Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

My Sentiments Exactly

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I aim to feel like this always.

The Best Of Trails

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I’m assuming he rigged the camera to himself, because that would really wear on the arm after awhile, not to mention cause landsickness (motion sickness when not in a moving vehicle).

I Might Write More About This Later

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The Lost Roles of Friends [Splitsider]

But OH WAIT. I’ve already expressed far too much love for this television show and I don’t really need to argue against this person who doesn’t actually understand how much Friends has shaped comedy/television/sitcoms in ways that are so integral to our viewing experience we don’t even acknowledge them. Thank gosh. Now I can just go on and live my life calmly.

More Water Inspired By Literally Hot Footage

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There are a lot of big volcanoes in the world, and sometimes you need to cool off. Here are some ways in which to facilitate this process totally ineffectually:

(Before displaying this rash of aquariums, it’s important to tell a brief but quality story. Last night, I walked past R. Kelly’s house and his glowing aquarium called to me like the mothership, even though there were no fish in it obvi. But then the blinking camera stationed right outside made me hustle far away. If you’re reading this R., I’m sorry. I just don’t know how you let that one go.)

*AHEM*
Jellyfish Art might be serious, but most species of Jellyfish die really quickly. I’m not seeing any indication that this aquarium prevents that, or how much potential longterm replacement jellyfish costs are, so this is less impressive than it should be. Look; he’s totally not into her or the tank because he knows it’s so yesterday, you know.

I want to go to there. It’s probably in Dubai, knowing my luck. Or ATLANTIS.

This seems like a slight waste of a phone booth, especially given that Superman has few options left in this age of cell phones and bluetooth. Still, quite pretty and I’m sure the fish like the complete 360-degrees of stimuli. Also Finding Nemo is a very emotional movie, largely because I don’t understand how they could possibly end the movie with all those fish mere inches away from freedom in the sea but still stuck in plastic bags. Like, ‘cmon. Am I supposed to believe that they break free with the help of some hungry, desperate birds (that thought had never occurred to me until this moment. I am comforted)? Also, most of them came from the pet store. They probably wouldn’t survive a day out there.

Sometimes, water isn’t trapped inside a glass container. Sometimes, it’s a secret underwater river (?!) that you’re not supposed to swim in because of scary gases, so how did these pictures get taken (?!)

When all else fails, become a mermaid.

I Know Some People On American Idol, Kinda

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This season of American Idol, which promotes the beloved lioness Jennifer Lopez, her mate Steven Tyler, and their bastard, unloved son Randy Jackson, also features a few ladies that I know. And by “know” I mean am vaguely familiar with because they went to high school with me and were Vocal/Drama majors, which meant they were LOUD AND PROUD. The Top 24 (12 boys, 12 girls) was Karen Rodriguez (’07), Pia Toscano (DIGGY ’06), and Rachel Zevita (’05). If I was really mean, I would find my yearbook and dig out photos of them, but since it was only a few years ago and they all look basically the same, it wouldn’t really be the before-and-after we all enjoy ripping into.

This week, we’ve reached the Final 13, and Rachel has been ousted, largely for being inconsistent and too Broadway. That leaves Pia and Karen, who actually knew each other in school; they were in New Music singers together, one of the rare opportunities for LaGuardia students to perform more modern pieces. Pia and Karen were even paired together on the show, with the duet The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” on American Idol together. These girls, while not good friends of mine (ok, even friends of mine), all look familiar to me, helped by the fact that they were all integral parts of the school musicals over the years. Their presence on American Idol, so highly touted for bringing fame to “ordinary” talented people, is actually a reminder that the show exists for the viewers. Most specifically, so the viewers can feel famous themselves. Through American Idol, we can touch fame through our friends and family, much like in other reality television shows, but with less stigma and more accomplishment.

Is this rush that I know someone on American Idol anything based anywhere in fact? No. When Emma was younger, anytime anyone we remotely knew was acquaintances with someone who might know someone else who was famous, she would scream, “I’m FAMOUS!” In fact, the unfiltered joy she got out of it was pretty cute, though we all shook our heads at her naivete. It was pretty hilarious at the time, and now it’s a family joke, but to some extent, her expression of “I’m famous!” is how we all feel. I may recognize these girls, but that’s about it, yet I cannot shake the weird feelings that I know/recognize/can name without feeling too weird someone on American Idol. What is true is that with each degree of separation, the legitimacy of potential fame fades. Our passionate love for recognition and validity to our small, small lives, does not.

Back To Work

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His words, not mine!

I found this photo to be an appropriate and excellent way to plug WBEZ, where I will be the devoted and beloved slave of the Online Content team for the next few months, thus explaining the potential spurt in Public Radio posts to be seen on this very site. I wouldn’t wear any of these outfits to the office, but I sure would like to.

Disco Sticks, Translated

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For those of us who have excellent Halloween costumes and take the holiday VERY SERIOUSLY, it might be helpful to know that in other languages, “disco stick” is not easily translated. For example, ASL and/or Signed English. The Washington Post reports:

“Here is the lyric:

‘Come on now, this beat is sick. I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.’

Here is the problem:

1. There is no ideal translation for the word ‘disco’ in this circumstance.

2. The word Ison might normally sign for ‘stick’ generally refers to what would snap off of a tree branch.

Thus, if the sentence is translated word-for-word from English to its corresponding signs, the resulting phrase could come across as something like, ‘I want to ride on the twig of John Travolta’s dance moves.’

Lady Gaga’s “Love Game” is metaphorical, but exactly how metaphorical is it? Is the tone coy? Callous? Flirty? Dirty?”

“I want to ride on the twig of John Travolta’s dance moves.” I do I do I do.

Why Is The Charlie Sheen Situation So Funny? Oh Wait, It’s Not

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I don’t find Charlie Sheen interesting. I didn’t think it was interesting when he was going around hitting women, and I don’t think it’s interesting now that he’s going around talking and talking and talking and not stopping. Now I’m being told that it’s “news” that his obituary is being prepped by most media sources, but let me break it to you: this doesn’t indicate his potential demise, only our shocking acceptance about addiction. Once you reach a certain level of fame, infamy or notoriety, you definitely have an obit waiting for you in each of the biggest papers in the country. Most elderly individuals in the public eye have one that can be quickly edited and sent to print (this tactic has even been taken by The New York Times and spun off into a great recurring series “The Last Word”). In our fast-paced news culture, that list of old fogies now includes young(ish) celebrities with addiction problems.

Sure, Sheen is saying ridiculous things. But he’s only saying them because he’s sick and unhappy and upset, and by listing and laughing and making fun (which I believe we do partially out of discomfort with the reality of his possible demise), we’re feeding his lifestyle and glorifying it. For all the obsession we have with addiction (and curing it), it’s our very treatment of Sheen’s troubles that indicate he’s not much better than us. I’m not going to sit here and spout my opinion on what he wants, mostly because it’s quite clear that he fits the obvious addict archetype. But I will say that our focus on how badly he’s doing doesn’t magically reflect back at us and show how well we’re doing. It merely further substantiates the proof that at the end of the day, we’re all addicts. We’re not better than him — if anything, we’re worse — and instead of seeing a ridiculous person, we should see a very sick one.

So a plea to my dear and devoted friends: don’t send me anymore Charlie Sheen quotes with New Yorker cartoons, or Charlie Sheen memes, or Charlie Sheen anything. When he’s back in rehab and it’s successful (always a possibility) I’ll read about it and then go on with my day. It’s not that I don’t care; it’s that his story is an old one, one that I’ve read too many times and didn’t find that funny or unique to begin with.

Is Spotlight Hindering Charlie Sheen’s Addiction Recovery? [NPR]

I’m Basically Positive I’ve Seen This Shot Before

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This is the new Japanese Elle for April 2011. I know this shoot is several years old, and I’m pretty sure it’s from an old issue of Allure, since that’s the only ladymag I ever subscribed to regularly and its completely in their style of their shoots. Since they only do headshot covers, this isn’t a complete replica, but I’m dying for more information. Any thoughts? Proof? I wish I had my back issues with me right now…

Covers: Animal Carriers [Fashioncopious}

Teach Me Things About My Health, NYTimes

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All of the following is courtesy of everyone’s oh-so-scientific publication. Once upon a time, I eagerly waited for the Science Section every Tuesday. This was a time before I was blogging and when I actually had brain cells. Also a time in which I read the paper in HARD COPY over BREAKFAST. So, very very long ago.

Eating
Some people get old after a lifetime of eating whatever they want, get away with it, and celebrate this in unusual ways. The authors mother describes herself as “a very naughty girl.” Mary Pyland, 92, of Abilene, TX makes “a caramel pie that was just about the best thing you ever put your lips around.”

My Unhealthy Diet? It Got Me This Far [NYT]

Eating Things Off The Floor
Dr. Roy M. Gulick, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College says that “The five-second rule probably should become the zero-second rule.”

Think it’s all the upholstery’s fault, and you’re safe because you never take the couches you desperately want to haul up your five-story walk-up off the street? FALSE.

“With both wood and tile, more than 99 percent of the bacteria were transferred nearly immediately, and there was no difference by the time of contact. Carpet transferred a smaller number of bacteria, again with no difference by contact time.”

The 5-Second Rule [NYT]

Not Being So Hard On Yourself
“People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic.”

Why? Dr. Kristin Neff, an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin says “that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”

What to do? “…Dr. Neff suggests a set of exercises — like writing yourself a letter of support, just as you might to a friend you are concerned about.”

Yeah, this isn’t going to happen. One time, it was April and I was about 11 and it would not stop raining. New York was the greyest, most dismal place in the world to live and I was so unhappy about it and actually beginning to develop SAD that I briefly renounced my atheism and love for said Science Times and started writing letters to God everyday, praying that he would stop the rain and make it sunny. I even put these letters behind this poem hanging on my wall because I thought that was the least sacrilegious place in my house and there might be a slightly greater chance that He would forget my transgression and help a pathetic, weather-obsessed child out. Moral of the story: letters don’t work. The weather just changes.

Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges [NYT]

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