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Fashion for Men: Just Don't

My mother always says,

"Never date a man who takes longer to get ready than you do."

I couldn't agree more. Please do not try. Do not purchase expensive clothing, or at least not often, and when you do, don't be excited about the snobbery of Brooks Brothers. Do not shy away from t-shirts born in the 80's or 90's. Do not buy designer jeans. If you are wearing anything nicer than a solid pair of $60 Levi's, I may reconsider your sexuality. Or at least be incredibly turned off. If you still think its still cool to gel your hair, please die. You can pommade that shit all you want if you absolutely must, but otherwise, avoid all hair products besides your basic shampoo. Manscape if you are incredibly hairy, but let's not get carried away. I want to remember that I am dating someone over the age of 17, at least on the outside.

I'm not suggesting that you show up for a formal dinner in sweatpants and a dirty, seven year old shirt that still has that stain from the cranberry and vodka you spilled on yourself at the frat party. Invest in some good pieces like a few oxfords, a blazer or two, some polos. You don't need to overdo it. I want to see you wear the same thing twice, thrice, a thousand times. If you choose well the first time you buy it, I'll think you look more and more attractive with each wear. Dress up occasionally for special events and keep a good pair of dress shoes around. I don't want to date the homeless man down the street with the shopping cart full of beer bottles. I just want to date a guy, not a overly conscious fashion forward hipster preppy freak (Not that I hate that look...if you want to be fashion forward, go for it). Just keep it to a limited wardrobe. I don't need you having an anxiety attack because you can't decide what to wear. That's my job, and I don't even do it well, so it doesn't work when I date someone that cares more. You can look cool and trendy all you want, but if you need to put thought into it, then...yeah. Maybe you shouldn't try to stick your P in a V. I don't need another feminine cowl neck cardigan sweater lying around my apartment.

 Pass...

 Yes, please. With PF Flyers even!

Photos courtesy of The Sartorialist
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Dope Beatz, Vol. 3



Hello children. Check out some dope beatz below.





Radiohead -- Lotus Flower

Eliza says: This song is off their album The King of Limbs, which came out like 6 days ago and there’s already a music video for it.  It consists of  5 minutes of Thom Yorke’s dance moves, which is kind of how I feel like dancing all of the time.  I’ve always been a fan of Radiohead and I really like the new album.  I haven’t read any reviews on it so I have no idea what the rest of the world thinks.
I say: Eliza, I think you meant to say you do dance like that all of the time. I don't blame you, though, Radiohead is fantastic and always will be. Their music never gets old. It's always respected, creative, fresh. I'm a fan of "unfurling," too. Although, I've never unfurled as a lotus flower. I'll try it out this weekend.

The Decemberists -- Rise To Me

Eliza says: This song is from their new album The King Is Dead that just came out in January. If you already like the Decemberists then you’ll probably enjoy the whole album.  If not, then don’t bother.
I say: Hmm. I have yet to test out the month-after-Novemberists. I wonder if every month is an advent calendar for them? So far I like what I hear. The folk characteristic is a welcome variation in a sea of indie rock. I, for one, am not a big fan of country music, but I take pleasure in its distant cousin folk. Good stuff.


Kings of Convenience -- The Build-Up

Eliza saysJust to keep along with the King theme, The Kings of Convenience is a great indie-folk band that has been around for a while, but hasn’t come out with anything new since 2009.  My host Mom introduced me to this band during my semester abroad in Madrid and I’ve been listening to them ever since.  This song features Feist and is off their album Riot on an Empty Street (2004).  
I say: Wow. I feel like I need to be sitting in a train watching the sun set on an urban landscape passing me by. You know, the feeling you get when you think you're suddenly in a movie? The lyrics are so short that it has the same effect as a haiku might in poetry. You don't need some long drawn out epic story. It says it all right there, and everyone can interpret as they may. Really powerful stuff. 

Little Dragon -- My Step

I say: The Swedes really know how to pump out a jam. They are the nordic kings and queens of the indie-electro age (but Phoenix will always be my emperor, shout out to Thomas). Little Dragon definitely takes the cake with this one. I found some of their older stuff and loved the quirky, catchy beats. The leader singer, Yukimi Nagano, is Swedish-Japanese, and you can tell from the up and coming sounds this band produces. Just wait for the chorus and tell me you don't feel empowered. 

Lastly, I wanted to include a song from Adele's new album 21, but to be honest, nothing is really sucking me in. I don't know if this album had the Superbad effect on me--where the build up is so overdrawn and elaborated that I am bound to be disappointed. It's like on the border of greatness, but its turning into one of those albums that I'll have to listen to a few times before I start to figure out if it blends in my listening tastes. I mean, Lovesong is great, but its a cover of The Cure's (I'll throw it down below anyways). Give me a week. I'll have to dig in. 

Adele -- Lovesong

Tune in next time for some more G & E musical action. Happy Friday.
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Christian Bale--lookin' good at 120lbs

Hollywood's got another little secret (I failed to mention...from 2004), and by secret, I mean a legitimately good movie (I know, you probably thought I was going to tell you something new about Charlie Sheen's cesspool of a life). I just saw The Machinist this past weekend, and it blew my mind. I don't know if it was the fact that I was forced to scrutinize every screenshot to try and solve the mystery before the dénouement rolled around or that my eyeballs were glued to the sight of Christian Bale in his sexy bod,


but the movie and its mindf-ing plot line is still stirring around in my head four days later. To label the film a psychological thriller seems like an easy escape from the realization that you have just encountered an anorexic, guilt-stricken, terribly troubled man who spirals through the movie as if the only way out is murder or suicide. Or both. Which seemed quite possible, too.

My respect for my boyfriend Christian Bale rocketed upwards with this movie, and I could not care less about his tirade towards a crew member on the Terminator Salvation set. If I had to work for months on the continuation of an action movie that was made popular by Ahnold, I, too, would unleash a rant for several long minutes reaped with obscenities at a random, innocent stranger. In fact, I probably wouldn't stop there. Just because Christian learned his expletives and then got caught on film during an extended usage of some profanity doesn't mean that he should be disregarded for the fact that he dropped to 120 pounds for The Machinist. That guy lost so much weight that I mistook him for the poor souls I studied in my Holocaust literature class.

Now, you mustn't get confused and assume that Renee Zellweger deserves the same praise for her successful weight control. Going from Bridget Jones' fat ass to some skinny, red carpet snot who refuses to reproduce life is clearly not the same thing. Christian Bale supposedly went 3-4 months eating only an apple a day and maybe a cup of coffee. That kind of commitment must cause some serious psychological damage, which in turn prepares oneself to play a character with some serious psychological damage. His loyalty to Tucker Reznik is not only amplified by his talented acting skills, but also by the physical devotion he exemplifies in his transformation. I don't know if I'll ever get that image out of my head.

Make sure to see this movie. I don't want to give anything away. It's on Netflix instant watch. It's worth it, even if he ain't no Patrick Bateman. Although, Patty B. can also have my heart (literally, since he hangs on to bodies).
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Chill with the M word.

"She got me this morning, but I'll get her tonight"

I don't know why I'm 23 and I keep hearing this bull. I'm 23. We live in 2011, not 1948. I get to choose my own husband and maybe even have a day job. It's nuts!

Nuts

With that said, will someone please explain to me why people keep talking about marriage, husbands, relationships, etc? Is there anything else going on in people's lives that we can all chat about? I'm happy for those who choose to take that route, or should I say expressway, but I'm perfectly content with life in all of its excitement, anxiety, depression, success, euphoria, etc. I don't need a ring on my finger, nor do I require a million dollar job. I want to embrace my humility, soak up all that life seeps out, and encourage others to do the same (and have fun doing it) along the way. The past few years for us younger 20-something's are engulfed in both kinds of ridiculous conversation: we talk of poop, sex, and what chips we want to devour, but we also discuss the significance of our education, our plans for career and personal development, and what kind of philosophies we can apply to further all of the notable relationships we establish in life. With such a variety of topics and difficulties in figuring out their equations in our complex brainwaves, its sure to cause some anxiety and confusion. Take a deep breath. You don't need to become the Attorney General or CFO of Microsoft tomorrow (besides, my dad's friend holds that position at the moment). You shouldn't worry about where you want to go; you should fixate on what you learn and feel along the paths you stumble upon.

Check out these articles regarding marriage, from both a woman's and a man's point of a view. There are points to agree with, points to stray from, but overall, you need to pound into your Americana cultural belief system that marriage is not numero uno in your long list of life goals. In fact, it should be far from it.

My favorite encounter with a person who thought that marriage is the be all and end all, the culmination of our long and glorious lives here on Earth, includes a young woman who told me I should take heed and not attempt to mold my boyfriend into a "husband". I don't know whether it was the beer I choked on when the words flew out of her naivete that she calls a brain or the excruciating ringing in my ears from her incredibly high pitched and fascinating voice, but I wasn't quite sure how to respond. Have you ever found yourself in those moments where you expect someone to say everything and anything except for that which he/she actually says? Firstly, girlfrand over there must not have known me too well, or else she would've known that if I'm molding people into husbands, that's going to be one messed up matrimony since I'm the furthest thing from your typical wifey. I don't mold. End of story. You shouldn't either. Molding is for Play Doh, or clay, or sand castles in the summer at the beach. It's not for people, unless they are your children, but the action is certainly not meant for a significant other. Get a clue. You shouldn't be changing a thing about the person you love. 

And, as my mother said in response to this girl's profound declaration, "Who the fuck wants a husband?"
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You can't cuddle with plastic, no matter how hard you try.

With Borders gone under completely and the rise of the iPad, the Kindle, and the Nook (I feel like my Dad--are those even the right names?), many of us old school, lit-savvy folk are wringing our hands waiting to see what will happen with the printed book and with reading in general. I'm glad everyone can successfully interpret text on a screen these days from texting to the morning news to now entire novels, but I think we should all take a step back and reexamine our lives. Maybe even unplug for a few hours a day. Of course, I understand I'm the pot calling the kettle black--I love my iPhone just as much as the next person (Welcome, Verizoners). But...when I was forced to turn off my data overseas it was a pretty big wake-up call to the fact that I need that thing. And that's sad.

My iPhone is one thing, but the whole e-reading craze is something I truly do not understand. How the hell are you supposed to cuddle up with a piece of plastic? How do you fold over the page to mark a favorite section, quote, or wherever you stopped reading? Does a Kindle smell like old, dusty library books at the end of a decade? You can't flip back and forth, take notes, or actually benefit from reading text on an real page. Have you heard of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS, and not the pharmacy)? I don't really feel like going blind just from reading. Playing Angry Birds, ok, I'll deal. But reading? No one wants to lose their eyesight from that. Especially when you can read perfectly fine on some good old fashioned papier. Get a clue and grab a book. There's much more history, texture, culture from reading a book. A finished book sits confidently upon your bureau afterwards, triumphantly showcasing your literary talents. A finished e-book...disappears into cyberspace? That sounds boring.

By the way--don't go running around thinking that you're automatically more "green" for going paperless. It may sound cray cray, but all of our precious electronic gadgets need energy, and unless you have a windmill on your building or house, you ain't green, sista. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
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Dope Beatz, Vol. 2

Friends don't let friends find obscure, groovy tunes alone. And so, I've invited one of my oldest friends to help me in my quest to entertain y'all with 5 spectacular songs each week. I figured since I don't have the patience to surf the musical internet world in search of the next big indie hit, I could let my sista from another mista do the job.

Here are four selections by her, followed by one of my own. Saved the worst for last.

Florence and the Machine- Oh Darling (Beatles cover)

Eliza says: I love Florence and the Machine and I love this song, so it’s a pretty good combination.  I got to see Florence live on Halloween and it was AMAZING.  She has such a powerful voice and incredible stage presence.  She’s also coming back to Boston on June 23rd at the BOA pavilion and the tickets go on sale February 18. Woop woop! 
I say: If you buy tickets you have to give them to us. Only fair.

Destroyer - Kaputt

Destroyer - Chinatown

Eliza says: For some reason I’m a huge fan of the guy/girl duets (i.e the XX). I don’t typically do much research or investigating about the bands/music I like but I’m pretty sure the lead singer is from Canada. The whole album Kaputt just came out and is pretty sweet and I definitely suggest checking it out. 
I say: Yep, YouTube information confirms that this band is from Canada, and we all know YouTube is always right. This also confirms that there are actually people living in Canada, despite what appears to be a barren wasteland. Only joshing with you. I talk to Canadians on the phone at work. They are nice people, eh? (Had to)

Bedouin Soundclash ft. Coeur de Pirate - Brutal Hearts

Eliza says: Another guy/girl duo.. I am obsessed with this song.  It’s kind of dark and sensual, but at the same time puts you in a really chilled out state of mind.  The guy and girl are having this sort of back and forth conversation to clear the air before they bone.  Pretty sure in the end they decide to do it. 
I say: Big points here, Coeur de Pirate is a francophone female singer from Quebec. She typically sings in French, so it's definitely fascinating to hear her in English. It's different, but I love both sounds. She's got such a unique voice--very ethereal. Check out the mini album she just released with Jay Malinowski from Bedouin Soundclash called "Armistice". Oh yeah, and boning is always good.

The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build A Home

I say: This song came out in 2007. If you've heard it already, then congratulations. If you haven't, you should. It's really powerful. I think it speaks to many emotions, and the actual musical talent behind the song is impressive. I want to learn it on the piano, and that doesn't happen often with contemporary songs. Listen and see what your reaction is. It definitely affects your mood. 

Tune in next time for some more G & E musical action. Happy Friday.

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Skin cancer ain't cool!


Even though we all want to model our lives after the oompa loompas of the Jersey Shore (yes, that is the second time I've referenced the show), tanning should not be one of our main priorities. Looking tan, sure. Don't get me wrong. I know everyone thinks I'm a curiously bronzed creature. The truth is, my grandfather's passed along his French-Mediterranean skin that retains color ridiculously well for a white girl from Maine. And in the winter months, I enjoy a splash of color from bronzer and blush. With that said, I'm still not sure why during this past summer people looked at me inquisitively and said things like, "WHY are you so TAN?!" Uh, because it's the middle of the summer and I work in a restaurant which allows me the entire day and so I spend it outside? I know, call me crazy. I apologize for my melanin. They get a little out of hand.

However, I'm not simply writing this to explain how or why my own skin enjoys bathing in the glittering rays of the sun. I want to explain why all of you out there who spend days in the tanning booths should stop. No one wants to look like "The Situation" with his premature aging and syphilis. I understand you probably can't get syphilis from indoor tanning (unless you use the same beds as the JS), but do yourself a favor and avoid those artificial UVAs. And if you're venturing outside, I'm not suggesting you pull a Nicole Kidman and wear sunblock for infants at SPF 60 and a 7 foot wide brimmed hat. Just throw on some sun protection, whether that be SPF 15, or maybe if you're feeling extra safe--30? You will still tan, won't burn, and won't be getting biopsy after biopsy for your potential cancerous moles and spots. Trust me. They suck. The Flynn-Dalvet's are a mole-y family. [Insert reference to Austin Powers here. Real original guys.]

If you can't hit the white sands of the Caribbean and you're stuck in the dead cold winter of the United States circa 2011, grab some tinted moisturizer or a little sunless tanning at your local CVS. You could also try some spray-on tanning at your nearest skin cancer center tanning salon if you're feeling adventurous. To be honest, you probably look pretty good with your skin color au naturel. It's not worth it to push the envelope, with either your health or the aesthetic quality of a darker tint. Learn to work with her and you'll be looking younger for much longer. Then, we can all go back to 17th century France, when it was cool to be pale.

Not sure where her white dress ends and skin begins?
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My mother's pimp days

If you know anything about my family, you know that my mother has the vocabulary of a 17 year old boy. She enjoys curse words, pervy expressions, and stringing together little tidbits of the English language in an attempt to create gasps, laughter, and my most commonly used phrase, "Mom, that's disgusting." My father always shakes his head while pursing his lips in a smile because he's married to one ridiculous woman. And yet, they are madly in love. Makes sense--who wants to be with someone who is ladylike? I learned the hard way what happens when you ask my mother why she isn't ladylike. You get an angry stare down and a 45 minute explanation of Title IX, the changing of her high school dress code, and a basic overview of the history of woman's rights.


One of her proudest moments, not including the aforementioned picture (if a picture can be aforementioned, I'll have to check with Steve), recalls the days of her singledom, basking in the aftermath of divorce. She flew out of the hot seat of her wifedom into a furious dating frenzy: truly a manizer, lady man killer, female pimp. Her first encounter with the one eyed snake post ball and chain severance consisted of the king of all sausages...a gentleman who owned an insurance company in good ole NYC. She claims when she saw it unfurl (it was a shower, not a grower, "Thank God!" as my mother says), she gasped and exclaimed, "Did you have that surgically altered!?"

It must not have done the trick entirely because the relationship was short lived, but nevertheless she takes pride describing the moment and explaining that although he played in the professional tennis circuit, "Holy shit! I don't think he even needed a racquet!!"

(If you didn't get the joke, you probably shouldn't be reading this blog.)
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Learn how to write.

 Let's face it. Hank Moody said it best. When you resort to lol or brb and refuse to accept the general rules of the reading and writing, you are contributing to the death of the English language. We all have full keyboards on our phones now. And if you're a minimalist or anti-techie like my father who will only resort to buying a pay as you go cell phone for emergencies, you still have no excuse. There's always T9, and it doesn't take that long to write out "you". I know no one reads anymore. We are sucked into social media sites and cellphones and iPads and computers. But we also have received a pretty damn good education, despite what many like to claim about the American system. We should take advantage of what we learned way back in elementary school and stop writing like complete idiots.

Here's a few doozies (as my father says) that you should avoid. And if you can't, maybe you should consider attending some 4th grade English classes, Billy Madison. Rirruto? Come on. You can use poop to refer to shit all you want, just don't say your instead of you're.

First off...texting. We don't live in 1998 anymore. Gone are days of AIM, LOL, and my personal favorite, LYLAS. If you need to express laughter through the written word, type out the letters h-a-h-a. If it's a habit, then break it. You're not allowed to use that as an excuse anymore.

They're, their, there. They're = THEY ARE. Their = possessive pronoun. If more than one person owns something...it's THEIR possession. If you need to indicate the location of an object, THERE is the orange juice.

Lastly, ridiculous. Just sit down and write it correctly a few times, because chances are, you'll remember it's not actually RED-iculous. I know, it's difficult, but we're going to get through this.
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Hay Hay, Ray Ray

This is why the Celtics are hot

Lebron James might be able to sit his ass down and make some stupid commercial with Nike about how amazing he is, but the facts tell the truth. He hasn't won a championship yet. He traded his loyalty with the Cav's for a paycheck and the hopes of winning a championship with whatever dream team they might have down there in Cuban coke land. And he thinks he has the right to stop time by broadcasting his big decisions on national television? Gag me.

Kobe Bryant might have beat the Celts last year, but he enjoys cheating on his wife by raping young hotel employees. End of story. Please. No one likes the Lakers.

KG, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, etc. They might be older than the trifecta of the Heat, but they have experience, skills, and most importlantly: chemistry. Last night Ray Allen broke the all time 3 point record. One radio station stated that the Lakers ruined his big night--but I disagree. Au contraire, mes amis. No one even noticed that the Lakers pulled out with a W. Breaking a 3 point record is just a tad more impressive. We'll get them back when it actually matters. Congrats Ray Ray. You deserve it.

Also, just gotta give a shout out to MJ and his response to Lebron. Never gets old.

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F#@K Cancer

 
Well, we all know how much cancer absolutely sucks and how much money those scientists are going to need to play with test tubes and fancy lab equipment in order to find a cure. I have a few friends running and spinning their way to a cancer free world, so I invite you to check out their fundraising pages and perhaps throw a few dollars their way. 


Erinn is a good friend from high school who will be participating in Spin for Hope with Team Elle, in memory of her cousin who she lost to a tough battle with cancer. I've always known Erinn as a hard worker and an avid athlete, and I was sorry to hear about her and her cousin's experience with this terrible disease. Like in all things she does, I know Erinn is determined to raise money and fight this. Look up her page here.


Annie is a coworker of mine who rocks at her job.  She is eager to welcome us nervous new hires, and she is constantly receiving kudos from supervisors and customers alike for her hard work. She will be running the 2011 Boston Marathon for Dana-Farber in honor of many who have suffered from cancer, so check out her page here.

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Rock it.


Thanks to the internet sensation Facebook, we can all befriend people we've never talked to, stalk unrequited loves, and discover youtube videos that otherwise may have sadly fallen by the wayside. And yet, we can also see friends posting about the latest news developments, discover hidden talent in small town independent music artists, and organize/attend the latest social gathering. Or, for those of you that have amazingly talented friends of friends...we can find the latest and greatest fashion.

And so, without further ado, I'd like to introduce: Rocks by Sheri, a jewelry line started by a friend of a friend from college. Since I'm not a big fan of simply following a trend or investing in superbly overpriced accessorizing, I become even more elated when I discover new brands or, even better, people I know who use their flare for design to create something truly unique.


Rocks by Sheri

Gold is timeless, warm, and classy. Mix it with some big gems? You've got a bold fashion statement and some hot jewelry items. For accessories, rings are great--they don't travel up and down your arm like bracelets, jingling and jangling away. They can easily dress up any outfit, and your hands are constantly in motion making sure to get that bling noticed. Sheri's advertising some truly exceptional jewelry, and be sure to check out her line for Valentine's day. Look up her line's Facebook page at Rocks by Sheri. Or email her at srossins@gmail.com to order some rings!! She's currently selling them for $15-$25, so get a Rocks ring before they go big!
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Dope Beatz, Vol. 1


New Young Pony Club - The Optimist

I don't remember why or how I downloaded their album, but this song is great. It's fantastic to run to with its calm rhythm, and it's definitely a confidence booster. I enjoy the length, too. Less about the lyrics and more about the melody and the overall vibe. Reminds me of the impact that a song like Death Cab's Transatlanticism has on me. Different emotions, but definitely still bamf level (Don't tell anyone that I made a Dane Cook reference. He sucks). So yeah, whether you somehow found some sense of false confidence and want to cling to it, or whether you feel like your life sucks and you want to hack away at the emotions you are drowning in, listen to some ponies today! 


Dispatch - Two Coins

Since I have 9th row tickets to their concert this summer, I thought I'd throw this one up there. Yes, I know, it is probably everyone's favorite, and you can go right ahead and accuse me of "jumping on the bandwagon" from behind your computer screen. The fact is, it's a fantastic song. Everyone loves it, because it's damn good. You can pretend that you truly are their biggest fan while I'm just an imposter because a real Dispatch fan would find a more obscure song to suck on, but I don't really care. Just listen.


Theophilus London - Soles of Fire

Thanks to a coworker for this recommendation. Theophilus seems incredibly talented, and the type of artist I've been waiting to listen to for a while. Independent rap/hip-hop artists have been somewhat quiet in this decade--maybe I don't know where to look? I loved, and still do, Common in his younger days, Mos Def, Talib, Tribe Called Quest, etc. People who didn't just get together to rap shitty music about grape drank. No offense, I enjoy the smooth beats of Waka Flocka, but let's be serious. There is such a thing as a talented rap artist, and he's not one of them. Theophilus displays creativity, variation, and entertainment, and the homage to Al Green in the chorus can't be beat. Maybe you'll feel like running after listening, but then again maybe not. Since we live in sub zero temperatures in the arctic tundra.


The Naked and the Famous - Young Blood

 Whilst I was enjoying the television emission Gossip Girl on Monday night, I heard this little diddy. I almost had to do a double take, if you physically can do a double take with your ears. I thought it was a new Passion Pit song, and proceeded to pee myself. After I cleaned up, I rushed over to the glory that is cwtv's website to check out music from the episode--one of the best ideas since sliced bread. I mean, who wants to slice their own bread? I digress. I don't much about this artist, but I plan to start delving into their musical world for some time. 


Yo Gabba Gabba - Party in my Tummy

Clearly, I saved the best for last on this volume of Dope Beatz. If you haven't listened to Yo Gabba Gabba's musical genius yet, then you are a failure in life and should probably join the sexual harassing stalker I once had the pleasure of meeting while working at Lineage restaurant. He liked to say things like, "Hi, my name is Jason. I'm a failure." I am not exaggerating. Anywho, I don't know if you've ever discovered how awesome children's shows have become (like Adventure Time, what up), but they should start showing some of those bad boys in primetime. I'll watch. And since everyone I know probably has the same maturity level as myself, you would watch, too.

 Partying in your tummy could also refer to pregnancy or the act of conception, so its a helpful metaphor for those little accidents.
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Hank Moody vs Don Draper

In the past 6 months or so I have taken up several new television interests. When I was poor and homeless in France, I watched Mad Men, and just recently I have started on Californication, both recommendations from various friends (Thanks, friends). I am now glad to admit that I am a keen admirer of both, but I have to say that Californication takes the cake.


Presently, I find myself having to take a breather from Don Draper and the man sluts of 1960's advertising. Yes, for an entire 3 seasons I was mesmerized by the historical and cultural aspects of the show and could withstand the incredibly depressing message that the show depicts about marriage and the fidelity of men. I reached a certain point, however, where I simply felt miserable when an episode ended--and not because I wanted more. Don Draper makes me squirm because of his promiscuity. He may be debonair and successful, but he fails as a father and as a husband. Not that Betty Draper is much better, but lets face it. In 1960's marriages, the husband was in the driver's seat. In fact, he was the only one in the car (well, except for when he gets road beej's from the local elementary school teacher, or the famous comedian's wife, or the celebrated department store's owner, or the...you get the picture). They trap themselves in terrible marriages and chuckle about the bitches they bang out in their free time over a glass of scotch, when they should've been in AA and sitting alongside Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen for some sex addiction therapy.


On the other hand, Hank Moody and his wandering peen really warms my heart. Did that sound weird? It's true. He is desperately trying to be a better person for his gorgeous hippie-esque former "domestic partner", his punk rock 12 year old daughter who knows far too much about the English language and the reproductive system, and his withering writing career. He is bright, witty, and while he bones chicks all day errday, it doesn't make me feel half as squeamish. Maybe because he is actually making at least some effort to save his relationship. He reminds me of Candide for some reason, constantly getting himself in terribly shitty situations, but always learning something new about himself or the people he cares about. Not to mention, Hank loves to cultivate his garden, both physically and intellectually. How's that for a senior year English reference, Dad?

Donny boy may have a bigger build, but Hank can throw a punch, especially when he stands up for his wannabe wife. If we were to compare the size of their manhood, Don's clearly on the small side with his insecurities, infidelity, and emotional withdrawal. Hank may have some self-loathing, but you must hate yourself a little bit if you have to carry that thing around all day. And in Californication, you actually see some nudity. Always a plus.
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Remind me never to buy tickets for a Black Eyed Peas Concert.

So, I never really expect much from a Superbowl halftime show, but wouldn't they at least try to choose a performer who can actually sing? I actually don't mind Fergie most of the time...I think she's pretty despite leather face comments and I enjoy her music on a certain level (not comparing her to Adele or anything). I think the Black Eyed Peas create some fun, party-loving music. They simply should never perform live. Ever. Will.I.Am's auto-tune was overdone and Fergie maybe redeemed herself a little towards the end (she seemed to loosen up), but I found myself making awkward, secondhand embarrassment faces during the entire thing. They can't really sing, and they don't even dance to make up for it. And why oh why was Fergie ruining Slash's celebrity appearance by gyrating her hips in his general vicinity? Do you know how to play a guitar chord, Fergs? Then go away. Maybe the fact that her mic was off in the beginning was actually sign from the heavens to prevent her from opening her mouth.

"What is this?"

Note: If you're going to be a "singer" and you can't actually sing, then I suggest learning how to dance or to somehow entertain. For example, B. Spears? Not really the best singer. Let's face it. She was not put on this planet to rival Aretha Franklin. However, The Onyx Hotel Tour? Amazing. Yeah, I was in high school and my mom got tickets for the 9th row, so it was clearly going to be pretty awesome. Nevertheless, she is definitely a performer. Fergie may not have gone batshit crazy at one point in her life, but she's married to Josh Duhamel. And for that, she should be dancing. A lot.
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White Collar? I think not!

So, when I first started at my new job--my first real, adult, professional, boring desk job, I was seriously concerned about the white collar jargon I might have had to start using. I didn't want to sit up straight, make normal faces all day, and have to say things like, "Hello Bill, did you enjoy your weekend? Home Depot you say? Fantastic. Real swell." I knew it would be "worth it" to move forward with career development, but why can't those big business environments just act normally? This isn't 1964. I don't work with the cast of Mad Men in their designer suits smoking lucky strike cigarettes (and being complete man whores).

Luckily, I soon discovered that my workplace is nothing of the sort. We are permitted to sport sneakers and jeans, socially interact like the cool people we are, and crack hilarrrious jokes of all proportions (I mean, all proportions). A coworker sent me an email this afternoon composed of the picture below:

Makes sense, right?

As you can see, we don't have a strict sexual harassment policy, but we do have a damn good time making people's feet happy. Maybe I should extend an invitation to Rex Ryan to join the team.
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It's beginning to look a lot like Valentine's Day. Barf.

Stop. And don't smell the roses.

It's about that time of year again, everyone's least favorite holiday is just around the corner. Insecure, superficial girls yearn for teddy bears and roses, while noncommittal, aloof guys would rather spend $200 to break their cellular contracts to avoid calling 1-800 FLOWERS. Couples end up in a completely unnecessary verbal (and sometimes physical) battle--I mean, who doesn't love throwin fists around February 14? And of course, the single ladies meet up with Ben and Jerry, while the single men? Do they even know what's going on? Most likely not.

To save everyone the pain, humiliation, self-loathing, food and alcohol binges, etc...just stop caring. I don't mean stop caring about life, work, friends, family and pull and Thelma and Louise (unless you've committed murder and several other felonies).



I just mean, stop caring about this stupid holiday that for some reason defines how much you care for that other person in your life. As my mother always says, "I don't need ONE day to show my husband how I feel. I do that for 365." And if you're single? Live it up. You don't have the ole ball and chain weighing you down. Celebrate! No one said you have to stay inside, sit on your couch, and turn into Kirstie Alley (Sidenote--Kirstie Alley does get some cool points, because she owns my dog's brother--no joke). Do yo thang. Go to the gym. Read a book. Buy some clothes. Just don't sit your ass on the couch and make yourself get fat. That's certainly not going to help you find a boyfriend, which is the whole reason you're stuffing your face in the first place. 

My perfect Valentine's any day loving celebration--how about tickets to the Miami Heat/Boston Celtics game on the 13th? Do something together and call it a day. Don't waste your money, stress, or tears on a greeting card or some half dead roses. And don't ever buy a Build-a-Bear. I can't believe that company even makes a profit off of those things. They're creepy. I don't want some synthetic, mass produced fur in the shape of a bear telling me he loves me. If you're offended, then you're a pervert. Try to give me a Build-a-Bear sometime. See what happens. You'll notice how much I suck at lying.
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Oldie but goodie

Atmosphere - Shoulda known

Listening to another's iPod always reminds you of great songs or artists that you've forgotten about, or maybe songs and artists that you've never heard before. Try it out sometime. Just don't do it with the girl that still wears jean skirts and uggs in the middle of winter. She's probably listening to Taylor Swift. And if you are offended by that comment, you probably shouldn't be reading this blog. Just kidding. I don't want to turn down fans. But seriously.

Anyways, this guy's got a dope beat. Sad song but kind of badass in a way. Not sure what's going on in the music video. Drugs, lezzies, the ush. Just listeeeeen! And remember, when life gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold:

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Crime & Punishment

I've started up Dostoyevsky's classic Russian novel. I'm sure it will take me a while as I am constantly distracted, but its such a mesmerizing evaluation of the human mind and its transformation through morality. Many of us will never understand what it feels like to take another human life, but with Raskolnikov, we delve into the constant moral and emotional battle he endures.



As I have just started, I wanted to share a quote taken from the second chapter of the book:

And what if I am wrong (...)What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race of mankind--then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it should be.

He is discussing his take on a drunken man, Marmeladov, who has left his family in poverty due to his alcoholic escapades. This ties into his own reasoning for murder; maybe their lives have some sort of predetermined route or duty and the way we feel about one another is all simply artificial judgment.

This book also reminds me of a guy who once explained that he wanted to bring his family, more specifically his children, to church to teach them morals. The idea startled me--do we really an organized religion to tell us how to act? How to behave? If anything, I want to come to that conclusion myself. I think morality is ingrained, and maybe we can attempt to mold or shape it, but there's no way that a church or a temple or a mosque is going to be the sole reason I don't go around slashing people.
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The Stuporbowl!

Ahh. The Superbowl. The culmination of American football, culture, and just Amurrica in general. And the reason why every other country in the world cannot stand the US.

Nevertheless, we are all forced to round up the troops, pretend to have friends, and get drunk on a Sunday afternoon watching some of most intelligent men on the planet smash their heads into one another. It's a special time in our nation, when men act like bros and girls act like they give a shit. So us New Englanders will nestle into our snow/ice/sleet/slush/precipitation blanketed homes and curse the Patriots for choking while we watch as Green Bay plays the Steelers in the Superbowl XLV (For those of you that still don't understand heiroglyphics Roman numerals, that's 45!).

Dude, I am pumped for those commercials!! Right, brah?

So, for you ladies wanting to cook a special brotastic meal and impress your man's friends, here's a solid chili recipe that will get their juices flowing (think flatulence) and not make your ass fat. Unless it already is...

Oh yeah, and just in case he starts having a hernia because he's not meeting his maximum capacity for red meat intake, throw some lean beef in there.

Courtesy of Shape.com

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 cn (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cn (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 t brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

Directions

-- In a large saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Toss in garlic and all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

-- Add turkey and continue to cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and cook for 1 more minute. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, bell pepper, carrot, brown sugar, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat.

-- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of scallions. Top with nonfat sour cream if desired.
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Finally, a feminine watch that doesn't look straight off my grandmother's wrist.

As far as watches go, I don't do bulk or links. So that basically crosses off every single watch ever made. Clearly, I'm being facetious. But your hands go many places over the course of the day (Yes, that is what she said), and I don't think there should be a time telling device looped around your arm in metal links with a large bulky section adding an extra inch onto your wrist's width. You aren't a blacksmith.

Watch face profile, keep it low. If you can't carry a large box through a doorway without smashing your watch against it, it's probably a bit much.
Wristband? Try something new. Leather wristbands are classy but can be a little masculine. The links are just so boring. Tell me you don't agree that every basic watch out there looks exactly the same. Silver, gold, silver and gold. Not to mention, who would ever pay thousands of dollars for a watch? We all have cellphones, people. You don't need a bling blanging sundial glittering above your hands.

Like purses, I ain't easy to please in the watch department. However, this summer I stumbled upon a new boutique in Portland, Maine. They carried a line of jewelry called Silver Spoon, who specializes in creating jewelry made from or based off of vintage silverware. They are affordable, unique, and uber feminine. This was the one I went with:

Parfait. And no, I'm not referring to fruit and yogurt.

Check out their website at http://www.silverspoonjewelry.com/. Elegant, classy, and not your average joe.
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"If you take one step closer, I am never letting go."

Really Ashton? That's the best you can do?

"Omigod, lol, carrotz!"


Talk about an example of a movie that places all of its funny scenes in the previews. Do Americans understand the concept of leaving shit to the imagination anymore? I know the harlots on the Jersey Shore put it all on the table, but Hollywood film production--you know, with real live scripts?--they should at least start to know better. American movies have been going down the drain for years. When are they ever going to learn? Tsk tsk. 

I was actually excited to see an American romantic comedy for once. I heard rave reviews from friends and family. Natalie Portman is just a peach and Ashton Kutcher is fun to look at, and together they definitely have some humor and chemistry. And yet, I almost walked out of the movie. To say it was predictable is an understatement, and I almost had an aneurysm from the deja vu I was experiencing--since every single funny and decent scene was straight out of the trailer. Not to mention...the ending? Or lack there of? I mean, I would warn you all not to read any further because it would "spoil" it for you, but that would be a complete lie. They admit they love each other, go to Emma's (Natalie Portman) sister's wedding, stand there awkwardly and say "What do we do now?" and then Ashton locks his hand in hers. Screen goes black. Uhhh hate to sound like my dad, but did they run out of money?

The severity of my reaction may be overdone, but I just think it would've been better to watch this movie off a $1 Redbox DVD rental. Just BE SURE you return it the next day. So not worth $2.