentor spent the day on the phone talking to local politicians about building permits and sewer lines and the town budget. Ew. When we hit the road for the fun part—scouting a feature photograph of ducks at the town pond—I’d had enough of the glamorous life.

So, no reporting for me, I thought. Then I promptly went to college, graduated, and took a job as a newspaper reporter. It was as awful as I remembered. I was now stuck in my Career Day career. I did learn a lot about town government and writing (the latter being actually useful) and loved the rush of the newsroom. But, before I poked my eye out with my steno pad, I got the hell out of there.

For all you girls out there, still trying to figure out what you should be when you grow up, know that you may not know until after you grow up. Until then, here’s a little inspiration from some powerful lady puppets on Sesame Street:

Spain on the Road

Spain on the Road is one of those shows that make you wish you were driving in the back of a convertible with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Claudia Bassols, and Gwenyth Paltrow instead of eating congealed leftovers in front of the TV. I’m not a big Paltrow fan, but I have to respect her for traipsing around the countryside and not caring a whit about being on TV with flyaway hair. In the name of food, I wouldn’t care either. They down olive oil by the gallons, drink wine at 10 a.m., and munch on grapes straight off the vines. Really, they just talk and eat. And yet, it’s a compelling watch. It makes you yearn for good conversation over authentic tapas on a back road in Spain. Or anywhere really.

Spain on the Road

PBS describes it as “four foodie friends hitting the road.” In light of that, I’d like to propose my own PBS show where I get to take my foodie friends to a warm European locale where we would eat our way through farms and vineyards, all while wearing the most fashion-forward boots and scarves. Because that’s how my friends and I roll. Even though it’s more likely we’d be staying in hostels and subsisting on stale bread.

In Treatment

Watching In Treatment is like being in therapy and then watching your therapist get therapy. Lots of talking and processing and crying. I’m exhausted by the end. I’m relegated to watching season one on DVD, but season two of the series begins this Sunday night. If you have HBO, can you invite me over?

Gabriel Byrne is very watchable, if you know what I mean. Very watchable. If I needed a therapist, I’d be all over him, so to speak—kind of like Laura, one of his patients who’s experiencing erotic transference. Hello.

Anyway, if you’re feeling in need of psychotherapy, tune in. You’ll be cured when you hear how awful other people have it—and it’ll save you some money.

gabriel-byrne

Best year ever: Tina Fey

How great is it to be Tina Fey these days? Rhetorical question. Baby Mama was a hit earlier this year, she just collected three Emmy awards for her sitcom 30 Rock, and her hilarious Sarah Palin skits on SNL have gone viral. Everything she touches turns to gold. Touch me, Tina! (No, not in that way, Fey)

Her Emmy acceptance speech was funny, naturally, in which she acknowledged her parents: “I thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done.” True of Palin perhaps, but not of her.

Just a thought, but I’d totally vote for her for VP.

Football in the great outdoors

   


grandma’s porch.

Originally uploaded by endlessrevolt

I had a dilemma on this gorgeous almost-fall day: watch my beloved Patriots while stuck indoors or get outside and soak in the fleeting summer sun. Unwilling to choose, I camped out on the porch, dragging an ancient TV set with me; football, is, after all, meant to be enjoyed outdoors.

Sitting in the sun made me feel like I was at Gillette Stadium–not that I’ve ever been to Gillette Stadium, but how different could it be from watching football on my porch? The traffic whizzing by was loud–not unlike the sound of 68,000 cheering fans; there was tailgating (OK, some half-stale chips and salsa), and the sun was streaming down as if I were baking on the 50-yard line, kind of making it hard to see the plays, actually, but no matter. Then, when it was evident the Pats were going to lose spectacularly, not unlike the way they used to crush other teams, I packed up early and went inside to beat the traffic.

Mad Men is crack

Please, someone send help. I’m on my 11th episode of Mad Men today and I can’t turn it off. I see the remote, but I just can’t press the button. I don’t want to press the button. I may miss work tomorrow if this marathon goes on any longer. Please let this be the last episode of season one. I’m very tired and open to an intervention.