Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rated Age Appropriate

Savages is a movie that is aptly named.  Going into it, anyone should realize it is not going to be about rainbows and sparkles.  It's not the type of movie I always go for, but the commercials looked intriguing and it's Oliver Stone so I gave into the fact that I was going to watch a movie that would most likely be violent, involve drugs, and almost be pornographic. 

So when some guy walked into the theatre with his four children in tow, I nudged Eddie and was like, What's happening there?  He shook his head and rolled his eyes.  The girl -- yeah there was a girl -- was like thirteen.  The three boys were probably between fourteen and maybe seventeen.  So out of the four, at an R rated movie, only one of them could have been there without their dad. 

Did I mention that to get into the theatre, Eddie had to show his ID because one of us had to be 21 to go in?  Yeah, that's a good rule: one of you must be 21 but other than that, bring your tweens to the gory violent drug-laced movie.

Not that I was expecting "enjoyment" from a movie called Savages, but all entertainment value was pretty much lost in the opening two minutes when the girl on the screen starts to get her brains violently screwed out by her boyfriend.  It was also lost when the second boyfriend arrived home and then screwed the girl in a bathtub and then in their bedroom, not violently, but all nice-like, so almost rainbows but not quite considering she had two boyfriends. 

Between these heart-to-heart romantic scenes was a scene during which men go their heads hacked off via chainsaw.  This event is recorded and sent in an email so they could see decapitated bodies and their heads laying beside them.

Everytime a scene like this came up--and there were many--we shifted uneasily in our seats, not because of the movie itself, but because there were kids one section over watching along with us.  It's like being in the living room with your parents with the tv on and an ad for safe sex appears.  Awwwkkkwwwaaaarrrrrdddddd.  So if not for the sake of the children, for the sake of those of us around you having a good time, please get a babysitter.  Actually, with kids that age, they can stay home and watch High School Musical without a babysitter.

Fast-forward to Ted, a nice change of genre--still about sex and drugs, but not in a violent way.  Instead, it's a talking teddy bear who has a foul mouth.   And in come a mom and a dad and their three children.  And there goes Ted, talking about eating box and then spraying lotion all over his face to make it look like cum.  Awwwkkkkwwwaaaarrrrddddddd. 

But really, the awkwardness didn't affect us much because of two other people sitting two rows in front of us, enjoying the movie and offering their own commentary.  When these two ladies walked in, I wondered aloud if they were in the right theater.  Eddie laughed, and then every time they said something, we nudged each other and laughed more. 

Ted has a fight with his friend?  Awww, poor Ted.  Nudge--laugh.

Ted humps a grocery store register?  That's disgusting.  Nudge--laugh.

Ted runs from creepy men?  Oh no!  Nudge--laugh.

So the entertainment value for Ted increased even more thanks to two ladies in their seventies interacting with a fictional bear on screen.  It wasn't at all like being in the living room with your parents--it was like having a party with two women who don't know what age means, and that was kinda nice.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Art Matters

The quickest way to get from A to B is to wait twenty minutes for the express train while five locals fly by, any of which would have wound up at the destination in twenty minutes. Logic.

Despite my subway snafu, Eddie and I made our way to City Hall Park to enjoy the Public Art Fund's

Oh, actually, on our way there, we found some other art at a construction site:

THEN we made our way to City Hall Park. And immediately, we were enjoying the art. "Enjoying" here means looking at, gawking at, taking pictures of, pondering, making snide comments about, being confused by, questioning, and then actually enjoying.

Some of the art was inventive.

New Beaches, Justin Matherly, 2012

Some of the art was eerie. (Eddie was like, what's that woman staring at? Then we walked over and were like, ohhhhh).

Common Ground, Christian Jankowski, 2012

Some of it was slightly creepy. To make it less creepy, we did this:

Memorial For Unknown Artist, Thomas Shutte, 2011, and Eddie 2012

Some of it was good, old-fashioned fun.
Now, Speak!, Amalia Pica, 2011, and my head.

Daddies Ketchup, Paul McCarthy, 2001, and me

Some was really cool. This sculpture is a profile turned 360. If you look at the profile of it, you see the artist's profile, which I thought was really amazing, but I guess the man sleeping on the bench didn't agree.

Always Anyone, Anywhere, Anything, Anytime and For Any Reason, Matthew Day Jackson, 2011, and sleeping man

Some of the art was sittable, meaning we sat on benches that were art.

Truisms and Memorial Benches, Jenny Holzer, 1987 & 1996

After ten sculptures and a walk around the park, we were feeling the city heat and decided to head back uptown to Times Square where we found ourselve on the big screen.

Seriously, we're in there, right in the middle, both holding cameras at the screen.

Then, based on a hot tip from S, we cooled off at M&M World and met Osi Umenyiora. He's on the NY Giants. That's a football team. I looked up the spelling of his name, which shows how much I actually care about this.

This encounter was your typical Christina-Is-Awkward moment. Eddie stepped up to him and was like, What's up, Champ? They shook hands and made nice while I was handing someone my camera and asking her to take our picture. Eddie asked him where his rings were and he answered that he didn't wear those out. I was like, Oh he was looking forward to seeing them! No one acknowledged that I said anything. Everyone posed for the camera. Then Eddie was like, Win another one for us! And he responded, No doubt! And I collected my camera and dignity and we left. In their defense, they are both over a foot taller than I am so it's quite easy to forget I'm there when you're eye level with someone else.

We met up with S at the candy wall. Some good music came on, so we line danced with the staff of M&M World which included both the yellow and blue M&Ms but did not include Eddie. I know where I belong, and it's not among the tall people but among those who dance.

We left quickly to grab some pizza. Eddie managed to give the wall a taste.

On the train home, we saw our final piece of art, a line drawing that made us laugh.

So why does art matter? It makes a great date. It gives us memories. It allows us to discuss and explore and laugh laugh laugh.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Want That Job #4

As everyone knows, I love the Olympics.  I can't get enough of it.  I watched the prelims.  I will watch every minute.  I'm excited every time I scroll through the channel menu and see two empty grey slots where the Olympics will be listed.  It's Uh-MAZE-ing.

I want to be an Olympic Race Walker.  I'm really good at walking.  I can't run for shit, but walking?  Yes I can.  Eddie and I were on the treadmill the other day and he said he was running at 3.5 and then 4 mph.  I was like, Really? I walk at that speed.  So when I went on, I did my power walking and then turned down the incline and turned up the speed and there I was, walking really really quickly.

I am a fast walker.  I have really short legs, but I walk really fast.  Sure people with longer legs have to take less strides to go further and in the overall scheme of things, I probably use more energy and would conk out sooner and would not win anything, but still, I am good at walking and maybe I can finally be a real athlete and possibly be in the Olympics if maybe the entire race walking team got food poisoning and so did every other race walker in America.  I would so totally fill in.

While I know "Olympic Athlete" isn't necessarily a "job," it is something that is respectable and think of all the commercial deals I'd get--walking sneakers, walkers, etc.  The sky's the limit.

And maybe I would be able to make a video like this with a neon outfit.  I really have no idea what it's about, but still, it, too, is Uh-MAZE-ing.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

70, 70, 40

It's a pretty big year.  In May, when we celebrated Mother's Day, we also celebrated my grandma's birthday as she turned 90.

Now in July, we celebrate three more things, kind of in the middle of them.  In January, my mom turned 70.  In October, my dad will turn 70.  In June, they were married 40 years. 

See?  Big Year.

So my brother and I did a very adult thing--we threw a party.  It wasn't one of those backyard-invite-your-friends-serve--whatever's-in-the-pantry deals.  It was a catered-food event.  Pretty snazzy.  Since we had it at the house, of course my mom and dad got all involved in the setting up portion.  We shooed them away the best we could, but I was suffering from some form of Intergalactic Non-Curable Germ, so I gave in when they insisted.

Eddie, with the help of his mom, baked two cakes: a golden cake with chocolate icing (to Dad's liking) and a chocolate cake with chocolate icing (to Mom's liking).  I wrote on them with icing because I'm apparently good at that.  I've never baked a cake or wrote in frosting ever in my life, but I'm somehow innately good at it.
This is what they consider "good at it."

My brother, mid-party, walked to the store to buy hot cups because we didn't have enough.  He took being in charge of the drinks seriously, obviously.  He'd bought the beer and the soda and all the noshes, and when cups were needed, cups he delivered.

In addition to having a great day with the extended family on a breezy afternoon that was a nice lull between heat waves, the best part of the party was the decorations.  I made three signs--one for each parent's birthday and one for their anniversary.  I also printed out and framed a picture of them from their wedding day. 

 My brother bought triangle-banners to string across the fence and the house.  One was a do-it-yourself banner on which he wrote, Happy 40th Mom + Dad.  The other was a birthday banner that had one letter on each triangle.

And this is the best part.  We're hanging it up on the fence and he goes, oh wait this is flipped the wrong way.  There was an H where a P should be.  So then we flip the triangle over and he goes, this is not the best five bucks I've spent at Target.  There was an H on the other side, and the banner spelled out Haphy Birthday.

Oh, no, wait--THIS is the best part.  We were looking at the package for, well, I really don't know why.  Perhaps for an explanation.  Instead, we found that 5% of all proceeds from Target sales go to education.  That?  Made my day.  Well, I mean, of course the whole family celebration thing was terrific, but wrong spelling on a product that donates to education?  I wait all year for irony like that!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ekphrastic? Fantastic!

What a great night.   Years in the making, The Ekphrastic Poster Show became a reality.  Photography by my artist friend Kaeti Wigeland paired with my poetry PLUS my photography paired with Kaeti's captions PLUS a line-by-line collaborative poem incorporating words I suggested written by our guests who included my family PLUS a paper moon made by Kaeti.  It was a night of a lot of activity PLUS coffee and noshes from Sip This.  Excellent.  Wonderful.  Quite fantastic indeed.

Oh, and Eddie's famous.  His foot appears in a photo that's on display.  He's so proud:

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Gig At Shecky's In The Hamptons

What's better than going to Shecky's in the Hamptons?  Going to Shecky's in the Hamptons and getting to write about it for Shecky's.  Yeah, that's right.  I was the Spotted Blogger for the event.  That means I got to get VIP tickets and a goodie bag in exchange for my writing abilities.  The day was, of course, very hot.  Everything I do outside this summer is on a very hot day.  Despite the heat, T, D, and I spent the day walking around the grounds, sipping alcohol, and looking at pretty glittery things.   

Having VIP tickets meant not waiting on line.  However, that was tricky because the walkway into the place had people on line already.  So there I was, excuse me excuse me, weaving my way to the security people to ask about where to go.  One girl on line did not like my Excuse Me Weaving.  She said to me, There's a line here actually.   As if I did not see the line and did not know I was cutting the line.  I said to her, I know--I have to ask someone a question and my friends are back there so I'm obviously not ditching them to cut the line. 

Then?  We all three cut the line because the security woman told me to get my friends and come right back to her because VIPs don't wait.  Yeah, that's right There's A Line Lady.  Take that.  So D and T did the Excuse Me Weave too and we stepped past the line.  The security woman told me that I could go to the tent or see the gentleman with the wristbands first if I wanted to drink.  I laughed at her and she said, Yes, of course, see the gentleman with the wristbands first.  Who doesn't want to drink for free?  Seriously. 

We quickly got our wristbands and signed in, the girl at the table giving me only a little bit of a hard time when I told her I was supposed to get a free bag.  I guess it wasn't in the computer, but I had all the emails about what I was supposed to get, so it wasn't much of a problem.  We went to sign up for the mixology class and then headed over to get drinks.  We sipped some Honest Tea and then had Veev drinks.  We had our picture taken in front of the Shecky's banner.  The photographer was like, get closer ladies, and we were like, It's hot!  Everyone was sweating.  Everyone.  It was gross.  Then it was already time for class.

We stood outside of the tent for a good while waiting for nothing in particular.  They seemed to be set up, but we were standing in the sun.  Sweating.  Profusely.  Gross. 

We made the same drink we'd made last year.  The guy instructing us, however, was different.  He was reading about what to do from a piece of paper.  He really didn't know what he was doing.  He'd probably just shown up that day and they said, Go in that tent and read from that paper.  It wasn't so difficult, though.  No one really cared about the history of the margarita.  Okay, I thought it was interesting, but for the most part, everyone was there to mix and drink the margarita, not learn about it. 

While mixing the drink, I decided to hold some ice.  It felt good because it was cold.  I let it drip down my shirt, making my shirt wet, but really that didn't matter since it was wet from sweat already.  Then I let it melt over my feet and it felt good.  We made our margaritas using various amounts of Cointreau and tequila and then drank only half of them.  I would have rather made a different drink, but I guess that's the easiest.  Or the cheapest.

At the end, I asked the instructor if I could get a picture of him holding up the Cointreau.  He got a sly little grin and T immediately piped up: She's not hitting on you.  Heheheheeee.  In finding out that I was asking for my writing gig, he talked it up with T and D instead.  I guess he didn't really realize that none of us were hitting on him.  Young, pretty boys think everyone is hitting on them.

We made our rounds, checking out cute bags and cute earrings and cute clothes.  We kept drinking, too.  While standing in line, the wind picked up and T was like, Be careful that sign doesn't fall on you.  Two seconds later, the sign fell over.  Then someone picked it up.  And then it fell again.  And then someone picked it back up.  This was stupid.

The coolest moment--temperature-wise--was when T stopped a group of women who were wearing one of the feather head-pieces that one of the booths was selling so I could take a picture.  I told them I was writing a piece about the event and needed a picture of them holding their bags.  They complied and when I was about to take a picture, someone cut between us all.  I stepped back to get out of the way and as I did, I spilled almost an entire glass of Reisling down the front of my shirt.

Oooh, it felt sooooo gooooooood!

T said not to worry, that it looked like I was sweating.  Which I was.  So now I was sweet and salty all at once.  Very pretty.

I finished taking the picture and then we mingled with more booths.  I realized that neither bag I'd picked up had a book.  I knew some of the bags had books so I headed over to the bag people.  I explained that I was writing about the event and just wanted to know what books they were giving away--I didn't need one and I wasn't complaining.  I just wanted to be informed.

It's amazing what a little conversation can get you.  One of the guys asked another to throw him the last book they had.  The guy chucked it at this guy's head.  Then this guy handed it to me.  I asked if he needed it back.  He told me to keep it.  I took all their pictures.  It was an even exchange. 

Then we talked to a guy who had on a fedora and was handing them out.  I guess the staff had some extras so T got one, too.  Then D asked the security guy to take our picture and he did.  Then rain sprinkled for half a second.  Then we left.  Another Hamptons in the books.

Oh, and did I mention our encounter with the 2-D version of Dita Von Tees?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Husband The Cosmetics Expert

My skin is taking one of its joyrides back through puberty again, which isn't surprising since it's been a very long while since I've had any major problems.  I'm starting to fall out of adoration with my dermatologist, the guy I praised when  he made me all peaches and cream after a hostile treatment of Accutane, the near-toxic dose of Vitamin A that somehow causes deformed fetuses yet glowing skin. 

So I'm getting ready to go out for a very hot day in the city with S and I have a massive breakout starting to happen.  I'm putting on makeup without a mirror in the dark as I usually do (don't ask--I'll eventually get to that at some other time) and Eddie is telling me, It's not that bad. You can't see anything.

I remind him that he can't see anything in the dark and it's bad.  He tells me that I'm a bat.  This is love.

I come into the kitchen and point directly at a red bump and say, See it?  See it?  Tell me you can't see it.

He goes, okay, now I see it but are you going to do that to everyone to make them see it?

No, but it's see-able!  I can see it. You can see it.  Everyone can see it.  It's ridiculous if you can't see it.

So then, from out of nowhere, he comes up with this: Wear really bright red lipstick and no one will notice.

This?  Stopped my rant completely and gave me pause.  Hmm, this?  Was the BEST idea EVER in the history of all ideas.  I jumped on him, hugged him, and ran to the closet to go through my bag of 57 lipsticks.  All that lipstick and I have no bright red. 

BUT I did find a very frosty purple-pink that is absolutely insane.  I got it for free at SELF's Workout In The Park one year.  Actually, I got several of them.  This was perfect!

To cool off from our sweaty trek up and down the city streets, S and I stepped into Joe Fresh to look around.  You know those commercials with the more than usually tall blonde models wearing snake-skin patterned shirts and bright colored jeans?  That's Joe Fresh.  I don't like those looks at all but the commercials made me want to go.  So when S was like, Stop here to cool off? I was like, sure thing!

The store is so bright and light and filled with mirrors.  That is so opposite of what I like.  Sensing that my acne was clearly noticeable in this environment, I took out my tube of frosty purple-pink gloss and smeared some on.  S, who had been looking at pants, turned around and said, Oh, well that's very pink. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hamptons! Shecky's! Preview!

This is not me and my girls. 
These are some other fabulous girls who posed for me.
They didn't make the Shecky's site.
 I might have submitted too many photos.

Yet again, the gals and I took off to the Hamptons for a day of Shecky's decadence.  Usually, I run to my keyboard and tap out every single detail.  Unfortunately, the day after Shecky's, I got uber sick and haven't been able to recap the antics.

How. Ev. Er.....

I WAS able to submit my write-up to Shecky's for the Spotted blogger gig for the event!  So, while y'all anxiously await my detailed account of how glorious it was and what amount of awkward I turned out to be (which includes things like pouring an entire glass of reisling down my shirt and T telling me, "It's okay...it just looks like sweat), I give you:

Spotted: Girls Day Out In The Hamptons

Sunday, July 1, 2012

From Dessert To Lunch To Dancing

There's always dancing involved when S and I meet up, even when the plan is to see the Will Cotton exhibit on its last day at the Mary Boone Gallery and view the exhibit about lunch at the New York Public Library.  Really, everything in life comes down to dancing, right?  Right.

So there I was again in New York City's sweltering 95+ degree summer, walking to Rockefeller Center to meet S.  I meandered at what was a pretty slow pace for me so as to not wind up a huge sweaty mess as has been my typical look lately.  By the time I got to Rock Plaza, I was only half-sweaty, and after I found a nice bench in the plaza's shade to read while I waited, I was even less sweaty than that. 

A view from a bench
 To make my day complete early, a family decided to sit on either side of me on the bench.  I was kind of in the middle, but that's because I sat between two sets of folks who had walked away.  When this family arrived, they didn't give me time to say, hey do you want me to move? They just sat on either side of me and decided the best way to go about things was to make the daughter pass things to her dad across me. 

Surprisingly, in this particular situation, it was the parents who were annoying me more than the child.  The child had an aura about her that seemed to say, this is really dumb and I feel really silly doing this.  Thank you, child-person, I wish more were like you.

S arrived and we slowly walked up 5th.  She pointed out that this was the same gallery we'd come to when we first saw a Will Cotton exhibit.  I was like, I hope it's not the same stuff.  She said, probably not because that was before he got all recognized from Katy Perry.

Explanation: Will Cotton is an artist who creates pieces involving S's favorite thing, candy.  His paintings are huge and they display candy houses, candy villages, chocolate desserts, and people with candy and treats somehow intertwined with them.  He became the artistic guru of Katy Perry around the time she started spraying whipped cream out of her boobies.  Now everyone knows Will Cotton.  Well, maybe not everyone, but more people.

In the gallery, S found a brochure and thumbed through it.  The guy at the desk was like, yeah that's glued to the desk.  S asked if he had more.  He said, No but I can give you one of these, one per person I'm allowed.  He handed her a thin, hard-covered book that promotes their downtown gallery. (He did not attempt to give me one because, I suppose, S and I count as one person?). The artist was not Will Cotton.  It was Francesco Clemente.  S said Thank you and we headed into the gallery.  Then immediately she tried to pawn it off on me.  I was like, I don't want to carry that around!, holding up my very heavy bag containing my very heavy water bottle and very heavy book that I've been reading for the past few weeks and still am not halfway through (it's almost 1000 pages--and hard cover--as S indicated, Light reading).

Our battle of the book no one wants ended quickly as she walked around pretty much in awe of the paintings.  They are really stunning.  We also found a smaller room that displayed five foot tall towers of ceramic cakes.  Again, stunning. I'd post a few pictures of them right now only we weren't allowed to take pictures because of copyright.

Okay, I actually have pictures.  Just because we weren't allowed to didn't mean I wasn't going to.  However, I'm not going to post them because that's just not right.  I took them mostly for the thrill of not being allowed to take them, not to infringe upon the rights of an artist.  You're welcome, Will Cotton.

On our way out of the gallery, the guy at the desk asked if I'd be interested in a copy of the Francesco Clemente book.  I gave him a quick No thanks, and we went down the hall to the other gallery.  There, we found naked photographs of mostly children that was actually really uncomfortable.  It's one thing to have old footage of naked children running around in a backyard on family reels.  It's another to have them kind of posing.  Creeeeeeeeepppppppyyyyyyyyyyyy.  But then we also saw more semi-naked photos of supermodels from the early 1990s.  It was a weird exhibit and we left rather quickly.
The exhibit S wanted to see at the library was called Lunch Hour NYC and displayed menus, pictures, and artifacts all about lunch.  For some reason, the one fact that sticks out for me is that the term "power lunch" was first used in 1979 in an article in Esquire.  Why is that important to me?  I don't know.  But now I know it in case it's ever on Jeopardy!.

At first, we thought everyone was breaking the rules because they were taking pictures.  Then I re-read the sign and found that no flash photography was permitted, so we could take pictures.  That was good because I was sticky and sweaty from the long walk from the gallery to the library and I didn't feel like scribbling down notes as I usually do for later poetic use.  Instead, I took some pictures of stuff I could use poetically including something about where Jack Kerouac began writing On The Road and some songs on a 50's diner juke box--not an authentic listing even though the machine itself was authentic. The songs were all food-related in some way. 

My "going to the food co-op in Park Slope" look

That was about the time S took out her phone to start taking pictures of her own, which is also when she asked, Hey did I text you or did you text me or something?

Remember how my bag was really heavy?  Heavy and bulky.  So that everything in it was really squished, including my cell phone.  My cell phone some how became unlocked.  It somehow did the following:
1. Texted S about 6 times.
2. Texted AV about 17 times.
3. Made AV my top favorite contact and added her as the only person on my default contact list.
This sent S into a frenzied state of laughing as I re-counted how many times it sent a blank text to someone.  See?  Multitasking is my specialty.
Soon after the laughing fit and a visit to the store to see the cool merch related to lunch (I wanted one of everything because everything was so friggin kitschy), we headed out to M&M World.  Apparently, the Ms. Brown M&M was going to be taken down and S wanted a picture with her.  Once she told me, I wanted a picture too.

However, when we got there (after a few more blocks of avoiding scary characters in Times Square--and by characters I don't mean crazy people, I mean people dressed up as Woody from Toy Story and Captain America, and Minnie Mouse--so maybe I do mean crazy people), we found out that the figure had been taken down the night before.  Boooooo! 

On the upside, though, S asked one of the gals there she knows if they could do showtime.  Showtime?  Now this is a job requirement I can get behind and I wish I had it at my job.  They call all the staff to the middle of the floor and they line dance.  How amazingly awesome is that???!!!!  S was like, you have to dance.  I was like, I don't know it.  She was like, Trust me.  Pretty much after the first wall, I knew the dance.  It was not difficult.

The difficult part was getting over the fact that a gigantic yellow peanut M&M was dancing with us.  It was big-ass scary M&M, S, and me, all in one line.  I was not happy about that, but I was happy about dancing.  And then?  People started taking pictures.  Of us.  Dancing.  Then the song came on again and we danced again.  Then they did the electric slide and I stood to the side because my bag was weighing me down and I was taking pictures.  Then they did the cha cha slide.  This is some kind of work place!

By the time we'd walked to 42nd Street, I wanted to lie down and sleep forever because it was about 100000 degrees out at that point and we were yet again weaving between Mickey Mouse and Sponge Bob, having already seen a very sad looking SpiderMan outside of M&M World--seriously, he was like my height and the M&M could have taken him in one shot.  Still, I made it back to Penn without incident.  As promised, since S carried the Francesco Clemente book for the day, I took it from her and took it home. She was like, You like books. I was like, I like books I choose.  She insisted I like all books.  Not true, but I do enjoy FREE, which is the kind of day we had and the kind of book it was, so I took it and settled in for the ride home.