Saturday, December 19, 2009

My favorite things about Christmas

1. Linus's retelling of Jesus's birth in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
I love the way that kid talks. Also, "sore afraid" is an expression worth reviving.

2. Christmas carols in a minor key. Bring on the "What Child is This?", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "We Three Kings." The more lugubrious, the better.

3. Advent calendars. I have fond memories of opening the "24" window well before the big day and making desperate attempts to seal it shut again. We never got the kind with the candy in it, but I wish we had; I would have pulled a Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa by eating all the chocolate and replacing it with aspirin and candy corn.

4. Alternative Christmas songs. I'm a sucker for the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping," the Raveonette's "Christmas Song" and my new fave, "Joseph, Who Understood" by the New Pornographers.

5. Watching kids open presents. Allow your blogger to get a little corny. (It's Christmas, for God's sake.) Having nieces and nephews around adds a whole new dimension to the holiday. They're just so into it.

6. David Sedaris's Santaland Diaries. It ain't Christmas until Crumpet sings "Away in a Manger" all Billie Holiday-like.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Foods I prefer raw to cooked (and vice versa)

1. Oysters: RAW.
I suspect I like the cocktail sauce and the exciting risk of food poisoning better than the actual mollusks.

2. Clams: COOKED. Surprise! Yes, I like my oysters raw, but clams on the half shell taste, to me, like the bottom feeders they are. Go figure.

3. Carrots: RAW. Cooked ones remind me of TV dinners. Raw ones are fun to eat 'cause they make a lot of noise.

4. Mushrooms: COOKED. Raw mushrooms are things I pick out of a salad. Cooked ones are my pizza topping of choice.

5. Monterey Jack: COOKED. If cheese were available in a permanently molten state, the world would be a better place.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Movie titles that make me laugh

Ed. note: I have no desire to see any of these, er,
films, but I'm glad they were made because their titles amuse me. Don't get me started on funny porn movie names (though I will say that Regarding Hiney is a personal fave.)

1. Ernest Scared Stupid

2. Dude, Where's My Car? They're planning a sequel called Seriously Dude, Where's My Car?, which makes me very happy indeed.

3. Dr. Giggles. Extra bonus points for the tagline: "The doctor is out... of his mind!"

4. Harold and Kumar Go to Guantanamo Bay

5. Bride of Chucky. Everything about Chucky makes me laugh, especially Roger Ebert's description of him: "Chucky is one mean S.O.B."

6. Joe Dirt

Thursday, October 8, 2009

10 inspirational songs from the '80s that are not terrifying

A beloved relative recently posted a link on Facebook to a list of the 10 Most Terrifyingly Inspirational '80s Songs. After I managed to extract "Jukebox Hero" from my brain, I decided I needed to rip it off make a list of my own. Indulge me while I revisit my lost youth.

1. "I Will Dare," The Replacements. "Call me on Thursday, if you will/Call me on Wednesday, better still." There's just something so hopeful about that.

2. "Blister in the Sun," Violent Femmes. OK, so the lyrics aren't exactly uplifting (I'd prefer not to think about how exactly Gordon Gano stained his sheets), but that jaunty little intro gives me a rush every time.

3. "It's the End of the World as We Know (and I Feel Fine)," R.E.M. Unlike many of my peers, I never managed or even attempted to learn all the words. Still, I love shouting, "Leonard Bernstein!" And really, who doesn't?

4. "Tally Ho," The Clean. Nothing like a little Farfisa to boost one's mood.

5. "Breathless," X. I love when Jerry Lee Lewis sings it too, but that wasn't in the '80s. Plus, his version doesn't have Exene.

6. "Tony's Theme," The Pixies. It's a song about a superhero named Tony... and it's called "Tony's Theme!" How great is that? Plus, I like chanting, "To-ny! To-ny!" Sub in any other two-syllable name and sing it to a friend. You'll thank me later.

7. "Teen Age Riot," Sonic Youth. Yeah, yeah, I know I said I don't like them. Except for this one song. Which just happens to be perfect.

8. "Ask," The Smiths. Because it's always good to remember that shyness, while nice, can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to.

9. "London Girl," The Pogues. "The sound of your voice wherever I may be/Changes everything and then the world's all right with me." We should all be so lucky.

10. "I Will Follow," U2. It's almost too obvious to put these guys on a list of inspirational songs. So I'm gonna.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Actors I'd like to see more of

1. Rachel Dratch. Seriously, what the hell happened here? No SNL, no 30 Rock... will someone please hire this woman? She's hilarious and beyond brave in her willingness to play unattractive characters. Also, I saw her do a live sketch comedy show with Tina Fey before they were stars (ooh, look at me) and it was genius.

2. Luis Guzman.
Even thinking about this guy makes me smile. I like the way he talks and that crease above his nose. I guess he gets a lot of parts but damn it, he deserves better than voice work in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

3. Amy Ryan.
After seeing her in The Wire and The Office, I'm convinced she can do anything. Something in her manner makes her instantly sympathetic.

4. Cha
rles Grodin. As regular readers know, I'm a huge fan of the excellent big-screen comedy Clifford. Also, since Grodin was the first celebrity I ever interviewed in my brief but wondrous career as an entertainment journalist, I've got a soft spot for him. He should get more cranky old man roles. Hey, I'd watch.

5. Andr
e Braugher. Where's this guy been? He was brilliant on Homicide but I don't think he's gotten a great gig since. I like his voice and the way his teeth are a little too big for his mouth, kinda like Michelle Obama's.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nicknames I have bestowed on unwitting recipients

Full disclosure: some of these names might have been thought up by my friends and/or Mr. SZ. But since I can't remember the exact provenance, I'm taking all the credit. So there.

1. Mr. Grease. Sobriquet given to my drivers ed teacher due to the astonishing amount of product he used on his hair.

2. Flock of Seagulls Dude. This was a kid in the aforementioned drivers ed class who had an alarmingly blond, feathered 'do. By the looks of him he was probably more into Dokken than the "I Ran" gang. No matter.

3. Colin Farrell Lite. A former boss. Why? Because he looked sorta like Colin Farrell. Duh.

4. Bitchcuit (pronounced bitch-kit). Mr. SZ and I gave this name to one of our neighbors, the owner of a very nice dog named Biscuit. This lady lived next door to us for two years and never said so much as hello. As soon as we moved to a different apartment, however, she started being really friendly. Too late: she's Bitchcuit for life.

5. Farm. This one is slightly regrettable, as it was applied to a girl at camp who wore her hair in cornrows. But they really did make her head look like a farm.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Things I don't like in clothing

I've recently dropped a few pounds (yay, me!), which has had the interesting side effect of forcing me to buy new clothes. Let me tell you, people: there's some scary stuff in stores today. Here are the things that bug me most.

1. Gold buttons.
These are tacky on anything, but especially on pants. On jackets they make the wearer look like Michael Jackson (may he rest in peace).

2. Big buttons. When I rule the world, no button will be larger than three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Those two-inchers they use to be "decorative"? Don't get me started.

3. Logos.
Ralph Lauren is the worst about this. That little polo player is offensive enough, but I really hate how he puts those RL crests on everything from T-shirts to nightgowns. Get over yourself, Ralphie. If your name was still Lifshitz you'd be singin' a different tune.

4. Pants with no pockets.
I know it's been said before, but they'd never leave these off men's trousers.

5. Fake pockets. Why bother?

6. Waists that go above the navel.
Mom Jeans make me cringe most of all.

7. Anything with ruffles.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Books I have no recollection of reading

Since 2002, I've kept a list of all the books I read. It turns out that "read" does not correspond to "remember." Here are the books that I've evidently read in the past seven years, but have absolutely no memory of having done so. Anyone know if they're any good?

1. The Bone House, Betsy Tobin.

2. When the Emperor Was Divine, Julie Otsuka. I'm pretty sure this had to do with Japanese internment camps. Other than that: nada.

3. Bedlam Burning, Geoff Nicholson.

4. Through the Safety Net, Charles Baxter.

5. With Your Crooked Heart, Helen Dunmore.

6. How to be Lost, Amanda Eyre Ward. This might have been about a family of some sort.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My favorite cringe-inducing entertainment

Ed. note: H/t to
Entertainment Weekly, whose 17 most awkward moments in TV history inspired this list.

1. The King of Comedy. You've got to love a film in which the normally appalling Jerry Lewis is the least mortifying thing. When Rupert Pupkin takes Rita to Jerry Langford's house in Connecticut, pretending (or maybe even believing) that Jerry has invited them? Brrrr.

2. Curb Your Enthusiasm. I can't watch this without screaming, "No, Larry David! Stop!" But he never stops.

3. Freaks & Geeks. If you haven't seen this program, I urge you to buy the DVDs: 19 episodes of cringe-worthy perfection. Think dysfunctional family dinners, unrequited crushes, and a guy with an acoustic guitar singing a song called "Lady L." Genius!

4. Taxi Driver. De Niro excels at playing guys who just don't get it. When he tries to take Cybill Shepherd to a porno movie on their first date, explaining that "a lot of couples" go to see them... I have to watch this from behind my fingers.

5. The Office. We're talking about the U.K. one here (though I like the American version, too, except for the way over-the-top Michael Scott). Ricky Gervais's foray into motivational speaking makes me wince even now:

6. Extras. Gervais again, brilliant as a more self-aware loser. Favorite moment: David Bowie's serenade.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Movies I wish I'd never seen

. Seven. I'm not saying it's a bad film. It's just that I could not be alone for a week after I saw it. Years later, the thought of it still freaks me out, especially the "lust" murder. Yeesh.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. One could argue that I knew what I was getting into based on the title.

3. Natural Born Killers. One of my friends described the experience of watching this as "like having a chisel slowly pounded into your head for two hours." Yup. Plus, Rodney Dangerfield was in it.

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Before I saw this film, I was a big fan of that little wizard and his pals. It may sound weird, but the movie was so faithful to the novel that it drove me nuts. Maybe it took away my ability to imagine the characters and settings in the stories. Whatever
I haven't seen any of the other movies or read a Potter book since. Tragic, I tell you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Clothing I don't understand

1. Down vests.
If it's cold enough to wear something down-filled, don't you think sleeves are necessary, too?

2. Sleeveless turtlenecks. Again: cold enough for a turtleneck, cold enough for sleeves.

3. Low-hanging jeans.
How can it possibly be comfortable to have the crotch of your pants at your knees?

4. Warm-weather scarves. Because nothing says summer like wrapping a six-foot piece of cloth around your neck.

5. Stiletto heels.
Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to make women balance on 4-inch spikes?

6. Thongs. Ow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Age-inappropriate things I have done

1. Read Helter Skelter at age 7.
I remember my older cousin looking at me with her mouth open when I described the Tate-LaBianca murders. Some people are so sensitive. (Full disclosure: I actually only read the 40-page photo section in the middle. That was, however, enough to get the gist.)

2. Listened to Allan Sherman in second grade. Really, what kind of 8-year-old cracks up over lines like, "My Zelda, she took the money and ran with the tailor?" (Besides my pal Alaster and me, that is.)

3. Stayed in B&Bs in my twenties.
By doing so I brought the average age of guests down to 60.

4. Read the Twilight books at 40. Young adult novels are great. You don't need to look up any of the words.

5. Watched CBS Sunday Morning at my (ahem) current age. This is truly an excellent news magazine, with compelling stories each week about art, trends and interesting people. But seeing as Van Morrison is among the youngest musicians they've profiled, I don't think I'm in the target demographic. Plus, all the commercials are for things like Metamucil.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Movies everyone liked except me

The Hours. Sweet Jesus, did I hate this movie. Its title is appropriate, as it went on and on and on... I love Meryl Streep as much as (actually, more than) anyone, but I wanted to punch her in the face when she was flitting around worrying about the flowers for her stupid party. Oscar nomination, Schmoscar nomination: I'm sorry I ever saw this film.

2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Sure, Matthew Broderick is charming, but otherwise it's a mess. That scene where Cameron freaks out in the pool is downright creepy. So is Mia Sara (whatever happened to her, anyway?).

3. Gladiator. I've posted about this before: slept through it 'cause I was so bored.

4. Knocked Up. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Judd Apatow has been going steadily downhill since the brilliant Freaks & Geeks. Apparently Seth Rogen and his stoner friends are supposed to be entertaining, but c'mon, jokes about giving your friends pink eye by farting on their pillows? Really? Maybe I'm just getting old.

5. American Pie. This one annoys me. So many people whose opinions I respect told me I would like it. "It's not like Porky's," they assured me. "The women in it are empowered." That's open to debate, but the fact remains: it was crude and did not amuse me. Plus, I don't want to see that beady-eyed Seann William Scott in anything again ever.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Movies I only pretend to have seen

1. Jaws. Oh, sure, I talk a big game, chuckling when someone says, "Smile, you son of a bitch!" and nodding knowingly over references to "You're gonna need a bigger boat." I've even sung the theme song on the beach and in swimming pools on numerous occasions. But I've never actually watched the film. Does it count if I feel like I have?

2. Citizen Kane. I can tell you this: Rosebud is a sled. I also know that Endora from Bewitched is in it. And I will say with authority that it's one of the finest pictures ever made. Seen it, though? Nope. Not the whole thing, anyway.

Dirty Dancing. Gosh, wasn't it great when Patrick Swayze said, "No one puts Baby in a corner?" Or so I've heard.

4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I'm pretty sure I once asked someone, "Remember that scene in Close Encounters where Richard Dreyfuss builds a mini-Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes?" Which is really bogus of me because again: never seen it.

5. Dr. Strangelove. Peter Sellers gives one his finest performances in this black-comedy masterpiece. (Like I would know.)

6. Dog Day Afternoon. Another one I've somehow missed. I like chanting, "Attica! Attica!", though.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The last five books I've read

In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson (hat tip to CC for letting me borrow it. I promise to give it back someday). Oh, how I love Bryson. He's hilarious and I always appreciate a truly funny book (but please, for the love of God, don't tell me to read A Confederacy of Dunces. I swear, anytime I ask people to recommend something funny to read, they always say, "How about A Conf—?" and I have to cut 'em off. Quite simply: hated it. Not that I read past the first few chapters, but I didn't need to).

Anyway, Bryson's account of his travels in Australia is both amusing and fascinating, with lots of "who knew?" moments. Consider this nugget, for example: "Eighty percent of all that lives in Australia, plant and animal, exists nowhere else." That, my friends, is what we call a Fun Fact.

As for humor, for some unknown reason I found myself wheezing with laughter over this line Bryson found scrawled in his notebook after a night of boozing in a Canberra pub: "'I tell you, Barry, he was farting sparks!'" Bryson explains, "I believe this was a colorful turn of Aussie phrase I overheard from the people at the next table rather than any actual manifestation of flatulence of an electrical nature. But I could be wrong. I'd had a few." (Hmmm, it seemed funnier the first time I read it. Maybe because I was on a plane and the air was thinner.)

2. My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult. The ending of this one sucked beyond belief. I'm gonna give it away so if you are planning to read the book — or see the upcoming film version starring Cameron Diaz — please skip down to item No. 3 on this list.

OK, now it's just us here, right? So check this out: the story revolves around a girl whose parents conceived her so she could be a blood donor to their cancer-stricken elder daughter. At age 13, the girl decides she doesn't want to give a kidney to her sister, so she sues for medical emancipation from her parents. There's this whole big stupid court case but in the end the girl gets into a car crash and winds up brain dead. At the hospital the doctor asks her parents, "Is organ donation something you'd like to consider?" That's right: after 400 pages of drama, the sister gets her kidney with a little help from her friend deus ex machina. If that's not the mother of all cop-out endings, I don't know what is.

Even before the lame ending this book got on my nerves. For one thing, each section is written in the voice of a different character, but they all sound pretty much the same, from the 13-year-old to the lawyer who has a service dog because he's epileptic (whoops, that's another spoiler. Sorry!). And most irritating of all, every chapter ends with some attempt at profundity. For example (and please note that there's a typo in this sentence; blame the author, not me): "When I look up at the girl who works the Laundromat is standing over me, with her lip ring and blue streaked dreadlocks. 'You need change?' she asks. To tell you the truth, I'm afraid to hear my own answer." Oooh! (That was the 13-year-old talking, by the way.)

3. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. My book club read this and I'm quite pleased we did. I hadn't read it since high school, when "read" was a relative term usually I just skimmed. Not surprisingly for a classic, it's excellent. Most everyone in it is loathsome, but I loved the images of ritzy Long Island parties on hot summer nights: "The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names." Pretty much perfect and best of all, it's short. (I like short books.)

4. Changing Places, David Lodge. Enormously entertaining tale of two 1960s college professors — one from a Berkeley-esque school in the U.S. and the other from a university in the U.K. Midlands — who switch jobs for a semester. It's politically incorrect — the American professor, Morris Zapp, is a bit of a pig — but that's part of its charm. I particularly liked the accounts of student unrest at both campuses, told through a series of news reports. Lodge is one clever dude.

5. Deaf Sentence, David Lodge. Yep, that's right — two Lodges in a row. Sue me: I like the guy. The book is much better than its awful pun-ny title would suggest. It's about a retired linguistics professor who, while struggling with hearing loss and the declining health of his father, gets involved with a grad student who is writing her dissertation about suicide notes. I realize this doesn't sound like big fun, but Lodge is such a fantastic writer that I really enjoyed it. It falls apart at the end — jeez, doesn't anyone know how to finish a story anymore? — but up until the last couple of chapters it's a gem.

Now let's see your lists. Recommendations for funny books (that were not written by John Kennedy Toole) are particularly welcome.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The best pizza in New York, by borough

I admit it: I am a sucker for thin-crust, brick-oven pizza. I've rarely encountered a pie of this variety that I didn't like. Still, there is a hierarchy, and after more than 18 years of living in New York, I'm finally ready to announce it. Today, March 21, 2009, I ate pizza in the Bronx, thereby completing my quest to have excellent slices in all five boroughs. (Joanne, if you are reading this,
I swear it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We will be back and we will take your family with us.) So here it is: SZ's definitive list of the best pizza in New York (and thus the world. Save your breath, Chicago).

1. The Bronx: Zero Otto Nove. It took three trains and a bus to get there, but for that pie a melt-in-your-mouth crust topped with buffalo mozzarella, porcini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and just a hint of gorgonzola I would do it all again. Maybe even tomorrow.

2. Brooklyn: Franny's. OK, I'll give up my Queens defensiveness: Brooklyn is by far the coolest outer borough. So it's no surprise that it has the best pizza in New York. This one was a tough call. Grimaldi's is worth the painfully long wait and DiFara made me want to consume eight slices on my own. (If you haven't been there, hurry up and go before the old man, um, retires.) But Franny's clam pizza made me see God. I could probably eat this every day for the rest of my life and be happy.

3. Manhattan. Li'l Frankies. This joint never comes up when people discuss the pantheon of New York pizzerias (Lombardi's, Patsy's, John's, yada yada), yet it's always packed and the pies are never less than excellent. If the Pugliese (marinara, mozzarella, caramelized onions, cacio cavello and oregano) is the special, consider it your lucky day. Plus, they have good beer on tap and they're usually playing interesting music via East Village Radio. An aside: don't be fooled by the snobbery that is Una Pizza Napoletana. If they won't give me toppings, I don't wanna be there.

4. Queens: Nick's. The pride of my home borough. Just typing the name makes me think of basil so fresh they must grow it in the kitchen. They don't actually have a brick oven, but it's in that genre if you know what I'm sayin'. Honorable mention: Sac's Place, which gets extra points for using fresh mozzarella and being within spitting distance of my apartment. (Not that I've ever actually tried spitting at it. That would be gross.)

5. Staten Island: Joe and Pat's. I'm proud to say that of my three trips to Satan, er, Staten Island in the past decade, two were motivated entirely by pizza. Joe and Pat's wins hands down; Denino's was more memorable for the fried calamari. I like fried stuff as much as anyone but dammit, I didn't take the ferry to eat squid.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Songs I used to think were deep

Ed. note: though I might be making fun of them now, these songs really did help me when I was a mixed-up kid. So thank you, Geddy Lee et al.

1. "Subdivisions," Rush. "Be cool or be cast out." Dude, this was SO TRUE. I guess high school was like that even in Canada.

2. "Grand Illusion," Styx. "So if you think your life is complete confusion/'Cause your neighbor's got it made/Just remember that it's a grand illusion/Deep inside we're all the same." Damn straight.

3. "All You Need is Love," the Beatles.
"There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be/It's easy." Huh. That's still kind of nice to think about, actually.

4. "Dust in the Wind," Kansas.
How did a song this bleak get to be a hit? My guess: the smokin' violin solos.

5. "Fly Like an Eagle," the Steve Miller Band.
House the people livin' in the street/Oh, oh, there's a solution." I'm gonna send these lyrics to Mayor Bloomberg. That should fix everything.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pet peeves du jour

1. The use of cell phones in the office bathroom.
Few things disturb me more than hearing someone yammer in the stall next to mine. Really, are your conservations so important they can't wait three minutes? Whenever I encounter a stall-talker I flush the toilet as forcefully as I can in the hopes the person on the other end will hear it and know how disgusting her friend is. That'll teach 'em.

2. Talking in movie theaters. This practice has pushed me perilously close to homicide. Everyone I know professes to hate when people carry on conversations during a film; why, then, do so many do it? Do they honestly think their whispers (or worse) are inaudible to all but their moviegoing companions? Four words: shut the hell up. I didn't pay $11.50 to hear your commentary.

3. "Backslash." Specifically, when someone is giving you a URL and he says, "It's www dot whatever dot com BACKSLASH whatever." Let's get it straight:

This is a backslash: \

This is a regular slash: /

If you type \ in a URL you will get an error message. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

4. My neighbors' dog. The little dude barks all day long. Wanna know why? HIS OWNERS KEEP HIM IN A CRATE. Which I suppose makes them, not the dog, the real pet peeve.

5. Melisma. If you are blissfully unfamiliar with this vocal technique, here's how
the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines it: "a passage of several notes sung to one syllable of text." A prime example: Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," in which the diva takes approximately 47 minutes to belt out the title phrase. For the love of God, make this stop.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Songs I like that have the word "crazy" in the title

Ed. note: It occurred to me recently that I like a lot of songs with the word "crazy" in the title, with the notable exception of the limp Madonna ballad "Crazy for You." Here are a few of my favorites.

1. "Crazy," Gnarls Barkley. Perhaps because it's the most recent, this tops my list of "crazy" songs. (Literally.) It always makes me smile when it comes up on my iPod. Plus, the name Gnarls Barkley greatly amuses me.

2. "Let's Go Crazy," Prince. Man, I love Prince. So tiny, so talented.

3. "Let's Go Crazy," The Clash. Not my favorite Clash song -- that would be "Guns of Brixton" -- but still quite festive.

4. "Crazy Train," Ozzy Osbourne.
Most of my memories of the burnouts who sat at the back of my schoolbus are not pleasant. I did, however, enjoy hearing the immortal line "I'm going off the rails on a crazy train" blasting out of their boomboxes at 7 am each day. I also really like the part where Ozzy goes, "Ai - ai - ai," followed by that rattlesnake sound.

5. "Crazy," Seal.
A tad overproduced, maybe, but Seal is one smooth operator. What's more, he's married to Heidi Klum, who just happens to host what is inarguably one of the finest programs on television today: Project Runway.

6. "Crazy," Willie Nelson.
Patsy Cline's version might be the definitive one, but I have a weakness for Willie's. He's just so dang relaxed. Wonder why.

P.S. Does the word "crazy" look really funny now or is it just me?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Popular things I hope never to do

1. Go to Vegas. The sheer faux-ness of it freaks me out. I have enough trouble with the surreality of Los Angeles; Vegas might just push me over the edge. I wouldn't mind visiting for a couple of hours, but considering it's 2,000 miles away, that hardly seems practical. Plus, I'm not a fan of losing money. Or buffets.

2. Watch According to Jim. I guess this counts as popular, seeing as it's been on the air since about 1956. There are a few sitcoms that are (I'm pretty sure) like this: Yes, Dear is another one. Who exactly watches these programs and why?

3. Move to the suburbs. I have actually woken up in the middle of the night gripped by the fear that someone will make me buy a house in New Jersey. Or Long Island (no offense). I grew up in what was pretty much suburbia and it was fine, but as a grown-up? I would never stop feeling like a misfit. That said -- I do enjoy those big supermarkets.

4. Read The Da Vinci Code. It just seems annoying. Plus, one of my dearest friends grudgingly read it and thought it stunk. That's enough for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My current celebrity crushes

Ed. note: before posting this list, I assured Mr. SZ that unless a) he gets hit by a bus and b) I magically transform into Angelina Jolie and c) any or all of the people mentioned below suddenly become romantically unattached, he really has nothing to worry about.

1. Jon Hamm. Why wasn't this guy famous before Mad Men? Don Draper is dreamy, even with all that Brylcreem.

2. Stephen Merchant. An unlikely pick, I know. Is it the coke-bottle glasses? The awful turtlenecks he wore on Extras? The bordering-on-freakishness height? I'm gonna go with the madcap hilarity and British accent.

3. Johnny Depp. I even thought he was kinda hot as Willy Wonka. Should I seek help?

4. Barack Obama. It's quite weird to feel attracted to the soon-to-be leader of the free world. Stranger still: smoking would fall somewhere between food poisoning and genocide on a list of Things I Hate, yet I find it kind of sexy that he smokes. And oddest of all: I agree with my pal Schnormal, who says, "I have a crush on the whole family."

5. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Guy's got a face like a frying pan, but he's proof that anyone who picks up a guitar boosts his sex appeal by a factor of five. Plus, I once saw him play an entire show in his jammies. That's so cool.

6. This American Life host Ira Glass. Hmmm, a smart guy with nerdy glasses. Wonder why I'd dig that.