Thursday, November 1, 2007

Amanda, the Halloween Grinch

I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween. The scary movies, the creepy costumes, and the screaming children…

I came home from work yesterday and as I walked to my house from my car, a herd of trick-or-treaters approached me. I debated whether I should pass my house so that they wouldn't come bother me, but I realized how silly that was and how that made me the Halloween Grinch. As I walked up my stairs, the children followed me! How rude! It's not like they were there without adult supervision. You would think the parents would know better than to send their begging children to my doorstep as I'm just getting in from work. I just thought that was a bit disrespectful. I walked in the house and instructed my mother to take care of them. I didn't want any part of it! (Though later on, a little girl in a Snow White costume came by and poked her head through the window of our front door to see if she could see anyone - it creeped me out but made me laugh so hard and she was so cute too.)

We didn't even get the good candy this year, as my mother feared destruction by her chocolate addiction. Well, why couldn't we have gotten candy she didn't like! We were totally that house that little kids dread getting candy from because our "candy" was mini bags of UTZ pretzels (I think they're cute though because they are shaped like bats and jack-o-lanterns!).

This past weekend I dressed up. Now, I'm not usually a fan of dressing up. In fact, this morning I told this guy who was hitting on me at the bagel store that "I don't do that" when he inquired about my Halloween costume and complimented my eyes (what a line, by the way). But Steph begged me to dress up because we were going to a Halloween party, after all. So, I begrudgingly went to Party City two hours before I had to leave my house and bought myself some bunny ears, tail, and pink fishnets. I looked cute, not gonna lie, and I actually had fun! It was kind of ironic since I'm always so negative about that. But why be negative when I hadn't done it in years? No reason to knock it til you've tried it, so to speak.

My overall Halloween experience was pleasant. Not too many trick-or-treaters at my house and I had a fabulous Halloween weekend with the people I love hanging out with most!! I may even dress up next year - maybe I'll be a sexy Grinch…

Sarada the Flapper, Amanda the Bunny, and Steph the Addams Family Matriarch Morticia
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Age: Just a Number

"I'm thirty-five." - Carrie
"Oh shut up, I'm a hundred and forty." - Samantha

Sunday was my half birthday. Yes, I know when my half birthday is. There was no celebration or anything exciting and people looked at me funny when I even mentioned that I was now "twenty-two-point-five" years old! What does that mean though? Ugh, I'm on the road to being 23.

Now 23 isn't old. It's barely quarter-life. I have a good two and a half years before I need to have my quarter-life crisis. So why the freak out, you ask? Let's take a trip down memory lane to last week…

Last Tuesday I was a guest speaker at a college class. Yes, that's right, guest speaker. I had to talk about my job and explain the path I took to get there. The PR students sat there eagerly listening to me and actually taking notes, hanging on every word I said! Well, they were probably a little bored but hey I tried - and Diane said I was "spunky" so that must mean something positive. Wait a second, wasn't I on the other side of that just last year at this time? What kind of twisted world is this?

Exhibit number two. I went to see my sorority compete in the very exciting Greek Night competition (of which we won first place, thank you very much). I didn't know half of the girls and all the kids there looked so so young!! I guess it makes sense since there are 18-year-old freshman. But it was so funny to me. Some of them were younger than Ben, my YOUNGER brother. I felt so old being back at school and being that alum that came by to support her younger sisters. It was so crazy!

The other night I found out that another person from grammar school got engaged. It's almost like an epidemic. It's so strange that the little people you used to run around with at lunchtime are all so old now. We're all older - not old. It's just all very mature. And it's funny because I know that those older than me think I'm so young. It's a vicious cycle it seems.

Two weekends ago I went to a party at Ang's. Her little brother (who is 18) had his friends over too. All of my friends were sitting inside drinking and we felt like we were chaperoning - making sure those young college kids weren't getting into any trouble. It was ridiculous!

Getting older is a part of life, of course. It's just very interesting and ironic that when you're younger you can't wait until your birthday comes and you get a year older. Now, it's almost like another birthday just means another year bites the dust.

Age really is just a number - they say a fine wine gets better with age. I always thought it was all downhill after 21, but it seems that there are so many good things in store as the days go on and the years pass. And I'm so excited to experience them with all those I love! :)
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

"You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you…" - Carly Simon

As I walked out of the bathroom I glanced at myself one last time in the mirror. Why did I need to do that? What was I perfecting myself for? And I do it every single time.

Vanity. I think it's a vice. I don't mean for it to happen but it does. It's very important for me to always look my best, whether I'm running out really quickly, going to work or going out on the town. It may just be about being neat, but I always want to look presentable. And I don't really think it's because I could run into someone I may not want to see - and if I do see them I should look damn good (though it might be that a little bit).

This disease may have been inherited from my Abuelita. She always felt the same way and was one of the most vain people ever. But that was my grandma - always looking presentable like she was dressed to the nines even if she wasn't. She didn't give off the appearance of being vain or needing to look in the mirror all the time.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not high maintenance or anything. I could be ready relatively quickly and I do enjoy wearing sweats once in a while. I'm pretty down-to-earth and I love just hanging out. I don't even have a compact in my purse. But I'm always checkin' myself out in the mirror or reflection and defending myself when I feel like my appearance isn't up to par.

I could never be like Snow White's evil witch and beloved mirror, though. But what is wrong with me? Is this just a disease or is this some crazy insecurity I have?

It's all very interesting because, yes, I do always walk into the party…with one eye on the mirror.

Photo: Disney
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Verizon = Ugh!

I went Verizon hopping last night. Why? Oh, because I enjoy running from store to store and visiting the same tech support people. We've really become great friends. Oh wait, those tech support people NEVER fixed my problem! That's right...

I thought my problems were over when I ditched my RAZR. Really, I did. It was the craze for that stupid phone that made me think it was a good idea when I returned from being abroad for six months. I was severely mistaken.

I was having my 5th contact with Verizon in three weeks. It's almost like you get pawned off time and time again because they just don't want to deal with it themselves. They tell you to come back in 30 minutes but do they actually do anything? Obviously not because I had to keep coming back.

Customer service ala the phone is so irritating because they continually put you on hold. And when they do, be assured that you'll hear that same darn music - something they should be playing in an airport or on a plane. In addition to this, that woman (who is obviously not having problems with her Verizon Wireless service) comes on in an irritatingly calm voice and lists all the reasons why Verizon Wireless is just so great. Ugh, it just makes me madder!!

Finally, after completing the same tests and programming methods over and over, I'm told that my phone can be swapped (I could've told you that a long time ago). So now I've got to make it over to a store. It's around 6:30 so I need to get over there soon because they close at 9. I've got time but I just want to get it done with already.

So I show up at the store, but of course, they don't have my phone. And the store across the street doesn't have it either. So I've got to get to the other one that is farther away. Real nice. It's almost 8 by this time. And when I get to that location, there's an extremely long line. Eventually I hear the woman behind the desk telling this guy how to enter a phone number into his phone. "You need to enter the area code, first," she says. Ugh! What is this? A tutorial? There's a line of us becoming very restless. And I just want to get this over with - my service isn't working. Fix it!

I finally got the phone. Was it really necessary to take so long to get this problem fixed? All I know is that it better work now, or I'm switching my carrier! Verizon is not my fave... sorry, Dad.
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Friday, September 28, 2007

Don't Mess!

I went kickboxing last night. I'm now officially in pain. But it's a good pain-a great pain, actually-and I can't wait to inflict the same pain on myself next week!

First of all my editor, Gina, is kick ass! She just recently had a baby and she's out there kicking butt! She made it look so easy, but umm it really isn't that easy. Especially when you don't know what you're doing. But I think both Kelly and I did really well and totally got the hang of it by the end of the class. It's a great way to take out your frustrations!

First comes stretching, then cardio, and then you get to pair up with a partner and beat them up! Well not really beat them up but you get to punch really hard. There's a system to all the exercises and there's a pattern to various sets. You'd think I would've picked it up faster, being that I danced for 10 years. But it came eventually. All you really need to do is repeat the steps in your head or out loud and your body does what your mind tells you to do. I'm sure with the passing of weeks, I'll be able to pick it up even faster.

It's really fun because it's a class and you get to interact with other people, you get a great workout, and you feel a sense of empowerment. You're kicking butt after all. I feel like I can do anything now after surviving just a little over an hour (which passed by so quickly). I'll really have to learn to work on those pushups - upper body strength was never my strong suit.

My outlook on this is definitely hopeful. Practice makes perfect so don't mess!
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Monday, September 17, 2007

Emmy Roundup

It's a huge night for television. The Emmy awards are always a great night for actors as they can dress up, show themselves off, and perhaps take home one of those golden beauties. Some may use the time to express their political views, while others may bid farewell to the show that contributed to their great success. No matter what, it's always a fun show to watch and comment on.

I may have liked it better had perhaps someone funny, such as Ellen, hosted the show. Ryan Seacrest kind of bothers me because he seems very cocky. Not to mention the awkward stage, which had its audience sitting all around in a giant circle. It kind of sucks to be behind the stage because the presenters and winners had their backs to them the whole night and they were also always in the background shot on television.

Some of the fashions were great, of course. Katherine Heigl (whom I love) was beautiful in a white Zac Posen. And just as I exclaimed how classic she was, she cursed as her name was announced. Haha. And she wasn't afraid to correct the announcer who pronounced her last name wrong. But I mean come on, do you live under a rock?? I heart Izzie Stevens.

America Ferrera was stunning in a beautiful hue of blue and Helen Mirren looked beautiful out of her normal age appropriate clothes. Eva Longoria lifted her feet for Ryan Seacrest and showed off her red soles - characteristic of my favorite Christian Louboutin of course. Love him!

I really hate the fact that they decided it was OK to censor Sally Field's speech. Sure, it's not her time to go bashing the war, but it's called freedom of speech and her 30 seconds to say what she wants. It's her acceptance speech and she wasn't yelling profanities (well except when she said God-damn, which is probably why they stopped it in the first place). But they cut to a random shot of nothing for the rest of her speech, which really made me mad. Boo on network TV.

It was nice that The Sopranos won to finish out their run. I always like when a great series can round out their success with awards that recognize their work (even if this season was kind of forced and not as good as it was in the past - I was still a faithful watcher).

I did enjoy the Kanye sing-along for the evening, and I've really grown to like Christina Aguilera - girl's cleaned up her act. She looked classic and of course positively glowing as she performed with Tony Bennett. Britney wouldn't be caught dead doing something so classy.

So I guess that sums it up for me. It was something to do on a Sunday night and most definitely provided me with some pretty things to look at, including my favorite Dr. McDreamy. Sigh.

Photo: LA Times
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shoes! Oh, How I Heart Thee

"I’ve spent 40,000 dollars on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes." --Carrie Bradshaw

I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday. Did I need them? Probably not. Did I love them? Oh, most definitely! Did they look like something I already own? Ehh, that's debatable… But each pair is completely different and you need different shoes to go with your ensemble!

I was recently involved in a conversation at work where we were discussing comfort vs. looking good when going out. I mean I'd love to have the best of both worlds but that's not always the case right? Depending on the night, I might want to look more fashionable than comfortable. The wrong shoes can mess up your outfit!

As I was walking outside before, I heard the clicking of my own heels. Click, click, click, click. I have a steady walk, I thought. But everyone can hear me coming. That's the way it used to be in grammar school. You'd hear the teacher coming because of her heels. And when I had my own heels on in those days I felt so grown up and important. I used to love the clacky sound of my heels coming down the hall. I was cool.

It's no surprise, then, that I've developed a shoe fetish. Before last night, I hadn't bought a new pair of shoes in about a month. It's been a slow summer apparently. It was time. But I love cute shoes that really make an outfit. They should be practical though so the job is twofold.

The thought of placing my foot into a beautifully crafted leather creation is just simply fabulous to me. It can be a mood elevator and really make the day. It's just so exciting. And no, I'm not completely materialistic, though Carrie Bradshaw the, ahem, writer's quote is pretty funny. I know when I'm about to make a ridiculous purchase - or hopefully whoever I'm with will stop me. But it's just another one of life's little pleasures that makes me happy. :)
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Thursday, August 23, 2007

NOT an Anchorwoman

Way to make a mockery of journalism. The FOX show premiered last night and I was seriously appalled. Don't know the premise? Well, I'll recount the "reality show" for you (and you know how much I usually praise reality TV). Not this time.

This WWE-turned-Miss New York model is Lauren Jones (could her name BE any more common?). She's blonde (I don't discriminate) and completely devoid of any journalism knowledge. She also prances around in the most ridiculous outfits that are unfit for any place of work! And now she's anchoring the Channel 19 news in Tyler, Texas. Umm, excuse me, but I thought you needed to have credentials to work at a job. In an interview (and there have been loads of them in recent weeks), she smugly stated that she didn't have a journalism background and went through a weeklong boot camp before she started and that it would be a "piece of cake." What are you putting down journalism for? It's something that people study and work at. It's a craft. Are you kidding me?

So, please, let me pose a question. Could I walk into a hospital (because I'm, I don't know tall) and decide that I'd like to be a surgeon because I love watching Grey's Anatomy and in doing so I've learned the tricks of the trade? I think not. Ms. Jones said that she also prepped by watching Katie Couric for a week and studying her mannerisms. No offense, but have you seen Couric's ratings lately? She's been bombing on the evening news (which is also sad because it was a huge step for female journalism).

This Channel 19 is obviously looking for ratings. Many citizens of the town were outraged with this occurrence. But if you really stop and think about it, the news is just another television show. Sure, they present some of the facts but you always need to have a hook so that audiences will be interested in what you're saying. It's one of the first things I learned in my broadcast news writing class. There are at least four network news shows on at 5pm. Well, which one are you going to watch? News stations must do something to keep you hooked, otherwise they'll do poorly in the ratings and the big bad companies that own them will have a fit.

Ms. Jones also said how much fun it would be because she could, like totally put her own opinions in about politics and the war. Journalism lesson number one: you're supposed to be completely unbiased (which, yes, is difficult to do) and all you're supposed to do is present the news from both sides of the story. What are you thinking? She can't even write!

I'm so disappointed that journalism has come to this point. I totally understand how that poor anchor that was replaced by a model must be feeling. It's completely uncalled for.

Well, it's not me, right? I'm going to get to where I want to be on my own volition and if that means working like a crazy person, I'm going to do it. But don't think you can get by on just your looks. What's the world coming to?? It's a crazy, competitive place…

Photo: FOX
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Freelance!

Sorry to not post any fun stories, but I just wanted to share with you guys some of my other links. Check out, which is a cute website that has some fun places to go in the City and such. And click on my links below to help support my work :)

More TK...
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Friday, August 10, 2007


I wrote an article for a cool women's online magazine, called Identity. You should definitely check it out!! It's called "An Intimidating Workout." You'll have to subscribe in order to access it, but there's a ton of great info on there! So check it out and let me know what you think! :)
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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bleacher Creatures

The scene was set for A-Rod's 500th homerun. We stood in anticipation of being a part of history. With each passing pitch, the fans held their breath. And each time a pitch came in, we were blinded by the thousands of flashes that would go off. Everyone wanted the picture of that time A-Rod hit his homerun! It was such an amazing sight.

I'd never sat in the bleachers before. We'd always gotten tickets some way or another in the box/reserved seats. But it was fantastic!! I loved it out there. The people are crazy and they really do give meaning to "bleacher creature." I hadn't been to Yankee stadium in a couple of years and the last time I actually saw the Yankees play was last year at Shea for a subway series game (and we lost - I don't want to talk about it).

The creatures were certainly drunk and loved to scream out obscene comments, which were uncalled for because a little girl with glasses and a pink Yankee hat just stared at them, confused. That poor seven-year-old girl was probably terrified! But the police came up to calm the rowdy crowd and I just watched and chuckled as I sat in my pink (yes, pink) A-Rod shirt. Hehe.

But this game was so exciting! All the runs that came in were through homeruns, save one sac fly RBI. We beat the Chicago White Sox (who won the World Series two years ago)! Final score: 16-3. We beat the pants off of them, so to speak. (or perhaps the socks!).

Though we hit eight homeruns (by seven different players) A-Rod failed to meet our expectations, going 0 for 5. Oh well, I had the best time and left the game with my souvenir cup! :)
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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Grass is Always Greener...

"We whine when we don't have a boyfriend, we whine when we do." - Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes.

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side. And ya know what, it actually is. But is that always a good thing?

I've realized that we're never actually satisfied with what we have and are always looking for ways to better our situations. Jealousy, boredom, stress, and a low sense of satisfaction all lead to the times we say, "I wish."

Situation #1: When I was in school I couldn't wait to get out into the working world. And although I love the working world, I'm actually thinking about going back to school at some point for something more. I'll have to weigh my infamous pros and cons list of course.

Situation #2: When I was in Spain I longed for my family and friends and American culture. As much as I enjoyed myself, I couldn't help but feel homesick for the familiar. And now that I'm back to that regular routine, I kind of really miss Spain.

Two songs come to mind:

The first is from one of my favorite movies, Moulin Rouge. Satine (Nicole Kidman) sings "One Day I'll Fly Away." This is a perfect song for those who long to be in another situation. Of course, she was longing for a better situation and the things I'm speaking of are really on a smaller scale (like, I wish I had bought those shoes because they would've gone great with my outfit).

The second is a better example of what I'm talking about. "Part of Your World." Yes, I speak of The Little Mermaid. It's such a great movie. Ariel wants to be out of the ocean, walking around on land, sans mermaid fins. She gets her wish by trading her voice and gets to walk around. Of course she meets the dreamy Eric and has a fairy tale ending (regaining her voice AND legs, marrying the man of her dreams, and still is able to see her family in the ocean).

But, you see, there was a tradeoff for her initial wish: her voice to the evil sea queen, Ursula. It's almost like she needed to trade in her soul for that proverbial green grass.

I don't like to make wishes mainly because, in my experience, wishes have come true in the most terrible of ways. So I don't believe in wishes. But I guess what I should think about is when I long for what's on the other side of the fence. What will I be giving up? How might I already be fulfilling my so-called destiny? I wonder about these things all the time. But I know that everything happens for a reason so instead of conquering the green grass on the other side of the fence, I think I'll tackle what's already up at bat. And maybe someday, I'll have Ariel's perfect ending.
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Monday, July 30, 2007

A Disney Coincidence

We were having a conversation about Disney yesterday. And I didn't realize the fact that most Disney movies don't have a mother! The female role is rather naïve or non-existent within Disney movies. What is that about??

Think about it:
The Little Mermaid only got scolded by King Triton (and Sebastian and Flounder)
Belle had that cute little absent-minded father in Beauty and the Beast
Cinderella only had a father and when he died, she was left with an evil stepmother
Nemo's mommy died in the beginning (though this was Pixar and way after Walt's time)
And let's not forget about Bambi… need I say more?

I did a little bit of investigating on the topic and here's what I found out. Walt's mom actually died when Walt was 37 from asphyxiation. There was a faulty furnace in the house that Walt actually bought for his parents. He never got over it and felt such guilt for the rest of his life.

But digging a little deeper, we can see that the classic animated Disney movies were all based on stories written by various famous authors (Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm). They are folk tales and fairy tales that were adapted into animated screenplays.

In any case, I haven't said much but I just think it's rather interesting to note that little fact. I had never thought about it like that before!
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Random Acts of Meanness

This is the opposite of random acts of kindness - let's call it random acts of meanness. So I'm on my way to jury duty (let's not even go there) and I'm on my way to the Ferry (p.s. - it's raining and miserable out). I get there and I know I'm going to cut it close for the 7:15 boat (yes, I got up before 6am - I don't wanna talk about it). And I see people running, so I start to run, but carefully because the floor is slippery. What is about to happen is someone thinks they can flaunt their little bit of power, a power trip if you will. The guy who opens and closes the door (let's call him Mr. Mean) waits for me to get all the way to the door, only to shut it right in my face. What is that? Who does that?

I realize there is a schedule to follow but come on! You make eye contact with me and literally hold it open until I get to the door. Why not close it sooner? He was completely foul, too. I guess that's the only place where this short, balding man could be taken seriously? N-O-T cool! Of course i said "Why didn't you just shut it sooner," rolled my eyes, and walked away. I gave him the evil eye when I came back from getting coffee (where I actually got undercharged - points for the coffee man).

Don't be like Mr. Mean. As Justin says, "What goes around..."
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Taurus, the Bull

I must admit, from time to time, I do check my horoscope on MSN Astrology. That doesn't necessarily mean I believe in all that stuff. I don't believe people can predict the future. What's reading my palm actually going to accomplish? How can that possibly tell me anything about my life? Not to mention, isn't it kind of scary to know things that are going to happen in the future? I think so.

We were driving around the other night and it became a good idea to stop at this psychic's house. First of all, she had a price list up, and her "PYSCHIC" reading costs $25 (you know misspellings drive me insane!). The girls decided to get a tarot card reading, where the psychic was able to tell them all about their life, karma, and aura. She may have said things that were true for my friends but usually they are very vague statements with many options thrown out at you. You can adapt what is said to your life somehow. It's pretty funny. Apparently I was raining on the girls' parade. But I don't believe in it.

Ang read my cards once (you can buy your own deck and follow the instructions). It was a horrible experience! I got all negative cards with death and destruction in them. And here I thought these cards and psychics tell you positive things so that you'll want to keep coming back to it. It's basically luck of the draw with these cards.

I guess I'm not too far off from the psychic thing because I read my horoscope - aligning myself with the stars. But check out my horoscope -

Good things to come in my career (well, yes, I think I'm doing well so far).
Increase in income would most definitely be amazing, but how far is that horizon? (haha).
Different profession (I have been thinking of going to grad school in the future).
Support from friends (all my friends support me the way I support them).

But I'm not sure I could just "Go for it!" because MSN Astrology tells me to. It's a nice idea though. A horoscope or psychic to tell you to do something and though you're nervous, do it anyway because it will all be fine in the end. My issue with these things is when they list different options off and use words like could, might, can, if. Coulda, woulda, shoulda!

Psychics also know how to read you - they deal with people all day long and depending on your reactions to certain things they say, they feed off of that to continue giving you what you want.

In any case, I don't think you'll bring me over to that school of thought. You can continue to try, though. And in the meantime, I'll stick to my horoscopes.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

45 ...and umm Confused?

So apparently Scott Baio is 45 …and Single. And his career has gone down the tubes since Charles in Charge. Enter reality TV (if you recall it's one of my addictions).

I've only watched 20 minutes so far (thank you DVR) and I'm already hooked. Haha. The best part had to have been when he brought a bucket of chicken to the house of his first love. Here's the deal:

Scott Baio, of Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, Charles in Charge, has been in a serious relationship with his girlfriend Renee for a year and a half. In the past he has never been able to make a commitment and has never been married. So he hires a life coach, Doc Ali, to find out why he has such commitment issues and see if he can ever bring himself to get married. The life coach tells him that he needs to sign a contract to do the following: no contact with Renee, no sex, and do everything Doc Ali tells him to do.

His first assignment? Reach out to his first love, to whom he brings that KFC bucket of chicken. Hilarious. I don't know what the rest of this show will bring but honestly it's mindless entertainment. And Scott Baio seems a little bit like a creep (except when he started crying, which actually kind of made me laugh). He's obviously a serial blonde dater and he's dated famous ladies, like Pam Anderson, Heather Locklear, and Nicolette Sheridan (all blonde, btw). I gotta tell ya, I wouldn't really want Scott Baio to be in charge of me…

We shall see how the VH1 show fares, but I guess the burning question on everyone's mind is: Will Chachi ever get married?!?!

Photo: VH1
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Ragin' Road

I've really been realizing lately how much road rage I have. It's actually pretty amusing.

I was driving to Caitlin's the other night and I was stuck behind this guy who was going 15mph. Umm, the speed limit on city streets is 30. Why are you going half the speed limit? I know there's grounds for a ticket when you're speeding, well how about when you're going too slow?? What's the problem, buddy? Don't know where you're going? Pull over and ask for directions! (Must have been a man driving...)

The way I see it, when I'm driving I'm aiming to get somewhere. Get out of my way. It's not me - it's them. Do you realize how many people really can't drive? It's unbelievable! Put your signal on! How am I supposed to know you're making a right turn? It's common road courtesy. Apparently I have to be a good driver - cautious, yet normal - AND a mind-reader.

I guess this stems from the impatient New Yorker within me. I always do this sort of thing while walking through the streets in NYC. I get agitated when a group of tourists is slowly sauntering as if there's no one else on the street. Either walk faster or move to one side of the street - but get out of my way!

Now, I realize my attitude seems a bit harsh. In fact, I think that each time Jess gets in the car with me, she says a little prayer to make sure that we'll get to our destination safely. (But I usually drive in the City when I'm with Jess and NYC driving is totally different than any other experience!!!) I'm cautious, I just get frustrated and don't understand how some people ever got their licenses. And traffic is something else that's very frustrating and a mystery to me, but that's a whole different topic.

All I'm saying is that people need to learn how to drive. I keep being accused of sounding like my grandfather, who has serious road rage issues. He's 80 and thinks that everyone is out to get him. He likes to curse at the drivers and I always worry that his blood pressure is rising as he flips off a newly licensed driver. Then we get an earful about the maneuver of said poor driver and the same poor driver doesn't get yelled at! I'm not that bad... yet...
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Road Trip Recap

When you leave the City, it seems like the rest of the world lives in this strange bubble of nothing. That's how I saw it, at least, probably because "I'm what you call a bonafide city girl" (thanks, Carrie Bradshaw). Take a look at some highlights (or lowlights?) of my ROAD TRIP with PJ to Dartmouth (that's way up in New Hampshire) this past weekend!!

Nature. As we walked to get some margaritas at the local 'watering hole' there was silence. No cars, cabs honking, or loud music pumping. The silence was broken by some ducks quacking. Or maybe they were eagles talking - what do eagles do? Birds chirp and doves cry (thanks, PRINCE). In any case, we were baffled by that noise. The noise, or the deafening silence, of NATURE.

Bugs. On any long car drive on a highway, you'll be sure to see lots of bugs…on your windshield. I guess it's just the wrong place at the wrong time for those guys, but seriously, I needed to clean it off quite a few times and it is not very pleasant when you see them splatter all over your car. Didn't their mothers ever teach them to look both ways before they crossed the street!

Signs. There are some pretty interesting street signs on the highway. Some of them even enjoy rhyming, like this one for instance. Take a break. Stay awake. For safety sake. Someone was actually paid to come up with that. Other signs had to do with a "scenic area." Well, I thought the whole drive was pretty scenic. All that's out there is trees and open space.

Friendly's. When I was young, there used to be a Friendly's in our mall. Sure, it's not great, but it's good diner food once in a blue moon! We thought that maybe on the way up there, there might be one that we could stop at. Well, we passed about 500 of them. Every single rest stop had something to do with Friendly's. I know it's a chain but wow.

I have realized that there is life outside of NYC. I lived in Spain for five months, after all. I just don't think I could ever be in such a place that is so far from a city, where Main Street is truly the main street and civilization consists of a newly opened Dunkin Donuts down the road apiece. I applaud people for being able to live there, but maybe that's the sheltered life.

And just as I thought that the country was completely different than where I'm from, these two guys slowed down, stuck their heads out of their beat-up car, and made inappropriate gestures toward us. Some things never change.

PJ and I realized that life is a highway (one which we drove on for five hours), but we don't think we'd like to ride it all night long, thanks.

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Celebrity Gossip is NOT Always News!

I like celebrity gossip as much as the next gal. I always get my daily fix of Gawker and PerezHilton but after a while it gets to be too much with these celebs.

Case and point: Paris Hilton.

On Monday, at the gym, all the network news stations kept showing her mugshot and the fact that she "surprised" everyone by starting her sentence earlier. Fine, Great. Tell us about it because you think it's huge news. But you don't need to beat a dead horse. Almost every other news report had something to do with her:

"What does Nicole Richie think of her former BFF going to jail?"
"What was Paris wearing when she arrived at county?"
"Paris was at the MTV Movie Awards just hours before she checked herself into the woman's facility."

Tuesday they were speculating on how long her sentence would be and, oh wait, today was the actual day Paris was supposed to go to jail.

Wednesday - Paris' psychologist came to her. He left no comment. But we hear that she's not eating and that she is miserable.

Thursday - Paris is out of jail!!! She'll serve her sentence under house arrest.

Friday 7am - Paris is scheduled to appear in court
Friday 8am - Paris' stylist and hair dresser arrive
Friday 9am - Paris is still in her house
Friday 9:30am - Paris' driver is still waiting outside of her house.
Friday 10am - Will Paris go to jail again??

What is with all the hoopla? It's so frustrating and ridiculous. She's an heiress to a fortune that pulls the occasional publicity stunt and OC cameo. Please, people, get a life!
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cafeteria Food

I went to Cafeteria last weekend in Chelsea with PJ. I had always heard about it but had never actually been. When we walked in, it seemed to be chic-ly posh, especially for a place that bears the name of a somewhere that represented something very different to me in grammar school.

It was like a warm summer night and we were very excited to sit outside amongst the city streets. However, once we got out there it started to storm. And let me just tell you, it really started coming down pretty heavily. We were all dressed up for our Memorial Day Eve night on the town. The waiter came over in a frenzy, after we sat for about 20 minutes and helped us pull our table closer under the awning. But it didn't do much (and I was now sitting on top of an older gentleman), as the wind blew the cold rain onto our backs. He walked away and didn't even take our drink orders! He finally came back 10 minutes later to take our dinner and drink orders. We then attempted to get a table inside. The tall, leggy waitress said she'd help us right away but we found ourselves sitting in the rain for a good while longer, while parties that continually arrived were accommodated before we were. That was frustrating.

As we sipped on our drinks (I had a very yummy white peach margarita, PJ had the wild berry mojito, which she explained as a bit too sweet) we were finally moved inside to a corner booth. We got our food (a turkey burger and a hamburger, both served with fries) and continued the conversations of our lives.

As I looked around, I saw various individuals there. You could note the pretentious older crowd at one table, as they slowly judged the rest of the world, whilst sipping on their wine and nibbling on their salads. The couple next to us was obviously on a first date because she ordered a salad and he was nervously sweating and chuckling in an uncomfortable manner. He finished his meal with a vanilla shake (who orders a vanilla shake at a posh restaurant? The waiter was even confused, but he made it happen). And then, in a table not too far from ours, there were two couples. They couldn't have been more than 17. They began making out hardcore at the table. They were definitely drinking more than they were eating and they finished off their meal with tequila shots, as they continued to make out. Finally, they stumbled out of the restaurant.

We ordered another round of drinks to kill some time before we left to go to the bars but the waiter was very insistent on giving us the check and having us pay. He obviously wanted to get out of there, as his shift was likely over. We paid, but were not rushed out of the table. Though he wanted us to pay, he told us to enjoy our drinks at a leisurely pace, which is exactly what we did.

All in all, the restaurant experience was a moderate one. I would probably go back for the food and drinks. The service was a bit slow and not always polite, but it may have been the crowded restaurant. I'd give Cafeteria another chance. It was average in price, as you can definitely find places that charge more for burgers and drinks. Four drinks and two burgers plus tip came to about $75. A pretty normal night out.
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Friday, June 1, 2007


I've recently admitted to myself that I have a few addictions. But I see these as normal obsessions of everyday things and resolve that it could always be a lot worse!

1. Coffee. Let's start with an actual addiction. The fabulousness of a good cup of coffee. Though most days I allow myself to drink up some office coffee, I do like to indulge on Dunkin Donuts a couple of times a week. I rarely get Starbuck's in the mornings, but it is possible that once in a blue moon I do splurge.

Yesterday, I didn't have my daily cup o' joe and it threw off my entire day. It really is terrible. I always say that "I can stop whenever I want". It's obviously the case that I can't. I felt a twinge of a headache coming on by lunchtime and by 1:30 I just had to run out and grab my "Large French Vanilla Coffee with Milk and Sugar." I decided against iced coffee because it was a bit chilly in the office.

2. TV on DVD. I absolutely love getting shows I haven't seen before on DVD because I can watch episodes without having to wait until the next week to see the outcome. I realized I was actually obsessed when I told a friend last night that she could buy seasons of the OC at Target because they're always on sale there. Why do I know that?

Each time I complete a series or what's left of the last season they have on DVD, I become so sad and depressed. It's like I don't want to leave my house. OK, that's not completely true, or is it?

PS - I also think it's OK to hook all my friends and family members on my current DVD obsession by talking up the series. Then they become obsessed with the "I'll just watch one more episode" attitude. I rope others in to do what I'm doing. Interesting…

3. Trashy Reality TV. OK, so I know I just talked about TV shows, but I must mention my love for reality TV, specifically those MTV shows. I love watching those Real World marathons. They're just so good! All the things that these people do on the shows is so ridiculous that it's entertaining. How could you not watch them?! Real World, The Hills, Laguna Beach and others, I'm sure, are just so addicting!

4. Shoes and Bags. What girl doesn't have an obsession with shoes and bags? I'm always trying to justify buying a nice Italian leather bag or cute pair of shoes. It's not like I have a whole closet full of stuff already. My friend says that I have a Steve Madden store in my closet (I do own other shoes too, you know) and I have such a weakness for leather bags that are like "butta" if you will. So soft and good-smelling. I'm a little ridiculous I realize.

So, really it could be worse. I do have addictions, but these are things that just make up the person I am. And it seems from my list that I can be easily entertained. I should go read a book now…
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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Confidence is Key

In an attempt to wake myself up from a dreadful writer's block at the office, I resolved to taking a break by getting out for a bit, basking in the gloriousness of the beautiful day (even though it was only for 20 minutes in my car), and getting myself a large DD coffee. Now, you think, nothing could have happened to her in 20 minutes, but alas, it did!

I like going to this one DD because it is one of the few drive-thrus and it happens to be very close to my office. My only restraint on the subject is that the guy hits on me every time he sees me. But it's not in that creepy, oh-my-goodness-how-dare-you-talk-to-me kind of way. He's kind of nice, but it just makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes. I can't explain it.

So, of course, each time I go there, I try to act as confident as can be because that's who I am, right? Strong, independent, successful (and obviously full of myself…just kidding!). Anyway, as I wait for a good long while (because the idiot in front of me continues an endless exchange back and forth of what he's been handed - I guess he can't be satisfied), the car finally pulls away. As I begin to inch forward, I almost knock my mirror completely off my car. And I think I said something like, "Ahhhhhh!!!" Real smooth and confident, you know. The guy was there, of course, and he said, "Oh, be careful! Ha ha ha." And then he gave me some small talk about working hard or hardly working.

So yes, that's the end of the story but the point is I'm always doing ridiculous things like that when I try to act all confident. Rather, when I try to act OVERLY-confident. It always backfires. My friend (I'll protect her identity for this one) was walking with her iPod and sunglasses on. She's thinking to herself, "Damn, I look pretty good right now." She's just walking (la, la, la) and all of a sudden SPLAT!! She totally tripped on the sidewalk (or her own two feet, I can't recall) and fell on the floor amidst Chinatown madness. She called me up in a fit laughter.

I guess that's all we can do. Believe in ourselves and stay confident. And when you fall, know that you can pick yourself back up, keep walking (just like poor little Miss USA), and replay the scenario in your head, while you laugh hysterically.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Random Google Musings

In fourth grade I learned that a "googol" was a very large number - a 1, followed by 100 zeros. In later school days, the word had a different meaning for me and for the world. In this day of technological advances Google has certainly become a powerhouse and it's more than just a search engine.

I use Google for so much each day. I get my email, my RSS feeds, and even this blog in which I currently write from Google. They have a homepage where you can put a couple of different features, including horoscopes, daily words, daily headlines, and crossword puzzles, among a plethora of other things. It's insane! Sure, there are other search engines but it seems as if Google is really the one taking over.

And the science behind it all is so fascinating to me. When I started my job I didn't know much about Google except that I could get email and look up any topic at all and come up with an answer. Now, I realize that the sponsored ads are there for a nice marketing strategy and that there is a very complex algorithm behind why certain websites show up above others in the organic search results. It's crazy!

My brother sent me an article from the Times this morning, which prompted me to write this blog. It seems that Google will now be trying its hand with radio, TV, and print. It's basically taking over the world. But, I wonder how good that actually is. It's basically like a monopoly taking over. It may take a while, but Google may one day be the only search engine left.

I guess businesses need to expand their services so that they can outweigh the competition and even provide consumers with even more options, but how healthy is that really and what does that actually mean for our society?
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Friday, May 11, 2007

Life.. It Happens..

It's so very strange, this time of year. It's not only a new beginning with springtime, but it's also a new beginning for graduates. My all-school commencement was yesterday and it was crazy! And it's funny because everyone keeps congratulating me for my great accomplishment. Others say, "Wait, didn't you graduate already?" Well yes, technically I did graduate in December, already got my very expensive piece of paper (aka my diploma) in the mail, and started my career in the real world. But at least I did get to go. After all, it was probably the only event I went to that was filled with such school spirit.

me, with my best friend at Graduation!!

I spent three and a half years in a place where I was just a number. I joined a sorority so that I could find my niche and a forum to start meeting new people. Everyone at my school, it seemed to me in my freshman year, was so cold and non-accepting. Dorm doors were never open and the people on my floor tended to judge everyone that walked off the elevator. I guess they had nothing better to do - I mean it's not like we lived in NYC, in the center of everything that was open 24/7.

Graduation put me in a place of wondering. I wondered what it would have been like if I had gone farther away from home. I wondered what it would be like to have gone to a smaller school. A smaller town? A religious school? What about picking a different major? I guess these are things that one can always obsess over. The what ifs of life. The road less traveled... and where am I going in the future? But I guess the only thing we can ever really do is accept the path we have chosen and take on the challenges, while rejoicing in our successes, and face life head-on. There's no room for regret.
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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ewww, You're Gross!!!

I've wanted to write about this forever. I really never had a forum to put it in or a real reason to let this emotion out, but here goes…

What is with people, particularly men, thinking it's OK to sexually harass you on the street? Making obscene noises and using dirty slurs with their filthy mouths is just not cool.

Hey, baby, why don' you back that fine ass-a-yurz-up?
MMM, you lookin' mighty fine.
Dayum, look at that fine ass. *whistle, whistle*

The last statement was said to me just Tuesday night by a passenger in a "bad-ass" Accord. I say "bad-ass" because it had tinted windows, two doors, and a bass-pumping radio blaring. Though I wrote "fine" I believed this disgusting human being to say "fat" at which point I whipped around and began screaming at him. My friend turned to me and asked me what was wrong and when she heard, she yelled right back at him, "Well, you're fat all over!!" She then tried to coax me into thinking that he said "fine" or that what he was really trying to say was "phat".

I've reached my breaking point. I will no longer pretend I didn't understand what someone said to me in Spanish and I refuse to hide behind my iPod when I can actually hear what was said. How dare you think you can belittle me or get all sexual with me on the street. What do they expect my response to be?

"Yes, sir, please come and take me now on the street. Your profanities flatter me so and I'm so desperate as to want to go at it with a sweaty, disgusting, horny delivery man."

Are you out of your mind? I'm an educated, young woman who shouldn't have to fall victim to this. I feel like there's some sort of law against it but it's just never taken into account or enforced. It's absolutely disgusting and I'm sick of it. There's no excuse. I don't care if you're homeless or drunk or whatever - if you had any shred of human decency you wouldn't talk to me. This is precisely why I walk around New York with a scowl on my face. Don't come near me because I'll kick your ass. But that just provokes more comments.

Hey, baby, why don ju smile?

No reason to smile at you, buddy. You make me sick.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring, Is that You?

After enjoying a weekend of beautiful weather and some days where I didn't need to even wear a jacket, I am slapped back into reality with the weather report. Though yesterday was about to break heat records, tomorrow brings rain and temperatures in the low 50s. What is wrong with the world?? This weather is crazy.

Spring is my favorite time of year. I delight in the sound of the birds chirping and the pleasure of opening my windows to let the fresh air envelop my room. It feels so nice to go from the cold weather to something warm. Perhaps that's why the Fall is so sad - you just know what lies ahead, as a chill overcomes your body.

But we're over a month into Spring already and we haven't had the warming up of the weather. I like the seasons. They have their own individual characters and really put the times of year into perspective. If it's snowing on Christmas (though so cliche) it's an exciting time. However, this year we've gone from freezing to extremely high temperatures. No wonder everyone gets so sick. I want to see our tulips in full bloom. In years past, by this time they'd be there (and I know this because my birthday always had an abundance of tulips planted by my grandma).

In any case, I hope tomorrow is the last of the lower temperatures and we can finally bask in the glory of the warm sun and beautiful weather.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Gym: Friend or Foe?

The gym. Everyone's worst nightmare. You join with every intention of being good and going as much as you can. But let's face it - you think of any excuse possible not to go. Just last week I decided not to go because it was raining. Why? I don't know - it was just an excuse. It's been raining for over a week and I went away so you can imagine that it's been a while since I've gone. And I know I have to get back into it...

When I used to travel into the city everyday for school and work, I would walk everywhere. For as long as I can remember, I've been an active gal. I started dancing when I was two. Eventually I added in some softball and intense varsity basketball in high school. College brought me to living, working, and going to school in NYC. No need to go to the gym too much because you're getting a ton of exercise walking everywhere. And I didn't just lollygag either - I'm one of those get-to-where-you-need-to-go-as-quickly-as-possible New Yorkers. So that was always a workout. Add studying abroad and backpacking around Europe for a semester and you've got your own workout that keeps you in tip-top shape (although I'd lose my breath going up and down stairs).

So when I landed a job less than ten minutes from my house I decided that I had better do something to make myself a little more active, rather than stationary. What better way than to join the gym? And it's down the block from my office so I really have no excuse not to go. I like to get there at least three weekdays and one day over the weekend. I don't always stick to that but I try to work hard when I'm there. And as much as it sucks when you first start out, it gets gradually easier. I feel so refreshed and good about myself when I leave (especially after I take a nice shower). It's also a great place to kind of think and reflect on things. I get my iPod pumping with my classic Staten Island fist-pumping music and lose myself in the machines. It's great.

But it's also so easy to fall off the gym habit. Some things I think that can help all of you who are just like me, include gym buddies and a set schedule. The fact that I'm right down the block from the gym and I don't go home before I work out helps me immensely. If I went home, I'd kind of mull around and probably not leave my house again. I need to go because I'm not one of those girls who believes in diets and, like I said, I'm an active person by nature.

In reality, I'm already dreading getting back there and I can't really explain it. Some days Gym is my friend and some days, not so much. Since I've been back from my trip, I keep saying I need to clean my room. The room's still a mess. I've made an excuse everyday. I guess I'm just a fickle gym-goer. I need to work that out...
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Clapping Isn't Necessary. Really...

Let me pose a question, if I may. Why do people clap when a pilot lands a plane?

I just got back from a little weekend getaway to Florida and when we landed there last Thursday night, there were roars of clapping throughout the plane. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that the plane landed safely and everyone should be commended for a job well done, but is clapping really necessary? I don't really think it is.

Think about it. Do you get a round of applause after you complete each task successfully at your job? My editors don't clap for me when I write an article. Sure, they tell me I've done a good job (there's maybe a pat on the back or a handshake for some of you) and I appreciate it very much, but they don't clap for me. It's almost like when a baby takes his/her first steps. Now, there's something to clap about. It's a big accomplishment. But a pilot does this on a daily basis - sometimes multiple times in a day and they have help from the control tower to gauge where to go exactly. What is this reaction?

Perhaps people are extremely nervous and the anticipation of landing is so great that when they finally touch down, they clap to let out some tension. Maybe these people thought they'd crash and the thought that they are still alive delights them so that they need to jump for joy (but seeing as the fasten seatbelt sign is still illuminated, they settle for clapping?). Personally, I thank the pilot and the flight attendants as I exit the plane - I don't even think the pilots can hear you clap from the cockpit. I think that's polite and in order.

I know clapping shows appreciation but the sound can be startling when you're already nervous. So, my question remains to all you plane clappers out there - "Why?!?"
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Height is a wonderful thing!"

I'm five feet, eight inches tall. I'm normally self-conscious about my height. In fact, there are so many pictures where I hunch over because all the people I'm with are at least six inches shorter than me. And I'm usually wearing heels because I'm attracted to them. I love shoes!! But why be so self-conscious?? It's really a blessing to be tall. Let me explain the title of my blog.

Fifth grade brought on the basketball years. This is when I decided that I couldn't do basketball and dance because of the time commitment. I went with basketball, even though I knew I didn’t know the first thing about playing. And I had been dancing for ten years. What a change! My coach threw me on the court and I basically ran around like a chicken without a head. I looked completely ridiculous. I guess it paid off though because I eventually became captain of the junior varsity team in high school and everyone banked on Amanda leading the team to victory.

My mom still tells the story of one of my first games. She was sitting there watching (as I ran like a clueless little fifth grader around the CYO gym) and there was a parent from the opposing team sitting behind her. The woman kept referring to her tall drink of water for a daughter. "Height is a wonderful thing," she would utter in her screechingly high-pitched voice. My mother wanted to smack her. And here I come, running down the court. I blocked this tall girl's shot. And she did in fact tower over me. My mom was so proud. That silenced the woman pretty quickly. But now, I think back to that time and that woman's statement.

There's no need to be self-conscious. How many models are really tall, with really long legs? That's apparently attractive. (Not saying I'm model material). But being tall is what makes me, ME! That's just one of my characteristics. And while I'll never be able to date a guy who's shorter than me, I have begun to accept my height. It's funny actually because everyone knows to call me when they can't reach something in a high cabinet. In fact, my friends will comment on how tall I am and then say how they hate being so short. The grass is always greener...

Height certainly IS a wonderful thing!
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Monday, April 9, 2007

Ode to the Post-It

The post-it note. It's one of my favorite things. I can't pinpoint exactly why or when I became infatuated with them, but I love those colorful squares with a burning passion in my soul! Ok, maybe I'm a little exaggerated but think of how great the invention of the post-it really is.

It's the ultimate organizational tool. That's probably why I like it so much. I like to have order in my life. And with bright colors and shapes (because clearly I'm five years old) what could be better? You should see my desk and my Mac desktop at work. It's loaded with various colors that remind me of certain appointments or stories that I need to work on. They also serve as quick reference sheets of little things that you may forget from time to time.

For example, being grammatically obsessed as I am (see prior blog), I always have my AP Stylebook on hand to double-check how to represent different words. Since I work with education I'm always making sure that I keep bachelor's degree and Bachelor of Arts correct with respect to the possessive. But for some reason I can never remember which is acceptable in which case. So, I wrote out a little post-it with the acceptable spellings and possessives. These post-its happen to be a little larger and ruled with lines, but it's a great way for me to just glance over at the note and not have to flip through my AP Book! I know it's crazy but they are fun.

One day, I discovered the program "Stickies" on my iBook. It was pretty exciting but I could never live without my physical hard copies of the original post-its. And I have pretty pink hearts too. I gotta say, I'm not a fan of the original pale yellow. I'm ridiculous. I realize this. But (in the words of Sheryl Crow) if it makes me happy, it can't be that bad. Right?
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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Generation iPod

I was in the City this weekend and I was on the train, minding my own business, listening to my iPod. I'm sitting there just kind of moving to the beat and wondering if anyone else can hear my music at all because I realized it was so loud. But I was on the train and the train is loud so why not pump up the music? As I looked around I realized that probably no one could hear me because they were all listening to their own iPods. Everyone has got one these days!

I guess I had been mildly aware of this fact before, but it never hit me just how many iPods have been sold. Apple really does have an empire. But I got to thinking, what are those people actually listening to? It seems you can come up with a lot of clues to a person's musical tastes just by looking at them. There was a man sitting across from me, well-dressed, probably in his mid- to late-forties. He wasn't in a suit, but rather more business casual. But since it was Friday it's likely that he does work in a professional place - business casual is probably his equivalent to my dress-down-in-jeans Friday. Before he put on his iPod he was holding his ears, for what looked like dear life. Sure, the train was passing a screeching point in the tunnel but I hardly think it was reason to hold your ears like a five-year-old. In any case, in the time that I perused the rest of the car for more iPod victims, I guess he realized that playing loud music would be better. He had put one on himself! He began tapping his foot to the beat (and though I don't know exactly what he was listening to, I'm pretty sure he had no rhythm!). I'd have to peg him as a classical music listener.

But don't judge a book by its cover either. Suddenly, the doors opened at City Hall and this tall, lanky teen got on. He had longer blonde hair and was wearing cargo pants with a long-sleeved thermal shirt underneath his short-sleeved polo. Of course he had his iPod in hand, and at first I thought it was pink - it turned out to be red (so he was probably supporting the RED campaign). In any case, I immediately pegged him as the California-surfer stereotype. He was probably listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers or maybe Weezer. And just as I thought I had him all figured out, he pulled a CD out of his Virgin Megastore bag. Tiziano Ferro. Now, I'll admit, I had never heard of this guy. But from my worldly experience I could tell that he was an Italian singer of some sort. When I looked him up on Amazon, he was indeed an Italian pop singer. So what could he have been listening to? Maybe some Josh Groban? I don't even know.

And just as I changed my mind and decided he was an international Swiss student studying abroad, he pulled out the Family Guy DVDs. Kid's got lots of interests...
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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Give Dirt a Chance!

My all-time favorite show, aside from Sex and the City, is Friends. I can never get enough of network TV re-runs or the DVDs that I own, for that matter. They always make me laugh and I usually make reference to the show by reciting lines daily that fit into my conversations. It's such a classic show! And though it went on for a fabulous ten years, I was so sad to see it go. Thursday nights would never be the same (well, until Grey's Anatomy found itself into my life hehe).

So when I heard that Courteney Cox was coming back to the small screen I was extremely ecstatic. I love all the friends – my favorite being Jennifer Aniston (many people have told me I resemble her, which I don't see but I'm extremely flattered!!). This show would be called Dirt and would star Cox as the ruthless tabloid editor, Lucy Spiller. I hadn't heard much about it except a bit of a buzz. When my editor asked me if I had seen it, I realized that I had missed the first episode. When it ran again on FX, I made sure to watch it. At first, I thought that it was OK, not getting too excited about it. But I decided that I'd give it another chance. Well, let me tell you, thank goodness I did because I love Dirt.

The season just ended on Tuesday and I can't believe I'll have to be without it for a long while. I read a review in the Times prior to watching the finale and was floored by the negative stance. I don't think that it should get such a bad rap. I am completely hooked. The review claimed that Cox had no desire to act and it showed through in her performance. Well, let's take a second to analyze the role. Cox is playing a tabloid editor who will stop at nothing to get her celebrity gossip. She has no emotions and is supposed to be completely cold to all those around her. It's not that she doesn't get excited about acting, it's that she's playing her character extremely well. Do you think you could do that? She delivers her lines flawlessly and really makes you hate her character, while sometimes making you feel bad for someone who could be so unfeeling.

The finale was completely intense and I was extremely nervous at times. I really felt the anticipation and was so sad that it was going to end. The final scene left me wanting more! I really do hope they renew the show because I think that it's a great show. Though it's racy and scandalous in certain respects (I told my mother not to watch it), I think they do an excellent job with what they are trying to portray. So watch it when it comes on again and just give it a chance. And don't get so caught up in Cox's character because she's certainly not Monica Geller anymore...

For all you who would like to see the Times review:
Disposable Friendships and a Fight to the Finish
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Easter Bunny Scares Me

When you were little, did you freak out every time your mom wanted to take you to the mall to get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny or Santa? Did your mom even want to take you? Or am I the only one? I'm certain I am not, as there was always at least an hour wait on that dreaded line. Well, in any case, I used to get so upset at the thought of the dreaded Christmas-time/Easter-time picture. I have the pics to prove it!

My mother used to convince me to get my picture taken with the promise of getting to ride the train afterwards. I didn't like it, but I wanted to ride the train, even though it only traveled in an oval about ten times. So I would reluctantly agree. I can remember one picture-taking instance when I was about three years old. I was terrified and my brother was a newborn. So, of course, I decided that it would be best to stand off to the side of Santa, whilst he tried to calm my screaming brother and smile. My face is priceless because it's the kind of "OK, I'm victorious - I don't have to sit on Santa's lap - but I'm still kind of scared" smile. What a little sneak!!

Well, last night, I was with two friends at the mall. We were sitting in Starbucks, slowly sipping on some coffee fraps, when they spotted the Easter Bunny. The comment was something like "OMG! That bunny is kind of creepy!" And I'm thinking to myself, "What are you talking about??" not remembering that Easter is less than two weeks away. So I looked over and saw him. He was standing with his back to me about 300 feet away, but I just got so creeped out. I can't help it!

There is something extremely unnatural about a giant bunny to me. He doesn't actually exist. Why is a human dressed as an animal? I'm creeped out by all these people. And I think to myself that it has to be a horrible job to have to dress up like one of them. It's hot in there and you've got screaming children jumping all over you or running away from you. Do you really think they can clean that giant head? I think not. That's just unsanitary.

But in any case, I have a very big problem with humans dressed as giant animals. Forget about the Disney characters or that large-and-in-charge purple dinosaur I used to watch with the kids I baby-sat back in the day. It's very scary. I don't know why I'm so scarred by this, but I guess it's kind of like a clown (I have a problem with those as well). Though I realize I'm totally rejecting fantasy, just think about it. Do you want a giant mouse with a fake smile painted across its head to come near you? I do not. It's just not cool.
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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Grammatical Curse

I was watching SATC last night -- it's one of my all-time favorites -- and Carrie runs into Natasha, Big's new, much younger wife. She attempts to go to a "Women in the Arts" luncheon in order to get a glimpse of the woman Big picked to be his (after all, he did not pick Carrie). But as it turns out, Natasha is a no-show. Later on, Carrie receives a note from Natasha thanking her for her attendance at the luncheon and apologizing for her own absence. "Sorry I couldn't be their." THEIR!! Carrie immediately calls Miranda and makes fun of Natasha because she's obviously an idiot. It's so funny to me because that is exactly the way I feel about grammar! I'm completely obsessed!

It's the weirdest thing, but as I edit my own work or the work of others, it seems that the errors jump off the page (or screen) and scream to me that they are wrong. I don't know when I developed this talent, if you will. Perhaps it's genetic because my mother is similar. But I'll be reading a website or a magazine and I see the gramatically incorrect sentences or words and I cringe. I can think of two specific instances. One was about a year ago, when I was in Spain. I was reading a well-known American fashion magazine, whose name shall remain anonymous, and I spotted an error. Now, to me, this was completely absurd. There is absolutely no reason with all the staff - writers, copy editors, fact checkers - that this little error should have slipped through the cracks. It's completely unacceptable. And this was a monthly magazine, which means that there was ample time to detect the mistake. It's a bit more forgivable in a weekly, but even then it drives me nuts!

The situation is similar to the website that I viewed a couple of weeks ago while doing research for an article. Now, I'm not talking a website that is put out by just anyone. This was an organization's website, meaning that the group has members and supports a specific cause. They are also well-known. There's just no room for such mistakes, especially with all the spellchecks in Word and e-mail programs. It just shouldn't happen!!

But here's a funny oops-Amanda-messed-up story. Last year, when I was interning for a rather well-known magazine (one with a circulation of about 900,000), I detected a mistake on the website. I immediately e-mailed the web editor to alert her because, as you already know, it drives me crazy. Well, in this e-mail I said something like this:

"I noticed a mistake on the website and since I'm a real stickler for grammar, I thought I'd point it out. You see, I think the credibility of a publication certainly goes down when there is a misspelling. Blah blah blah."

The next day, I came in and checked my mail and I had a reply. She thanked me for pointing out the error and told me it had been corrected. At the end of the e-mail she added:

"And my name is Betsy, not Besty, stickler."

Well, I was mortified when I read this. I immediately thought back to the day before and realized that I had written the e-mail as I was running out the door and, as a result, I didn't read it over. That's something I never do! But I couldn't make excuses. My hands had typed faster than my eye could see. It was a definite mistake but I laughed so hard because I looked like an idiot - some stickler!!

In any case, just thought I'd share the woes of the grammar world and how I am completely in love with words. And I love when people use big words. Yet, I'm not so big on reading books. So now you see, I'm a writer who doesn't write or read for pleasure and who's obsessed with grammar. Oh man...
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Simply Fabulous

I'm not too sure what possessed me to sign up for my own blog. Perhaps it's all the blogging I'm exposed to at work. You see, I'm a writer for an online magazine devoted to helping those who are looking to go to college or some type of career school. I talk to so many people constantly and I am always writing at work and even blogging for our MySpace page (which is totally fabulous so check it out -->

But I was never one of those writers who kept a constant journal and that's what I think a blog is, in a way. It helps you chronicle certain parts of your life, including events, emotions, and earth-shattering drama. But in other ways I think it also is an outlet to get your ideas out to other people. And why not, right? It's odd that I'm blogging, though, because I always say that I'm a writer who doesn't write. I never wrote poems because I wanted to express my emotions - I wrote them because I was enrolled in a Creative Writing class at school. But I think that this will be a good change for me and a good way to allow me to speak because let's face it, I can do my fair share of talking...

It's also hilarious that it's 11:30pm and I'm still awake. I'm usually out by 10:30 or 11 (though I do manage to catch my 11pm fix of SATC on the WB every so often). I'm often referred to as "grandma" by my college friends, but we'll get to that in a later post I'm most definitely sure. So I just wanted to welcome you to my blog which is "Simply Fabulous" (as am I -- I'm not full of myself; but if you don't believe in yourself, who will?)
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