Monday, May 16, 2011

Jon Stewart hosting benefit for Story Pirates PURPOSEFULLY the same night as my brother's graduation

So, it turns out May 18-20 is a suspiciously popular time frame for epic events this year....

Six months ago, I marked my calendar to reserve those dates for my brother's graduation from the University of New Orleans (congrats, little bro!). This trip down to south Louisiana is something I've looked forward to with the gleeful anticipation of a seven-year-old awaiting Christmas Day.

I love New Orleans. (I mean, what's not to love?) Thursday through Sunday, I expect to enjoy an abundance of things I just can't get in New York, such as: drinking on Bourbon Street; beignets at Cafe du Monde; delicious, Cajun-style seafood; French Quarter Blues and Jazz street musicians; and, of course, a chance to spend time with my incredible family. It's sure to be a fabulous, 'Nawlins-style weekend of merrymaking, and I couldn't ask for a better time than the one planned to celebrate H.'s graduation May 19-22.
Here's the thing. A disproportionate number of email invites for events scheduled during that exact time frame have recently flooded my inbox. This leads me to the sole possible logical conculsion that the universe--or worse--a specific person in the universe (ahem, Jon Stewart) is out to get me.

Mr. Stewart is the obvious culprit in this, mainly because his event's invite was the first I received of these unfortunately dated opportunities for fun and general amusement. This means that the only possible explanation for the following deluge of emails is that they were Jon's whiplash-like reaction to my polite refusal. I'm fairly certain that, in a huff, he sent out an email to all of my friends and affiliated groups asking for them to schedule events around that time frame. His motivation? To corroborate both the veracity of my excuse and my allegiance to him as a fellow lover of funny things.

And I have to say, Jon: Well played, sir. Well played.

Below is an abbreviated list of events taking place over the course of the next several days that I was invited to at Jon's behest. As you will see, his infiltration of my inner circle ran deep, even touching my across-the-hall neighbors:

-Across-the-hall neighbors' rooftop party
-A meetup happy hour with my favorite blog, The Hairpin

-A New York SMU/TCU alumni mixer
-My friend's band's show (Ill Pastel)

Because I am otherwised engaged May 20, I of course politely declined each of these events, thwarting his plan to prove me a closet-hater of comedy! In short, I win.

I'd like to take a brief moment on this blog, though, to make amends with Mr. Stewart.

Everyone please note that his event was by far the coolest one I'll miss. He's hosting a benefit for this charity I love called Story Pirates. They promote the theater, literacy, writing, and the arts in underprivelidged schools by travelling to classrooms, asking students to write their own stories based on writing prompts, and then performing a few of the stories in front of the kids. The stories are always hilarious, and the kids get such a kick out of seeing their work come to life. The stuff this organization does is truly awesome.

Jon Stewart is only one of many well-known comedians who'll be performing for the event benefiting Story Pirates this Friday, and it should be a fantastic time. I would have gone if not for my brother's graduation in New Orleans, (I swear it's true, Jon. I would have gone! And I'm not "just saying that." Please just stop tortuing me with more fun things I could have done this weekend!! Have a heart!).  

Well Jon, as you can see, I declined all other invites for this weekend, which means you're safe on my list of events I'd second most want to go to. I'm sorry my brother's epic graduation in fabulous New Orleans trumps your benefit, truly. But, on the bright side of this tragedy, most of the people reading the email invite you sent out for the event were probably not invited to my brother's graduation, and will therefore very likely go to the benefit!

And also, I wrote this blog post, which means that anyone reading this who's locally based or who wants to splurge on a plane ticket for this worthy evening now has all the details :)

I hope this satisfies you, Jon, and that we can still be friends.

Finally, this goes without saying, but I really must ask that you stop telling my friends/groups to plan all of their future events for this upcoming week, please and thank you.

Kind Regards (and big, sloppy kisses),


Monday, May 9, 2011

Please, guys, just use a cup.

There are several great things about living in Chinatown. It's walking distance to the Lower East Side, TriBeCa, and Soho. All the subway stations are close by, N R Q, 4 5 6, 1 2 3, C E, the J....nearly anything I want to get on to go anywhere is here. And the apartment is as cheap as you can get in Manhattan, otherwise known as the burrough that will bleed you dry for rent and then ask you if you could maybe try the other vein.

Some things aren't so great about living here, though.

On my way to work, or on my way home from work, or walking out the door to go to a street fair or go to a movie (ha! at $15 a ticket, who am I kidding, I never go to the movies. That's what Netflix is for), or to go to a bar (far more likely...) I inevitably encounter this scenario:

A Chinese man walking in front of me. This sounds like an OK situation, right? Let me elaborate. 

These men invariably walk with both hands behind their backs, like they tell you to do in choir practice. Also, fine by me. Even a little endearing. Additionally, they typically roll their own cigarettes. Economical, right? I can appreciate that.  They stick these hand-rolled cigarettes into their mouths and smoke them, while walking with their hands behind their backs.  This, I find impressive. I can barely walk and talk on my cell phone at the same time. To walk and smoke hands-free? That's nothing short of Olympian. But, there's more. 

They walk, hand-rolled cigarettes between their lips, not ashing, for blocks. The stench is pretty powerful. Which annoys me, but only slightly, because although the smell is awful I understand (and appreciate) that we live in America, where it isn't illegal to smoke in the great outdoors, and if you don't want to hold your cigarette and would rather walk with a stick of ash 2-inches long dangling precariously from your mouth, that's your prerogative.

No, no. That's not what gets me. What annoys me beyond all reason and to a point of near insanity is that, probably because these men have been smoking hand-rolled cigarettes for decades upon decades now (God bless them), they often feel the need to spit. And not just little, lady-like pit-uey's either. BIG HAWKING LOOGIES. Loudly. And longly. It can sometimes take half a minute to get all that phlegm deposited onto the sidewalk where it belongs.

My issue is that I often happen to be walking on said sidewalk, and, crazy me, I sometimes prefer my walking space loogie free. 

In all fairness, this blog post is just a response to me completely, utterly snapping over this issue after having lived in Chinatown nearly a year and, tonight while sitting on my roof, my sacred, quiet (aside from the occasional siren and airplane overhead) place, my only outdoor escape in the city, hearing a man SPIT on the ground 6 stories below me. In the middle of my rooftop quiet time. How rude!

So really, I'm being unreasonable here. In all likelihood tomorrow I will realize this and will apologize for my outburst, but for now I will speak out with the fury that only comes from those who have had ENOUGH.

I don't ask for much. But I do ask for a community that's spit free. It's just disconcerting to have to gauge how quickly I should walk against what trajectory I think someone's spit-path will be... Guys, remember all of those out-of-date laws we used to laugh at for different states banning public spitting. Now I see they are quite practical. Spit in the privacy of your own homes, people. Like decent folk.


In other news, went to the Hester Street Fair last weekend with my new roommate and had an awesome time. There were lots of cool restaurant vendors and artists, including this one girl who made the most ridculously amazing terrariums. One of them incorporated a sea urchin. I want to buy one on a day I have money.

That's all for now.... trying to keep posting weekly but it is more difficult than it sounds. 

Word to the wise: Avoid puddles on the sidewalks at all costs. Could very well be a loogie.

Monday, May 2, 2011

WTC scenes the day after Osama's death

The news popped up on my screen last night while I was online watching entirely too many episodes of Parks and Recreation back-to-back. 

We got finally him--in his secret palace, no less! Brings to mind that fantastic scene from Hot Shots where they bomb Saddam Hussein whilst he lounges poolside. Only this really happened. And now they're both really dead.

I don't have a lot to say about this (other than a big, southern HELL YES!), but I do have some pictures I took with my phone from the World Trade Center today. I walk by the Freedom Tower's construction site everyday on my way to work. It's always surrounded by rubber-necking tourists and commuters going to and from their lives between NY and NJ. Today, it was even more crowded than usual with both of those groups of people, only it was eerily quiet. 

There was a distinct lack of the usual "bustling." Every one stood around the Freedom Tower, looking at one another, some smiling, some crying, a few holding flags--and several selling flags (gotta love our good ol' American capitalism)!

It was really an emotional place to walk through, even with the incessant drone of the helicopter over our heads and the police dogs panting their way menacingly through the crowd.

Hope you guys enjoy the pictures, and what's left of this momentous day!

Freedom Tower under construction

The Patriot
The Capitalist