Thursday, March 31, 2011

The N'Harmonics are the KINGS of the final moment.

Last moment: um, yes. That's you, N'Harmonics, doing something that no other group would have ever imagined doing. Hoping to see you at Lincoln Center!

David Letterman - Steve Martin's Dueling Banjos

Earlier tonight, my roommate and I were fawning over Father of the Bride, both a favorite of hers and mine. We love how cute Steve Martin and Diane Keaton are together. We love how Steve Martin hates that hot dogs and hot dog buns are sold in differing quantities. We love how awkward it is for him when Kimberly Williams and that guy who's only in Father of the Bride mack it out after a big fight on the stairs. "Steve Martin is kind of sexy," we both admitted to one another. We weren't even drunk.

I remembered that recently I got an email from Joe's Pub alerting me that Steve Martin was among the guest artists in March. I scrambled to get tickets to see him perform with his bluegrass band, but all three of his shows sold out in mere minutes, so I was left out in the cold. However, my roommate and I went on a Steve-Martin-and-banjo YouTube spree and were IMPRESSED. Wow. He's really amazing. His fingers fly about like crazy, and his focus is so serious, you'd never even think he was a comedian or a writer or an actor or anything else than a banjoist. (I thought that maybe I made that word up, but no squiggly red lines appeared, so it looks like we're good to go.) Check out the duet below with his Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass award winner, Noam Pikelny. It doesn't address Mr. Martin's talents as aggressively as other performances do, but it's a fun one:

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Daddy's here thanks to an organ donor"

Sign Up Today

"Daddy's here thanks to you being NOT"

The father and daughter in this ad don't look alike

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A late-night subway poem?

Small boy, chewing on every accessible part of his coat
An even smaller version of him, his sister
Wearing an Apple Bottoms jacket
(I didn't know they made those for kids
Isn't "Apple Bottoms" kind of a sexy thing?)
Parents, just kids themselves
Dad sharing out into space
His little daughter's little hand in his
I can see his boxers, how is sagging still in?
Sharing an iPod Nano with Mom
The daughter fits into the crook of his arm
Small boy kicks his legs
Small girl sucks her thumb
"I think DeKalb is next"
Dad bops his head to hip-hop
Swing the purse
Grab the girl like a monkey
I want to say "You have a lovely family"
But I don't.

NYU N'Harmonics perform Kimbra's "Settle Down" at ICCA Semifinals

So proud of my college a cappella group. This won Best Arrangement this weekend at the ICCA semifinals!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A surprising incident on a Sunday night

I've really wanted to write this for a while now, but I haven't had the time to actually sit myself down and write it, so here it is.

I work as a waitress. It pays the bills, allows me to build up some arm muscles by carrying plates, and gives me insight on the curious humans that walk the Earth with me. This particular group that sat at one of my tables several Sunday nights ago were an interesting bunch. They consisted of two young women and a man who looked slightly older than them. He wore a huge gold chain necklace and sat one on side of the booth, while the ladies sat on the other side. The women wore deep cleavage-baring shirts; happy Sunday! I couldn't tell if one of them was with the guy, if they were both trying to woo him, or whatever. They all nursed Hennessy and Cokes. The guy ordered sushi, which I found surprising because he had mentioned that he'd never tried sushi before. He did go with the California roll, a safe choice: no raw fish, and the familiar mayonnaise-like taste and texture are easy to handle. One of the girls also ordered sushi, and the other girl outdid them with a huge steak.

Is any of that interesting? Anyway...

They were friendly to me and drank a lot over the course of the evening, their bill totaling to just over $200. I figuratively rubbed my hands together in glee, anticipating at least a $30 tip. After I dropped the check on their table, I eagerly watched the gentleman count a large number of $20 bills. Ahhh, I breathed with happiness, Cash. Having waited tables, cash now makes me really excited. Gross, right? It's because cash tips aren't taxed, whereas the credit card tips have taxes deducted from them before going into my bank account. Whenever I see cash, I'm like, Awww, yeah. It's a crude life that I lead.

I approached the table, tossed them a huge smile and picked up the check and the pile of cash. "I'll bring you back some change!" I beamed, but before I could walk away from the table the guy grinned at me and replied, "Keep the change." Oh, love it. I love the classic, sassy, I'm-richer-than-you "Keep the change." It makes me feel a little bit like a prostitute, but I like it. Yeah, I'll keep it. I'll keep it real nice. Thank you, sir.

I thanked them, wished them a good night and smiled brightly as I walked away. Returning to the computers by the kitchen, I fervently counted the cash. Oh, it was gorgeous. Twenty dollars, forty dollars, sixty, eighty, one-hundred...gorgeous, crisp $20 bills...

That's strange. I counted again. No way. I counted again. Yup, it was true. The asshole had left me $210 on a $200 tab. Actually, the tab was like $201.78, so really he'd left me about $8.

I sauntered over to my manager and showed him the cash. He counted it. He looked like someone at a Vegas casino, counting it and fanning the bills out in front of him. "What table was this?" he asked me, his eyes wide. I told him the table number, and he peered over his shoulder. Shaking his head, he handed me back the money. "Yikes. I'm sorry."

I stuffed the cash into my book and groaned. Come on. Eight dollars. Two hours of time for eight dollars? What is my life? Things would be so much easier if I were a toilet paper heiress. But before I could sink into total self-loathing, one of the girls from the table approached me.

"Hey," she said. "Did he only give you $210?"

Shocked, I looked past her to the table. The guy had gone to the bathroom. "Um," I said. "Yes, he did."

"I thought so," she shook her head. "I'm sorry about that. Here." She stuffed a $20 into my hand and turned away.

I was moved. I didn't know what else to think, except for That was a nice thing to do. She could've just let her man (or whoever) give me $8 and turn a blind eye, go home and go to sleep and forget the whole thing. But she waited until he went to the bathroom, opened her wallet, took out her own money and sought me out. Maybe she didn't even consult her friend. She wanted me to have that dumb $20 bill.

When the guy came back from the bathroom, I returned to the table, still touched by this girl's kind act. As I tried to find some way to thank her, I smiled and took away their napkins and empty glasses. "Hey," said the guy. With his dirty napkin draped over my arm, I looked at him, my mouth frozen into a grin. What came next is still a mystery to me.

"You like that tip?" He asked me. What the hell? "You like it? Was that OK?"

I didn't know how to respond. I just smiled. What was he talking about? Did he realize he gave me an $8 tip? Did he think that was generous on a $200 tab? Did he mean to leave me $250 or something? What?

I continued to smile. "It's because of that gorgeous smile," he continued. "You earned a tip like that."

I had to speak words. "Thank you, sir," I replied. "Have a good night." As I turned away, I caught the eye of the girl who'd given me the $20. She, too, had a frozen grin on her face, to match mine. I took one last look at her and tried to communicate my thanks before heading back to the kitchen. I imagine she left a few minutes later, and in the car ride home, thought to herself, "Man. This guy has no idea."

Friday, March 11, 2011

A good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it

Additionally: reading about Ronald Reagan made me research his assassination attempt, which led me to some other Wikipedia article, which led me to another Wikipedia article, which led me to Ted Kennedy's Wikipedia page. And then this picture, which I have seen at least 100 times before, bewitched me:

I love this photograph of the Kennedy brothers. The first thing I notice is, Damn, those are some sweet blazers. Is that wool? I want one. Secondly, I notice that they look so similar, yet have their minute differences. Ted looks the tallest, John is the broadest, and Robert has the widest smile. They look so proud to be who they are. They're making history and they know it. Looking at their young, bright faces reminds me of what Ted spoke at Robert's funeral. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: "Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not."

I Love You, Ronnie

When I returned home this evening, I opened my mailbox to discover that the two books I ordered from Amazon as research materials for The First Ladies Project had arrived. Oh, joy! One of them I'd especially been excited for: I Love You, Ronnie, a collection of letters from Ronald Reagan to Nancy Reagan over the course of their courtship and marriage, with dabbles of memoir-esque recollections by Mrs. Reagan. I flipped through it at a Barnes and Noble at some point and was stunned by how much of a softie "Ronnie" was. Each letter was so sweet, so worshipful of his wife, and, in the context of his cold-hearted presidency, were all the more surprising.

M - is for the misery of which I have none.
O - means only that without you I would die.
M - is for how very much (when we're apart) I miss you.
M - is for the million ways I love you.
Y - Yippie!!! I'm so happy.

Take them all together they spell
My wife, my love, my life.
Happy Mother's Day!

From an admirer (if you're curious
my name is at the top of the page.)
& I'm on the next pillow over.

I MEAN, WHAT IS THAT. IS THAT NOT SAP CITY OR WHAT. I'm obsessed with this book. Dare I say it? Ronnie Reagan is a dollface. That is what I'm taking away from this book. Oh, and also that Nancy Reagan was a size 2 her whole life, it seems. Damn you, lady.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When will collegiate a cappella tackle this?

Okay, this is about four years too late, but this is one of my all-time favorite Rihanna songs---hell, songs in general, I'll admit it---and it's basically WRITTEN to be covered by an a cappella group. Listen to those background oohs in that chorus. Trevor Bachman of the N'Harmonics, hello? Please tackle this for my sweet heart.

The fan video below is dumb, but try to ignore that.

AA to JA

I'm working on this new production with a few PHTS women called The First Ladies Project. It's going to be a historical-comedy about the role of the First Lady in United States history, fan fiction-esque with dabbles of reality. You know, once we finish writing it.

I'm currently reading this dusty old book that I found on my dad's bookshelf a couple weeks ago: The Book of Abigail and John, which is a compilation of selected letters from their courtship to their marriage to their political partnership. It's funny, they write as if they're characters in Shakespeare plays. Their ways of going about saying things are so extended, I actually burst into laughter at one point because John Adams closed a letter with "All right! I'm going to Bed!" True, Bed was capitalized, but it was so similar to contemporary speech it made me laugh.

I'm loving this one portion of a letter from Abigail to John:

Braintree october 16 1774

I dare not express to you at 300 hundred miles distance how ardently I long for your return. I have some very miserly Wishes; and cannot consent to your spending one hour in Town till at least I have had you 12. The Idea plays about my Heart, unnerves my hand whilst I write, awakens all the tender sentiments that years have encreased and matured, and which when with me were every day dispensing to you.

I imagine Abigail alone in a big house, her bedroom adorned with dozens of candles at night, so that she may feel lit up, visible in the dark. She sleeps in the middle of the bed so that she may feel bigger. The curtains she leaves wide open; she wants to be awakened by the sun at the earliest possible moment. I like that she capitalizes “Wishes,” “Idea,” and “Heart,” as if they are real beings who live, breathe and make things happen.

This post has no end, except that you should follow The First Ladies Project on Twitter. We try to make it fun for you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

How does she do her hair like that? Is it a braid? Is it a braid-bun? Or a simple chignon? I need to know. LOVE the hair height.

I can't get over Adele's live version of "Someone Like You," which---excuse me for sounding like Adele's mom---is available for FREE on So go to that. And click, and open in iTunes, and cry at the sound of her voice.

I also just went ahead and said, "Fuck it" (figuratively, I didn't actually, because I am home alone and I don't talk to myself) and bought her album on iTunes. I hadn't bought it yet because I had a feeling Amazon MP3, my bestie, would put it up for, like, $3.99 one of these days. For those who don't know, Amazon MP3 is an angel doing work for the people. Not to sound like Amazon MP3's mom, but they have Daily Deals on top-selling albums for $3.99 or $4.99. It's amazing. iTunes can suck it.

Anyway, go download that Adele song. I made fun of it for being titled "Someone Like You (Performed Live In Her Home)"---because doesn't it sound like Adele was lounging naked fast-forwarding through Will & Grace or something---but it's not to made fun of. It's to be worshipped as a religion.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Flying Delta for the cookies

I’m sitting on a Delta flight as I write this. Shaina Taub’s The Daughters rings in my ears and my fingers are sticky from munching on dried plums, a treat I picked up from Publix before I left. Publix, the big grocery store of the southeast, sells this giant bag of dried plums that is somehow incomparable to any other dried fruit I’ve ever had. They’re not even from Florida, they’re from California, yet somehow they are the perfect texture, contain the perfect amount of sweetness and moisture...whenever I travel to Florida, I always make sure to bring a bag home to New York.

I’m also enjoying another staple snack of my trip: Delta’s complimentary biscotti. These crunchy, ginger snap-like, brown sugar-encrusted cookies are some of the most delicious treats I’ve ever been fortunate enough to stuff in my mouth. (Insert dirty joke or “That’s what she said” here.) Their presentation isn’t saliva-inducing: red wrapper, I could do without you. They taste so homemade, I’d rather see them lined on a baking tray. The flight attendant could walk down the aisle wearing oven mitts and holding the tray out to anyone who was interested. “Biscotti? Biscotti? Biscotti? Don’t take more than two!”

I must find out this Delta family recipe, so that I may bake these delicious goodies at my own home. Or, I could just fly a Delta flight whenever I get the craving. Ah, anything for the $400 dollar (complimentary) biscotti!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hotties that are dead :(

Today I spent some quality father-daughter time with my dad. He likes to introduce me to old movies that he thinks should be integrated into my artistic mind (previously, we have screened 12 Angry Men, Rope, Dog Day Afternoon and Five Easy Pieces, to name a few), so today we watched The Ox-Bow Incident on his fantastic fifty-two inch television. The 1943 movie is about a group of townsmen, who, upon learning that their beloved horse-ridin', cattle-raisin', plaid-shirt-wearin' fellow rancher has been murdered, set out to find his killer. They stumble upon three men in the mountains who they believe to be the murderers; cowboy hats ensue.

But mostly the film is about how goddamn sexy Henry Fonda was:

Wow. The movie is black and white, but you can tell that Henry Fonda has THE MOST SHIMMERY BLUE EYES. Oh my wow. And what is he wearing around his neck? It's like an ascot, but yankable. The most important incident in The Ox-Bow Incident is at the beginning of the movie, when Harry Morgan tosses a bucket of water on Henry Fonda and his shirt sticks to his flawless body. If only Henry Fonda didn't die five years before I was born, because I'd be all up on that.

Anyway, you should see The Ox-Bow Incident. It's an American classic, as is this picture of Henry Fonda toying with the zipper on his pants.