Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Because You've Already Hanged the DJ...

Shoot the Piano Player (The New York Times, February 26, 2007)

A really excellent read. I'm fascinated, and I hope they make a movie.

But wait, there's more...

No, Really

I know a lot of law students, mostly, but not entirely, through the Penn Law School Light Opera Company. Of those law students I know, I'd like to think that a good handful of them really know me pretty well.

I'm going to guess that if you took a survey, not a single one of them would tell you that yes, I would be happy in law school.

This is something that I've known about myself since my freshman year at Penn. I walked into a meeting about submatriculation certain that not only did I want to be a a lawyer, but also that I wanted to start law school before I finished my undergrad degree. I walked out of that meeting knowing that I really, really didn't want to go to law school. Like, ever.

I think there are two kinds of people who eventually make it to law school: the kind who genuinely want to be lawyers and the kind who see it as something to do while they figure everything else out. Law school for me always seemed like a fall-back: "Oh well, if I can't figure out what I want to do with my life, I'll just go to law school." I'd hate it, but it would at least guarantee me an income upon graduation. Probably.

But now, with my sudden unemployment, my family is lobbying hard for law school. At least once a day, someone will phone me to suggest it. Now, I love my family to death, but this is going to have to stop, and soon, or they will quickly discover how easy it is for me to screen my calls.

Yes, I probably would make a good lawyer. And Ru Paul isn't a bad-looking man. But if you're just doing something because you can, what's the point?

But wait, there's more...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Liveblogging the Oscars

Will be updated regularly throughout the evening, beginning with Road to the Oscars 2007, and going all through the awards. I have seen almost none of the nominated films, so this should be interesting...

8:00PM: Where did Leonardo DiCaprio's southern accent come from?

8:06PM: The collar on Jennifer Hudson's jacket looks like the collar on Snow White's evil stepmother's cape.

8:08PM: The bow on Anne Hathaway's dress looks very Gypsy Rose Lee. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

8:12PM: Penelope Cruz is gorgeous, but her dress kind of looks like it's made of carpet.

8:14PM: Holy crap, when did Will Smith go grey?

8:15PM: I don't think Cameron Diaz has looked this good in a long, long time. Also, does everyone remember Lisa Ling from Channel 1 News?

8:22PM: I love Mexican film, so all of the nominations between the Three Amigos make me really really happy. Even though I haven't seen those films.

8:25PM: That's it. Let's ask Kate Winslett about her nude scene. Have we all forgotten Titanic?

8:31PM: I love the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Also, it's the only Best Picture nominee that I saw.

8:34PM: Okay, this montage is just a little weird.

8:35PM: Awww, I kind of want Peter O'Toole to win. He's been waiting long enough. And his answer to the Lawrence of Arabia question was funny.

8:36PM: What? No montage where Ellen is in all of the movies? Also, did they just show Jack Nicholson... totally bald? Britney solidarity!

8:38PM: "Most international Oscars ever." Quick! Pan to the Asian chick!

8:42PM: So... weird to see Al Gore at the Oscars.

8:43PM: "If there weren't blacks, Jews, and gays..." Quick! Pan to the Smith family and Beyonce!

8:47PM: Viva Mexico! (Never saw the movie, but I'm proud of my almost-homeland)

8:48PM: Didn't Maggie Gyllenhal have a baby like last week? Life isn't fair.

8:49PM: Okay, that was really cool. Pilobolus should be at all awards shows.

8:50PM iPhone. Hot.

8:53PM "A close friend of Ricky Bobby?" That's how they introduce Will Ferrell? Also, what the hell is on his head?

8:55PM Okay, I love John C. Reilly for participating in this. I mean, I loved him anyway. But he added special legitimacy to this number. And hey, Helen Mirren loved it!

8:57PM: That was their segue into the award category?

8:58PM: Viva Mexico! (Holy crap, they've got flags in the audience!)

9:00PM: I love that they've got kids doing the cartoon award. It'd be like having fat people give awards for best food.

9:04PM: I totally want to see "West Bank Story." Not because I care about Israel (even though I do), but because I love West Side Story. Also, the filmmaker kind of looks like a Jewish Johnny Depp. And he just gave a fantastic, concise speech. Be still my beating heart.

9:12PM: Umm... I want to be in a sound effects choir. This is amazing!

9:16PM: I wonder what made the sound in Letters from Iwo Jima better than the sound in Flags of Our Fathers...

9:21PM: One of Rachel Weisz's eyes looks significantly smaller than the other. The hair isn't helping.

9:23PM: Alan Arkin? At last, an award to a movie I saw!

9:27PM: I kinda dug that Diet Coke commercial.

9:36PM: When did Al Gore get so fat?

9:44PM: Aww, yay! I saw Happy Feet, too. Even if I could have done without the movie's message...

9:49PM: Yep. Jack Nicholson is bald. It is not a good look.

10:00PM: Still not sure how I feel about Anne Hathaway's dress.

10:03PM: I really love the way they did the costume presentation this year.

10:05PM: "Tom Cruise is one fucked-up motherfucker." Thank you, Eric Singel. I will never be able to see Tom Cruise without thinking of you.

10:12PM: Gwynneth Paltrow's dress makes her boobs look kind of funny. Of course, she may not be wearing a bra, and that could be it, too.

10:13PM: Viva Mexico!

10:16PM: Okay, seriously, Pilobolus is my favorite part of these awards.

10:17PM: I have a new favorite commercial. I want an elephant to bring me soup.

10:20PM: Hi, I'm Robert Downey, Junior, and I used to have a drug problem...

10:24PM: Catherine Deneuve + Ken Wantanabe = the least intelligible awards presenters ever.

10:36PM: Yay Jennifer Hudson! I haven't seen your movie, but I'm happy you won.

10:51PM: An Inconvenient Truth won? Shocking!

10:54PM: Clint Eastwood looks just this side of dead, and I still find him very strangely sexy.

10:58PM: Oh joy. Celine Dion. I remember when I used to like her.

11:03PM: Who knew that Clint Eastwood spoke Italian? Is there anything that man can't do?

11:07PM: Honestly, who writes the banter? I think my mother's fourth grade class could probably do better. Also, I miss the days of interpretive dances to the Best Original Score nominees.

11:08PM: Viva Mexico! (Yes, I know he's Argentinian. But the movie is Mexican.)

11:11PM: Kirsten Dunst kind of looks dead. Even more so than Clint Eastwood. That's kind of sad.

11:14PM: Yay, another award for Little Miss Sunshine!

11:18PM: The JC Penney movie commercial was great. Ditto the Diet Coke photograph commercial. I'm enjoying this better than the Super Bowl.

11:20PM: JLo is an excellent reason for HDTV? They must be referring to the days when she'd show up at awards shows and you could see her boobies.

11:22PM: It's actually kind of amazing how much better Jennifer Hudson's voice is than Beyonce's.

11:30PM: It's official: the Oscars are too long again.

11:31PM: Melissa Ethredge probably has my father yelling at his televison right now.

11:42PM: The woman who just won for editing is kind of adorable.

11:45: This is where they do the segment about the people who've died and I burst into tears.

11:48PM: I managed to make it all the way through to the end, but when the applause swelled for Robert Altman, I admit, there was a sob.

11:52PM: My, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman is unattractive. Talented as all get out, but really ugly.

11:55PM: Helen Mirren: Now that's a lady who knows how to accept an award! She looks stunning, too.

12:03PM: Gotta love Peter O'Toole's jacket.

12:04PM: Ah well, guess that the jacket is all Peter O'Toole has going for him tonight. Good on Forrest Whittacker, though!

12:07PM: Anyone ever notice how George Lucas sounds a little like Kermit the Frong?

12:08PM: I still haven't seen The Departed, but I'm thrilled for Scorcese.

12:13PM: Diane Keaton looks great. She's not dressed like Annie Hall. (Apparentlky, she only does that when she's nominated for something.)

12:17PM: They only ran forty-seven minutes over. That's... special. And I'm done!

But wait, there's more...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

To Greek and Back

At Penn, freshman rush happens at the beginning of the second semester. They do this, apparently, because they want to make sure new students have a chance to discover their "places" before getting wrapped up in Greek life. I rushed out of curiosity, met a really great group of girls, and decided to pledge.

Here's the problem: I was never fully able to commit myself to the sorority. I was always busy: I had a job, I took way more classes than I actually had to, and there were always a few dozen theatre productions that I had my hands in. I was never willing to put my Greek affiliation in front of those things. The leadership of the sorority knew this, and also knew that I would give very candid answers when asked whether pledging, and later, membership, meant a big time commitment, so when prospective pledges would come around, I was relegated to kitchen duty. They seemed worried I'd scare some girls off, because I'd be straight with them about what kind of commitment they were making. This was annoying, but probably pretty fair.

I wasn't at a lot of chapter meetings or events, because they always conflicted with class or work or rehearsal. It got to feel like I was paying for other people to have fun, and getting very little in return. But that wasn't why I ultimately quit.

When other sisters in the sorority would have dance performances or a cappella performances, an email would go out to the listserv and a big group would meet at the House and head out to the show together. But for whatever reason, whenever I had a show, or even whenever my Big Sister had a show, there were no groups. We were lucky if there were three people from the House there. The last straw came one day during the spring semester of my sophomore year. It was initiation day for the new pledge class, and my Big Sister and I had spent the evening before striking the set for a play that she was in and I was doing costumes and PR for. It was a big set. We left the theatre at 4:30 in the morning, and had to be at initiation—held at ten a.m. in a darkened room—so it's only natural that, without the aid of some pretty strong amphetamines, we were not going to be able to stay awake. Three hours and no speed later, clearly, both of us had dozed off once or twice. And we were called before a disciplinary panel a few weeks later, and told that in exchange for giving into basic physiological needs, we would be fined and/or expected to perform community service. They were not going to budge.

In the real world, people win law suits over things like this.

But Greek life isn't the real world. Not even close. Which I already knew, but was reminded of when I read this article in The New York Times. Basically, it tells of a sorority that kicked two-thirds of its members out for being "socially awkward" (mostly, not pretty enough), but saying it was because they weren't "fully committed." Two-thirds of its members. I look at situations like this and I'm more certain than ever that I made the right decision when I left my Greek letters behind me (and gave the t-shirts to my Little Sister).

Groucho Marx didn't want to be a member of any club that would want him as a member. I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that didn't want me.

But wait, there's more...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My People Have Had It Right All Along!

Circumcision’s Anti-AIDS Effect Found Greater Than First Thought (New York Times, February 23, 2007)

But wait, there's more...

No Man Is On an Island

This article on Reuters reports that there are moves being made in Iran for a female-only vacation spot. Which is actually kind of cool, until you consider that it's probably the only way these women will ever get to take a vacation. With the strict segregation laws in Iran forbidding women from mixing with men in public, this will afford women an opportunity to enjoy themselves without restriction. Or at least, without such heavy restrictions. I'm guessing security is going to be pretty tight there.

I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about this. Is it one step toward understanding that women have needs, too, or is it just a macro-level version of the "whites/coloreds only" signs we saw in our own country as recently as forty years ago?

But wait, there's more...

Friday, February 23, 2007

And Now, A Moment of Self-Affirmation

I am a likeable person. Apparently.

Sure, I can come across as a raging bitch. Just ask my sisters. Or any of the Phillyist writers who've caught me on a bad day. Or my maintenance man.

But as long as you don't piss me off, I apparently come across as a likeable person.

On Wednesday, I was offered a small, stipeneded position in the arts. They decided this before interviewing the other candidate. Why? "We can tell you're our kind of people."

Today, a local tourism organization asked me if I'd like to come on as a tour guide, before my interview was even over. When I noted how quick it seemed, they said: "We're entrepreneurs. We see someone we like, we hire her."

A couple hours later, I had a phone interview with what would really be my dream job, if only it didn't mean taking an eleven thousand dollar paycut (and hey, I can bartend or something to make ends meet...). At one point, the woman interviewing me said: "Sorry if it seems like I'm rushing this. It's just that I can already tell that I want you to come in for an interview, so I just need to get the rest of these questions out of the way."

And now, we pause for a moment while I self-indulgently sing "Snoopy."

But wait, there's more...

The Best Laid Plans, or, My First Official Day of Unemployment

My intended schedule for today:

  • 9:00AM: Wake up. Eat breakfast.

  • 9:15AM: Check email. Do any necessary work on that other blog.

  • 10:00AM: Look for and/or apply to jobs.

  • 12:00PM: Eat lunch. Work on DVR backlog.

  • 1:30PM: Go to gym. You skipped pilates yesterday, lazy girl.

  • 3:00PM: Come home. More job hunting.

  • 5:00PM: Change into all-black. Eat something.

  • 5:30PM: Head to L2. Willingly be Mr. Eric Singel's bitch for a few hours.

  • 10:15PM: Leave L2. Go in search of food, either at home or along the way.

  • 12:00AM: Check queue, edit, and write content for Phillyist.

  • 1:30AM: Shower. Actually wash hair this time.

  • 2:30AM: Check email one last time. Because you are insanely compulsive.

  • 3:00AM: Go to bed, young lady!

My actual schedule for today:

  • 11:00AM: Curse alarm. Reach over side of bed where you left your laptop at 4AM. Check email. Edit posts in queue.

  • 12:00PM: Notice that stomach is growling. Loudly. Remember that you haven't really eaten since lunch yesterday. No, the two bite-sized crabcakes and a Blue Moon at happy hour don't count.

  • 12:15PM: Eat a bowl of cereal. Unload dishwasher. Consider doing a load of laundry. Head to bedroom to retrieve dirty laundry, get distracted by laptop, forget laundry.

  • 12:30PM: Send frustrated email to Executive Editor and Publisher. Think of politer ways to ask: "bitch, where's my money?"

  • 1:00PM: Confirm job interview. Talk with co-editor about executive editor's reply. Come up with conspiracy theories.

  • 1:30PM: Go to YouTube, ostensibly for finding a video to post tomorrow morning on Phillyist. Spend too much time there.

  • 2:00PM: Write column for tomorrow. Begin writing this blog entry, knowing full well that it will need to be updated throughout the rest of the day.

  • 2:30PM: You should have been job hunting by now. Why are you still in bed?

  • 2:35PM: Nevermind. Bed is comfy. Zzzzz.

  • 4:30PM: Wake up from nap. Reach over side of bed for computer again. Check email. Think about eating.

  • 4:35PM: Put water on to boil pasta.

  • 4:40PM: Read Jessica's interview with The Polish Brothers.

  • 4:50PM: Get distracted by ruling in Anna Nicole Smith case.

  • 4:52PM: CRAP! Boiling water!

  • 4:53PM: Add pasta. Reduce heat. Return to the computer.

  • 5:00PM: It's been the recommended seven minutes. Why does pasta still seem uncooked?

  • 5:10PM: Katie was right. Rice pasta is weird. It went from uncooked to mushy fast.

  • 5:15PM: Proofread last-minute, time-sensitive post in queue.

  • 5:30PM: Get your ass in gear. You have to be at the theatre in half an hour and you're naked.

  • 5:50PM: Run out the door. If you can get a cab, you'll make it in time.

  • 5:51PM: Go back upstairs. You left your backstage clothing on your sofa.

  • 5:52PM: Crap! No cash!

  • 5:57PM: Now that you've got cash, where the hell are the taxis? Run.

  • 6:15PM: Arrive at theatre fifteen minutes late, only get told that, no, you didn't have to be there until 6:30. Take off your coat. Get asked to run across the street to the 7-11 to get twenty one dollar bills in exchange for two tens. Put coat back on.

  • 6:20PM: Get laughed at at the 7-11. Also get twenty ones.

  • 6:30PM: Become property of Mr. Eric Singel and the Vagabond Acting Troupe. Try hard not to cough or sneeze backstage. At some point, get kneed in the forehead. Ouch.

  • 9:30PM: Show's over. Pre-set for tomorrow. Accept free drink from very cute but attached bartender. Eat lots of leftover cheese from the cheese plate.

  • 10:30PM: Go to Ten Stone because their kitchen is still open. Run into current girlfriend of friend of ex-boyfriend. Order fondue and pollo con queso soup.

  • 11:30PM: Overdose on cheese. Get most of soup to go.

  • 12:00AM: Walk home. Halfway there, realize you probably should have used the facilities at the bar. Every time you cough, stop walking and squeeze your legs together. Do kegels.

  • 12:15AM: Get home. Wait forever for elevator. Run to bathroom.

  • 12:30AM: Begin coughing. Blame cheese and alcohol. Get IM from old acquaintance you haven't spoken to in over a year. Debate with self whether it's worthwhile to stay online in hopes that current crush will sign on.

  • 1:15AM: Notice self falling asleep at computer. Boy has not signed on. Say goodbye to acquaintance, with whom you are discussing the merits of morning versus nighttime showers. And speaking of showers, it's time for you to take one.

  • 1:17AM: Okay, maybe a quick nap first.

  • 2:00AM: Grudgingly get out of bed, knowing full well you'd better shower before your job interview in the morning. Look in mirror: inspect hair. Decide to go one more day without washing—nobody needs to know but you and the five other people who are currently aware of this blog.

  • 2:40AM: Finish shower. Do post-shower "stuff." Get water. Take pills.

  • 2:45AM: Locate box fan. It is hot as hell in your apartment.

  • 2:50AM: Finish this post. Check email one last time.

  • 3:00AM: Get to bed already! You have to be up in five hours!

Sigh... I think that at some point, I strayed a bit from the path.

But wait, there's more...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Seriously, I have not started this blog for the purposes of glorifying myself in any way, shape, or form. I did, however, want to share that I am now, completely by accident, a professional in the world of Philadelphia Theatre. After last night's astounding performance at the Solo Works Festival (ha!), I was invited to join the Vagabond Acting Troupe as a core ensemble member. Which is completely separate from my job hunt. But still pretty damn cool.

I wish more things in life were handed to me like that, without the audition...

But wait, there's more...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


According to Google:

Definitions of dilettante on the Web:

I think dilettantes have been unfairly maligned. What, pray tell, is wrong with indulging one's interests in as many areas as possible? Sure, it means that you're never fully able to commit to one, or at least that, even if you're committed to something, your mind will always wander elsewhere. But it also means that you love things and ideas and dabbling in as many fields and studies and mediums as possible.

I'm coming out of the closet right now. I am a dilettante.

I dabble. I love theatre and books and writing; I love history and music and television. While an undergrad, I studied everything from statistics to urban studies, from oceanography to musical theatre performance. I ultimately chose the most dilettante-ish major I could. I don't see any of this as a bad thing. It makes me good at Quizzo. It means I can have cocktail party conversations with just about anybody. I know a little about plenty. I also know a lot about a lot more.

I'm not entirely sure of the shape this blog is going to take yet. But here it is. And isn't it convenient how nicely my name fits into the word that I use to self-identify?

But wait, there's more...