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Treat others as you'd like to be treated

I'm a big advocate of the golden rule. In pre-school, my teachers asked to meet with my parents to discuss how I needed to learn to stick up for myself. It's not that I let people walk all over me; it's just that I'm usually content with whatever I am given because that is how I would want others to act around me. So when my cousin would insist on taking all of the good barbies or playmobil characters, I found myself pleased with whatever shabby dolls I was left with. Most of the time, it's because I tend to be happy if the person I'm with is happy, and if they're more spoiled and selfish then so be it. Of course, there are instances where I put my foot down, but why would I want to be a bitch? I don't enjoy spending time with bitches, so I'm not going to ruin my friends' amusement by being one myself. I don't understand when it became cool to be a bitch, and why a guy would ever date one. I don't care where we go out to eat, and if I do, I'll politely suggest that we eat elsewhere. I don't need to put people down while I express my feelings; there is a way to openly explain what you would like to do without sounding like you have a stick up your ass. There's no need to make people's lives miserable just because you're unhappy with everything. Try to embrace anything that rolls across your path and see what happens if you appease your friends and family. You'll find yourself much happier because they're happier, and then they'll realize they should let you choose the venue next time around. It's a win-win situation.
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"May I please speak to Gay-breee-uhl Del-vehrt?"

No, you may not. I'm going to hang up the phone now. You probably have nothing good to say, as you're most likely some white collared version of a vagrant standing on the median with that "I'm homeless" poster even though you've somehow purchased the most recent style of Nike dunks.

Telemarketers and the other organizations that feel the need to harass folks for undeserved money should put forth at least a measly effort to find another way to keep people on the line. Maybe every 1000th person to answer the phone and to stay on for at least sixty seconds wins an iPad. You know once you throw an iPad in the mix, motivation and morale rise tenfold. Although, it may take a while for that trend to catch on as I'm sure it's nearly impossible to get 1000 people to actually listen to your dreadful voice while you read off a script that asks them to donate $50 to the ASPCA. We know, Sarah Mclachlan's voice floating through those appalling pictures of animals in need was truly heartwrenching. But I don't think many 23 year olds in this economy would be willing to drop hundies on their nonprofit organization, not with our median post grad income lying in the $20,000-$30,000 range. Not that the ASPCA has been asking for money--although, I guess I'm not really sure who is calling, since I refuse to listen. 

All I know is that you butchered my name, which, besides the "T" at the end, is really not that difficult. Sit in for five minutes on an entry level French course. You'll learn how to say it real fast and understand that you kind of sound like a moron.

The same agitation goes for those blokes on Comm Ave or in Coolidge Corner. Your companies haven't brainstormed a better way to reach out to people? Free is the key word here--people will listen to you for hours if you give them something small for no charge, whether that be some pens, water, dog biscuits. Make an effort to reach out so you don't look like you're verbally accosting innocent citizens on the sidewalk who would rather risk getting plowed by traffic in order to cross the street and avoid you. I don't care how awkwardly you smile at me with your stupid clipboard and eager eyes. I'm going to say I'm busy, even though I really just don't give a shit and don't want to listen to your feeble attempt to lure me in and have me hand over a check. Oh, and if you're the oh so intelligent squad with the Obama/Hitler comparison posters? Not only will I not speak with you for 15 minutes, but I may also decide that spitting on your face is accurate way of explaining my feelings (and most likely every other sane person's) about your organization and philosophy regarding our president.
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Doc Zhivago's got it going on

Separately, all the movements of the world were calculatedly sober, but as a sum total they were unconsciously drunk with the general current of life that united them.

-Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak

I have to admit I lost Crime and Punishment. Not that I'm lazy and couldn't handle it, I mean I physically lost the book and I'm not sure where it is. I believe it's lost in the confines of the Dalvet household, probably next to a fresh poop smear thanks to my dog. 

My dad gave me Dr. Zhivago for Christmas, or something. When the back of the book suggested that this translation (by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky) successfully captured the essence of Pasternak's nuances and voice, I shrugged my shoulders knowing that translations are never quite the same, especially after reading several novels in both French and in English. And I don't speak Russian, so it's not as if I would actually notice a difference, but I have to admit that the book seems to capture someone's very distinct voice, and if the original text was written by Pasternak, I'm tempted to agree with the critics on the back cover that the translators didn't just throw in the Latin alphabet and call it a day.

Take this quote for example. If this does not demonstrate the English translation of a quote from a Russian author who is considered one of the greatest language poets in his country and around the world, then I'm not sure if the translation is the problem or if you're just not getting the picture. This statement defines life, if defining life were at all possible. Life exhibits a variety of meanings, and its abstract existence illustrates the depth and complexities inherent in not only each individual on our weakened planet, but also in each community and through each aspect that affects our vie quotidienne. Microscopically, we observe life through ourselves or those individual entities surrounding us, but there lies a much greater ebb and flow fabricated by every minor movement and thought, resulting in a giant amalgamation, which, with each sober process, could seem quite inebriated when regarded macroscopically.

In short, Pasternak could not have said it better. I look forward to the next 500 pages, Yura.
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Modern Family, how I love thee

If you haven't discovered the joy that Modern Family brings to one's life, then you must be one of those Glee fanatics or someone that still enjoys Grey's Anatomy. Let's face it, people don't break into song in everyday life unless you have issues, so you can stop trying to argue, "But Glee's actually reeaaallyy funny!" And the last time I watched five minutes of Grey's, they actually did start singing mid surgery so clearly they've gone off the deep end.

Modern Family is first and foremost a great idea for a sitcom. The show's characters include mixed race families, second marriages, adoption, gay parents--all familial characteristics that our culture proudly exhibits in the 21st century. Luckily, the script isn't tainted with corny sitcom lines and forced audience laughter. Instead, the dialogue is well written and the cast delivers it brilliantly. I'm not sure who is in charge of casting for the show, but they deserve a raise. The show isn't well done simply because one actor makes it so; the each actor blends all of their wit, personality, and talent into the finely knit fabric that is a blended, truly "modern" family. I'm not a huge TV gal and typically stick to one or two shows each season, so it takes a lot for me to get into a show and feel like I should promote it. Modern Family didn't take much, as soon as I saw Phil Dunfey interact with Gloria. Here are some of my favorite clips, and maybe you'll start watching, too. Wednesdays at 9 on ABC!

To set the backdrop for this clip, there is a bit of malentendu between The Dunfey's and Gloria. The kids have just walked in on Claire and Phil having sex so the Dunfey's assume Gloria is discussing sex, and Gloria thinks that Claire is upset because Gloria accidentally sent her a nasty email. Phil clearly can't handle his increasing heartrate or bloodflow elsewhere...

Phil once again gets in touch with his feminine side. He does this rather often.

Claire has some problems creating signs. And understanding context.

Can you fondle a gay man and it doesn't count?

Enjoy. If you don't find these funny, then you better get checked out.
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You've never wanted to be a mascot?

That's weird, cause I have. Maybe it's the reason I was voted "class clown" in middle school.

Life's too short not to want to be goofy and dress up like a giant animal or inanimate object (like a shoe). So, I volunteered to be "Newbie" at the Girls on the Run 5K this past weekend. And no, you cannot embarass me; I volunteered to be a giant shoe for 3 hours. I don't think I find things embarrassing. I signed autographs, took pictures--are you supposed to smile through the mesh?--and even got pummeled by some chubby, brown haired kid, whose address I will be finding in order to track him down and return the favor. Just kidding. I was tempted to throw him over the railing into the Charles, though. Maybe he'd drop some lbs while he was swimming for dear life. You don't mess with the NB shoe. 

All in all, it was an interesting experience that I will probably not sign up for in the future. But I highly recommend this and other nutty activities to all of you. We don't live long enough to not participate in absurdities at least a few times a year. Corny as it may seem, you learn something about yourself and realize that other people's thoughts and opinions don't really matter...at all. So when my colleagues gasped and gave me some strange stink eye face for signing up, I explained that if mascot-ing didn't fit my personality perfectly, I'm not sure what else would (jokes). I get it's not for everyone, but if you sign up for something beyond your comfort zone that allows you to help others, make them smile and laugh, and you get to contribute something not only to the community, but to yourself, then it's always worth it. There's nothing like the feeling of pulling on a giant Styrofoam, cloth, wood(?), and who-knows-what-else costume and being loaded onto the tiny truck bed of a small go-kart and delivered to the event. Although, the real kicker may have been signing autographs with giant shoelace hands. Damn, that was hard.

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Overalls? Welcome back from 1992. Me likey.

I'm not big on going too cray cray with different odds and ends in the fashion department. For example, if LF stores dressed me, I would feel like a crackhead. Although, to be honest, I think most people (unless they go to Emerson or NYU) would feel out of place in head-to-toe LF clothing. But I do occasionally venture out and grab something funky that sparks my interest. I find that separating yourself from the norm is an important exercise to do in different arenas. You shouldn't always follow the rest of the lemmings. Like in fifth grade, when everyone claimed their favorite food was pizza, I refused to admit my burning desire for a few cheesy slices and instead opted for something unique. Or at least a food item that I thought was unique at the time for a child of eleven years old. Don't worry. I still like pizza (Natalie's with ranch, please).

I've noticed overalls beginning to dig themselves out of the deep, dark grave that the 90's placed them in. I looked dashing in them back in fourth grade, so I figured I should relive those moments, only without the boyish haircut and extremely broad shoulders (see my former facebook picture for reference). Also, OshKosh B'Gosh isn't exactly the right overalls designer for women in their 20's. So I've listed some alternate options below:

Maison Scotch -- Salopette Overall Jeans
Maison Scotch has this really cool twist off of overalls, or salopette in French. It's a halter top with not-your-average metal hook closure system--it's cloth. Funny thing about the French word for it? Salope means whore. So ho it up in these.

Urban Outfitters -- BDG Low-slung Overall
You can always count on Urban for your under $100 everyday hipster necessities. This is a nice take on the ole salopette, although, unlike the French word suggests, I would recommend wearing a solid shirt underneath. Dark is nice, since I feel like the wrong blue jean color in overalls could look a little too farmer, even for the grungiest hipster's taste.

Forever 21 - Overall Denim Romper
And as we're all broke or at least cheap in this day and age (thank you, American economy), I know I have to include Forever 21's version of this trend. Rompers have taken over the past few summers and I think they're just splendid. This is a nice mixture of the two, and the shorts don't reveal your entire buttcheek...a separate trend I'm not understanding whatsoever.

If you're feeling even more innovative than just your basic overalls, invest in suspenders. Wear them to work, as long as you don't look like a dude in the first place, or venture out at night and pair them with a skirt and shirt (think maybe American Apparel leotard). In the Boston area, you can grab some suspenders at The Garment District as you sift your way through the plethora of costume and vintage clothing. They're fun and they hold up your pants. Sisqo will be so disappointed.
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Things that perplex me

The Elliptical

I had to roll on this puppy today as I am slightly injured thanks to the dermatologist cutting me up (and not for cosmetic reasons). What is the point of this machine? Unless you're going to spend at least an hour on the elliptical at maximum incline and resistance, it's worse than hitting up UBurger for a few combo meals. Not to mention, every single girl looks like an absolute moron on that thing, bouncing up and down with their hair flying and wrists bent like they wouldn't know what a soccerball was if it hit them in the face. Try running. Or biking. Or the stairmaster. For low impact exercise machines, you have to up the ante and increase something about your work out. You can't just tap the quick start with your pretty pink nails, grab the latest issue of some gag me beauty magazine, and think that half an hour is going to burn the fat off your ass. On a side note, you also aren't going to lose weight sitting on a couch with toning shoes and clothing on.

To lose weight and get into shape, you must actually push yourself. I know, Daddy never made you work hard for anything in your life. This time, it's different. We've graduated from the Freshman 15 and the post college 40. Suck it up and actually hit the gym, or don't hit it at all. Do us all a favor and stay home, since your crappy dye job hair keeps flinging up and down at the insanely fast speed of those elliptical pedals and obstructs my view every second of the TV screen with actual news and sports coverage (vs your W magazine photo and fashion spread). We really won't mind.
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Parchment vs Projector

As many of us twenty somethings are still settling into post collegiate life and figuring out who we really are, I find it's surprisingly most difficult to determine what to do with all of this free time. Play Call of Duty, rent Sex in the City seasons, create an incredibly dull blog. Sure, these all sound incredibly rewarding, but Nazi zombies gets old after you can't find the damn switch, Carrie and her NYC homegirls bore me to tears, and well, I clearly already have the dull blog down. In all seriousness, shouldn't we at least try to split our time between the 400 e-gadgets we own and the dusty books we were planning on reading last summer?

My number one recommendation? Well, if you didn't get the hint above with the ole "dusty books" shoutout, what I meant was to stop clicking through the pedophiles on Chatroulette and grab some old fashioned written words. In other words, I suggest reading, always. Firstly, it's free. And I don't do it enough; I'm sure you don't either, so put down your iPad and remote control for three seconds and pick up a book instead.

Still want that feeling of being plugged in? Grab a book that has also been made into a bigtime Hollywood movie. You get the opportunity to examine how the two medias portray the same story.

I personally have slowly started to realize that this is one of my favorite hobbies--reading a book and then going to see its cousin produced by the film industry. I didn't stay in on Friday nights or anything in order to finish Water for Elephants before Reese and Sparkles the Vampire made their big premiere in its movie version, but I tend to pick up on books with cinematic twinsies and over a period of time make an effort to check them both out. As you can probably imagine, the book typically outshines the film by a landslide. There are always a few upsets, like this one...

Julie & Julia
     That story about the woman who cooks every single recipe in Julia Child's famous cookbook within the span of one year. "Julie" could not have been more annoying in the book, listening to her whine about livers and weird meats and knowing all the while that she is butchering the French language. Amy Adams still made her incredibly aggravating in the movie, but at least you got a glimpse into the Julia Child story who was marvelously portrayed by Meryl Streep. And Julie, whoever you actually are, maybe its best to stick with the English translation of "oeufs". I know, it's hard when you're American and naively assume that the English language is the only one you need to know.

And while many people loved the Swedish crime drama with the jet black haired lezzy kicking ass, I thought the movie fell way short of its potential...

The Girl Who Played With Fire
     If you have read this book like the rest of the world in the past year or so, you understand the complexities of the plotline and that no one in their right mind should try to cram everything into a two hour movie. After watching the film, I felt like it was equivalent to reading one third of the book. It didn't even touch upon certain aspects and I don't think the Swedes did a great job of making the crime fantasy come to life. I don't usually tend to get upset over a film's depiction of setting and environment, but this movie clashed terribly with my mind's version of it. Rather disappointing. Law and Order: SVU probably would've done a better job at least getting across the bone chilling disturbing family history of that crazy Swedish hamlet.

On a lighter, less incestuous note, more recently (as in, tonight) I saw Something Borrowed, based off of the book by Emily Giffin, which I read and pretty much ate it up. Not literally, cause you really shouldn't consume that much paper in one sitting. Anyways, please don't tell anyone that I engaged in typical female activities like reading a girly book and watching a romantic comedy. I do have to admit it was worth it. The book is fun, a fast read, and has some twists and turns. The movie...well, it wasn't completely butchered.

However, Mr. Tom Cruise lookalike was kind of a dud? I guess it's cool that he's nice to look at, but I'm not going to fall in love with someone just because they stand there and look fly with their thick eyebrows and weird, flattened bridge of the nose (why don't we just say nose bridge?). He didn't quite capture the passion that everyone else gave off in the movie, and he delivered every scripted line with oodles of cheese. He was cheese whizzing it up so badly, I thought John Krasinski kind of stole the show (but did he steal the girl? Oooh. No spoiler here.)

Bottom line is, if the leading guy makes me cringe because I wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry (in pain) if I were on the receiving end of all his corny material, then the story has got a pretty serious wrinkle to iron out. Overall, pretty good movie, with some definite laughs courtesy of that dude from The Office. But read the book first. And just read more in general. Lazy assholes.
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Would it kill news reporters to take a breath before saying either "Obama" or "Osama" to make sure they nail that second consonant correctly? 

This is your profession. You went through life preparing to be a news anchor or reporter. Your parents probably spent a lot of money on an education so that you could study communications. You should probably work on speaking if you want to be successful. Minor slip-ups are tolerable, but if you have two major figures with similar names who could not be at more opposite ends of the spectrum, maybe you should take a second before pronouncing their names. I get it. They're similar. But when discussing the death of a terrorist it's probably important to avoid accidentally claiming that the president is dead. I don't understand what is so difficult about that. Jon Stewart has a quarter jar for everytime someone flubs their names. It looks like that one from A Chair for My Mother. Get your shit together, folks. 

A coin for every Obama/Osama slip-up
Could buy us another chair for her mother

Moving on, I am still not sure what to think about all of this. Yes, it is great that Osama Bin Laden has met his demise and I'm glad that we all have some sort of vengeance for the 9/11 plot that he was responsible for. Did I feel like shouting in the streets all night proclaiming the good news that US Navy Seals busted down his door and shot him dead? Not really. I don't think we should revel in death or the power of the American military. Osama was killed and he more than deserved it, but we only become more like him when we celebrate the fact that his brain exploded from the impact of several bullets. We can all feel some resolve over the fact that we have been fighting an incredibly long war against terrorism with no end in sight and we finally made some serious progress in eliminating the face that represents this war, but there are many more out there who despise American politics, culture, and warfare, and allowing our arrogance to grow in light of this event is the wrong direction to be going in.

If anything, America should take a moment to recognize our humility. In all seriousness, we shouldn't be running around with guns in the air quoting the song from Team America: World Police. Maybe for some brief comic relief, but America is not numero uno. And we should not be using this event as a reason to believe that we are at the top. The global economy/culture is an intricate, interwoven abstract idea made up of abstract and physical entities: numerous countries, peoples, continents, languages, cultures. There are bound to be conflicts, disagreements, assassinations, and wars. Just because our military pumped public enemy #1 full of bullets doesn't make us "the winner". I just don't want people walking (or should I say driving) around pumping their SUV's full of gas and indulging in all gluttonous behaviors thinking that everything is peachy and there is now peace in the world and an unlimited number of resources.

There are still many issues that exist both domestic and abroad. I think that Osama Obama handled the moment very well, with poise and eloquence as usual. I don't think he purposely held off on killing the dirtbag just so he can use it as some reelection boost. If that thought crossed your mind, you're a moron. If you used this historical event to push the dichotomy of the US political system even further apart by accusing the Democratic party and the President of absolute bullshit plotting, then you are a terrible person and should reevaluate your outlook on life. If anything, this is a time where we should all come together, hold hands, and sing kumbaya. We aren't all either Republicans, or Tea Partiers, or Democrats, or Independents. We're Americans. And Obama was never fully crediting himself for the actual kill. He was however technically commander in chief when this all went down, so I feel that he has some right to explain that he was the one who authorized the military mission. 

Just bear in mind that we have an opportunity to bond and unify despite political, philosophical, social, and fiscal differences in opinion. Instead of acting like children and sticking our tongue out to one another, we should pray for those we lost in 9/11 and in the war, thank our military, strive to change our consumerist philosophies, and hope for the eventual coming of world peace. RIP homeboy Bin Laden. You will not be missed.

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My favorite French dish: Poulet Touraine

This may have only been in the Dalvet family for a few generations, but it's definitely an easy favorite of mine. The recipe makes a lot of food that stays well in the frigo if you don't finish it all. Easy to heat up, so make it for yourself & dinner all week, or make it for a big gathering of friends. If you haven't had this with me yet, then I probably don't like you that much.

Chicken Touraine
     Per Stephen Yves

--dip 1-1½ pounds of chicken in flour; brown in medium heat
--once chicken is browned add 1 jar onions; brown them.
--Add 16 oz. can tomatoes, diced, 1 cup water, 1 cup white wine (Chablis is fine), 1-2 jars sliced mushrooms, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. paprika, 1-2 bay leaves, 1 tsp. oregano. Simmer (low boil) on low heat for an hour.
--Add ½ pint sour cream; stir in.
--Serve over white rice.

Some history behind the dish? My grandfather started making it way back when, as he is from the same region as the city of Tours. Although, I'm not sure if it was before or after he left the priesthood, when he met my 19 year old grandmother and well...as they say, the rest is history.
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    Overheard at the tranny bar...

    The notorious Lucky Cheng's lapdance 

    "Just remember, we are the most beautiful women with penises that you will ever see,"

             "Happy Birthday, dear cocksucker..."

       "Latinas are supposed to have big titties. You have small titties!!"

                   "Skinny black bitch....and then scarrrryy black bitch,"

    "Put your hand on my little Asian titty!!"

                                "Come here skinny white bitch with small titties!"

    If you couldn't tell, the emcee identified the members of the audience by supposed race and bra size. There were several lapdances, a lapdance contest, and far too many crotch shots (clothed, thankfully). If this isn't already on your bucket list, I hope it's there now.