Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Interesting video from Stepdad

Today's "guest blogger", for lack of a better term, is Papa Jegs, who sent me this video months ago. I found it in an old email, and I remembered how cool it was:


Monday, April 27, 2009

Trip to Southbridge: lil llama action

So on Friday I went on my first business trip to train ALTI in Southbridge, MA. I was both nervous and excited and overwhelmed all at once. Not that I couldn't handle this, because I know I could, but this is just something very new to what I was doing. So I spent a good chunk of last week preparing folders and swag, getting a training script ready, and practicing what I could cover in 45 minutes.

Friday morning I was up and out of the house early. My trip would take me past all the slow spots on a commute -- 95/93 split, Middlesex Turnpike, The Pike -- so I wanted to give myself ample amounts of time. I'd hate to be late. However, the traffic Gods were smiling upon me that day and I got to where I needed to be without hitting any traffic and about an hour earlier than the Sales Rep I was meeting. And I knew from seeing the schedule that I wouldn't need to set up or anything, since I'd be sharing the room with another vendor. So I had about an hour to kill in a very rural area without a Target to wander aimlessly around in.

I had seen signs that Connecticut was close to where I was, and so I thought "well, I have ample amounts of time, why not go to CT for shits and giggles for half an hour?" and so I did. So I drove around scenic Connecticut for about 30 minutes. It was really nice to look at cute houses and farms and sort of drive aimlessly and relax, since I knew the day of training would be very long and a bit grueling.

After stopping at a cute country farm and getting out and looking at the water, I turned around to head back. However, I stopped and got out again not long after this because I came across... a llama farm.

I don't know how I missed this on my drive into CT, since there were three very large llamas standing around. They were so cool looking, I got out and took some pictures. They watched me the entire time I was doing this, and followed me. It was as if they were thinking "oh hey, random girl in a business suit. What's up? I'm a llama", or something like that.

The rest of the day was less animal-exciting, but still good. The trainings went well, but not something I'm about to blog about. Very "you have to work in the field to get what I'd be talking about", so a little boring to my other readers.

But here are some llama pictures!

What the eff? Who is that girl with the camera?

Oh hey, girl. I'm a llama. I'm just doing my thing. You should probably go back to Massachusetts soon. You have a training or four to do on Interface Features.

Where It's At!

More on bowling later, but I wanted to highlight the AMAZING cake my lovely best pal/bizarro twin Erin made for my birthday:

HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT??? Erin made it from scratch, including the record, which is melted dark chocolate in a cake pan with a serrated knife creating the ridges. She's awesome.

Oh, and it was delicious.

Thank you for being a friend

I think I'd be remiss if I didn't write something about Bea Arthur, who passed away yesterday at age 86. I was very surprised to hear this, and thought immediately of my college friend Eric Butler. He is a huge Golden Girls fan, so I can only imagine how he took this news.

I've definitely seen my fair share of Golden Girls and Maude, and loved her dry sense of humor. A witty remark and a withering glance. But I'm also a huge fan of her theatre work. Arthur originated the role of Yente in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. If you get a record or CD of this version, even if you didn't know that before listening to it, the minute she speaks you say "of course that's Bea Arthur".

Bea Arthur also played the role of Lucy Brown in an English language adaptation of Threepenny Opera as well as winning a Tony for her performance of Vera Charles in Mame.

Here's Bea Arthur singing with Angela Lansbury Bossom Buddies from Mame. So thanks for years of great performances, Bea. You'll be missed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Somewhere right now... mom is singing this song about me to herself.

She's not a big Carpenters fan. Far from it. But every birthday card I receive, and every birthday, she sings the bridge to me:

On the day that you were born
The angels go together,
And decided to create a dream come true.
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And starlight in your eyes of blue.

So, as you may now tell, today is my birthday. It's also my champagne birthday (25 on the 25th). I don't usually like to celebrate and promote my birthday (last year I worked then went to the DMV to get my license renewed... and that was about it) but this year since it's on a weekend and it's a big one, I am going bowling with some good friends in Boston, then probably getting a beer or two at The Burren. I'm looking forward to all of this. I'll probably share stories from it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Out and about

Movin' right along, foot-loose and fancy free.
Gettin' there is half the fun; come share it with me.

Tomorrow will be a big day of work, mainly because I'll be doing something I've never done before at my job. I am being sent to train an institution on site with a Sales Rep. I've done a lot of training for my job in the past, but I've always done it via a web conferencing software. So this is big.

I got asked to do this about a month or so ago, and I can't believe this day is already here. I've been researching the site and the customer, as well as getting a script ready. I also made several press kits they can take home with them, and have posters and magnets. Lots of fancy pants swag.

I'm both nervous and excited. Excited because this is a big step and responsibility, and a change I think I could use. Nervous, though, because this is outside of what I usually do. I'm going with one of my favorite Sales Rep, which I'm looking forward to. I had a test run of the training, and it went well and I got some very good feedback to use for tomorrow.

So it'll be a day of the open road (The Mass Pike) and talking directly to the people and the children about how to research DIY projects and career and college paths they want to take. Here's to hoping it goes well!

Oh, and any interesting stories I do plan on blogging about when I get home. But tomorrow it'll be a quiet day on HPFS and twitter since I'll be away.

Oh, and then following this training I'm going to 99 cent hot dog day at Top Dog with the family. Good times!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What was that, Montreal?

Yeah... thought so.

As Kermit the Frog told me as a youth...

...Every day is Earth Day!

Also, I've spent some time trying to find that PSA where Kermit the Frog talks about Every Day Is Earth Day, so if any of you have that URL, I will post it and give you a big ol' shout out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mimpi finally goes on the road

Here's one of my many stories from my most recent trip to HC:

Mimpi is finally going on the road to Bali

What is Mimpi, you may ask? My junior year of college, Fall 2004, I was in a Balinese dance drama called Mimpi. It was a combination of two Balinese folk tales. I played a Crane in the Greek Chorus, and Putu's grandmother. It was a challenging experience, but also rewarding in the end. What made it a little difficult is that we wrote it ourselves and created the piece as we went along. A very organic experience, but when you're used to getting a script and having more structure, it was something I don't know if the whole cast was fully prepared for.

This is also the play I was in when I fell in a gutter completely sober the night the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and I badly sprained my ankle and was on crutches up to the show and spent the whole show with tons of ace bandages making sure I could still do it. But that's a story for another day.

So after Mimpi went up and it got rave reviews in the States (apparently people from PBS wish they knew of this show so they could tape it and air it on PBS) the seed was planted that we could bring Mimpi on the road. And not just any road, like perhaps to Boston or NYC or DC, but a further and longer road that would require passports. Yes, Lynn the director decided to take Mimpi straight to the source... Bali.

Fall of 2004 we were all very excited at the idea of moving to Bali for a few weeks, living with Balinese artists, and putting up our show. This is something we never thought could and would happen, and it was very exciting. Daunting, yes, but exciting.

Then came some road blocks. First off, it is incredibly expensive to fly a troupe of actors and all their costumes and set pieces to Bali. Each flight would have been thousands of dollars alone. It would take some serious fundraising or grants.

Another significantly bigger issue came up when we found out that we would not be insured by the college because Bali was on a list of countries academic institutions were not allowed to visit because it was considered a terrorist threat. So in 2004, it was considered risky for us to go there. These two things made our Balinese Mimpi dreams get put on a shelf.

Fast forward five years, and I heard from my friend Jen that Mimpi is FINALLY going on the road. The ban has been lifted, the funds are there, and Lynn is working with a combination of HC artists and Balinese artists. Only a few people from my production will be going (Jen and Tom) and they'll rehearse for a week and put the show on for two or three. This will be happening in June. Lynn's been traveling to Bali a lot, I hear, to work out the kinks.

This news was bittersweet for me. First off, I am so incredibly happy for Lynn to be able to fulfill this and put her show up in Bali. And I'm really happy for the HC actors who are able to go to Bali and have this amazing experience. This will be incredible on their resumes and an experience they will never forget.

It does, however, make me sad that my Bali dreams will not come to fruition. I am not at a place in my life where I can up and leave for Bali for a month, because I have bills and a job and can't up and leave. And I fear my skills and talents are not up to muster for a trip of this kind. While I support the arts, my talents are not "perform in Bali"-able. I also don't think I share the passion and excitement for Mimpi and this lifestyle that my friends who are going do. While I loved Mimpi, I could not up and move. So it was about 80% excitement that Mimpi is going on the road, 20% sadness that I am not.

If I hear more about Mimpi on the road, I will pass this information along. And again, congrats to everyone that Mimpi is finally on the road. Five yeras in the making!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rage-chel Against the Machine at Holy Cross for the 2009 Fenwick Scholar Presentation

For one show only, Emily loves herself some Hot Topic.

I could write many posts about my most recent trip to Worcester, but for now I'll stick to the main reason why I headed out to Central Mass this past Saturday night. Maybe if I am in need of a reason to blog, I'll discuss my other Worcester things.

My very dear friend Emily Rast, a very talented young actor who is clearly going places in this world, presented her Fenwick Friday and Saturday night at HC. She wrote a one-woman show that explored the ideas of the female ingenue in musical theatre and some characters who break out of that mold, as well as why it's important to have this archetype.

I guess now I should explain what the Fenwick is. So at HC, they select 1-3 students every year to write a 200-page thesis their senior year. They don't take classes, but instead focus their entire academic year writing this paper. Then in the spring, they present their paper in Smith Library. Their paper is also published and kept in the library, and their names are engraved on a plaque in the library. My friend Tim was one of the three my senior year. It's rare they select one that focuses on the arts, so I'm thrilled they picked Emily.

The show was free, and lasted a little under an hour. I was joking with Joan, my college boss and "college mom" that it was nice to just show up on campus and not have to worry about reservations. A nice little mini-reunion, since several people who were theatre majors during my tenure there also came on campus to see the show.

The show focuses on Rachel, an 18-year-old aspiring performance artist back for her first Thanksgiving break from college. Her mother is a famous musical theatre actor, and she tries very hard to rebel against her job and everything her art stands for: the female ingenue. They are unrelatable, out of touch with reality, boring, and just not something she wants. Rachel, with the help of some of musical theatre's most iconic characters and songs, explore this concept as well as some characters who break out of this mold.

Emily wrote this piece, and I was very impressed by it. Smart, witty, and something many can relate to, even if not in the theatre world. Wanting to make a place for oneself in the world, heartbreak, family, rebellion, and lonliness were all addressed. I know near the end Emily was feeling some significant stress regarding this piece, but I think a year of stress and hard work paid off tenfold.

Rage-chel Against the Machine was directed by another classmate of mine, Eric Butler '06. He's directed Emily in Pal Joey, Sweet Charity, and The Women, if not more pieces. This duo works very well together, and I think this was a nice swan song for them, as Emily is moving to Maine and then Upstate New York after graduating.

So a big congrats to Emily for a great project. You always amaze me.

Flight of the Conchords at the Agannis Arena

Friday night I went to a different kind of concert experience than I have been as of late. I went to an arena with several college friends to see Flight of the Conchords. This was a significant change of music pace for me because:

1. There were 70,000 people there and it was sold out.
2. I paid more than $10.
3. I do not personally know anyone in the band or any of their friends.
4. There was no hope of me meeting any of them after the show and tell them good job.

But I sometimes think it's important to mix it up and see other shows. And this one was definitely worth it. Those Kiwis put on a hell of a show.

We got there a little bit into the first opener act's, the very funny and talented Eugene Mirman. He plays Eugene, the landlord on the show, and did a great job.

Next was Kristen Schaal, who plays the crazy fan Mel. Kristen is... well, her acting crazy doesn't appear to be acting. She was very funny, but in a weird and off-kilter sort of way. I laughed a lot, like when she showed her audition piece to be on Law and Order SVU (the raping and killing Law and Order), but there were other parts where her craziness could be a bit off-putting.

Then came awesomeness. They opened with Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor in homemade-looking robot costumes. Then they sat down and got down to business. Lots of talking and playing songs for about 90 minutes. A heavy part of the set list was from season 2, but even if you haven't seen much of this because you don't get HBO, it was still very funny.

My fear was that lots of people would be trying to sing along and ruin the experience, but people mostly kept it in check. My brother's girlfriend Ashley was also there, and she said that there were a few people in her area singing, but I didn't hear much of it. What also helps is that they change up the lyrics a bit, so it's hard to sing along to that.

I would have loved to have heard Rhymenocerous vs. Hiphopapotamous or Albi the Racist Dragon, but then again... they could have played for another hour and that still wouldn't have been enough time for them to play.

I'd definitely go to hear them play again, and I recommend spending the money (warning it was about $50 for a ticket) if you're a fan. Won't be dissapointed.

Thanks to for the pictures, which come from the Nashville show. Also, since I looked it up on youtube when I got home, here's Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor. Very funny and from Season 2:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A moral work victory

The fucking Keurig Coffee Maker is gone. GONE.

This is more a moral victory for me than anyone else. Back in the day, before I worked in Project Management and I was the lowly department assistant, my job became a catch-all for all the random jobs no one wanted to do or didn't think they should do. Order Christmas cards? Me. Figure out who gets how many pecans for the Christmas gift? Me. Police who's out sick? Me.

One thing I do not do, though, is anything involving food. This is refreshing, actually, because several of my old jobs did. I list:

Greenery: Barrista
Department of Theatre: Make coffee for majors
Kimball Dining Hall: Clean dishes and serve food
HC Admissions: Review restaurants and write podcasts about it. (less about the serving and more about the eating, so I can't complain)
WGBH: Make coffee and cater for meetings

My current job is not listed, note.

Back a few years ago, a colleague of mine came to my desk with this request: "The coffee machine is broken". I thought she first said that the copy machine is broken, so I offered to take a look at the toner and see what's up, and she said back in an annoyed tone "No, the coffee machine". I paused, a little shocked, and said that I don't do anything with the coffee machine. At this time, I didn't even drink coffee.

She then argued that I must know something about the coffee machine (underlying meaning: you're the assistant, and assistants do this sort of thing. I have several Masters Degrees, so I shouldn't have to stoop to this level) and if I could look at it. I countered with there's no way I'd help, because I've never used that machine before. I don't drink coffee, and I don't use the Keurig machine, but because the cafe rents the machine they might be able to help her.

It went like this for a few more rounds, then she wandered off, pissed off that I don't know how to do and fix everything. I told my friends outside of work about this, and every now and again I get texts asking me to fix their home coffee machines.

So when I got word that the machines were going to be retired because we're getting day-long coffee in the cafe, it warmed my heart. And it was gone today. Said coworker won't have to give me the stink eye every time she makes herself coffee. In the battle of Keurig, I WON BITCHES!!

Yeah, this was a random post.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

She could be a part-time model or an airline hostess from the 60s

More pictures of my dog from Easter. She's pretty awesome and photogenic.

In honor of the day

There'll be a "how I spent my Easter" post probably tomorrow, but in honor of Easter, here are two of my favorite faith-ish songs by two of my favorite artists:

My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
(Awaiting You All is one of my favorite songs on All Things Must Pass, so this is an added bonus)
At The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971

and also...

Jesus, Etc. by Wilco

Happy Easter, all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Someday when I'm older and more settled...

I want to trade in my hand mixer for this:

Cooks and bakers know what this is, a much coveted and loved KitchenAid Mixer. You know you've made it when you have one. They're several hundred dollars, but worth every penny. They're sturdy, dependable, mix like a charm, and all around awesome.

Erin has one, as does my Mum, and they both rave about theirs. I think if I got one, I'd use it enough to make it worthwhile, but I'm also not sure now is the time for me.

I currently have a hand mixer which kind of sucks. I'm pretty sure the person who gave it to me decided to go as cheap as possible so he could purchase more leather furniture for his living room and to continue to not pay for one of his kids' tuition. But I digress.

Right now, with my goal of GSD and buying a bike for myself this summer, I can't justify buying a KitchenAid Mixer for me. So someday, maybe I'll get one for myself. Or I'll be dating someone who will buy me one. Or if I ever get married it will be on my registry and someone will get it for me.

So right now I'm putting my money on option 1. But when that day comes... it'll be awesome. Me and my future cats will love said mixer. (I'm tired and cranky, hence all the "dying alone with cats" references. Also, my "n" button is sticking on my laptop, which is annoying.)

Also, this is coming up because I spent all afternoon making cupcakes for Easter. They're very tasty. I'll be posting the photos of the whole process later on this weekend.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Upcoming Concerts!

I'm going to be busy for the next few weeks and months with shows. This is an ever-growing list. I'll probably be re-posting this with updates:

With Erin, Matt, Brian, Conor, etc.
Agannis Arena

I hope their lyrics are bottomless.

May 20 THE SHINS!!!!
With Crystal, Dan, and Matt (?) -- different Matt than the Matt above

This is new development, and I am so freaking excited. So. Freaking. Excited.

May 22 Her Space Holiday
Crystal... probably Matt (as in Shins Matt)
Middle East

Like the song Crystal sent me. Don't know much about them, but I liked their sound... so this is just a picture of The Middle East.

This doesn't even count all the Grinding Tapes showcases coming up, either, including one in the end of July at Club Passim (big deal), but I'll talk more about that later.

Go shows!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A trip down memory lane... to Spring 2003

Today at work, I was doing research on how other sites get user feedback in real time, when I decided to get information from After getting the necessary screenshots, I took a moment to visit my favorite page on that site... for my old professor Steve Vineberg's book No Surprises, Please!: Movies in the Regan Decade. Now, I've never read this book, so that's not why I love this page. No, it's for the user comments.

Back in 2003, my friends Dave Wanczyk, Michnya, and I found this page and the following review, which gave Steve's book one star:

The dorkiest title of all time
Imagine writing a book and titling it NO Surprises, Please! That gives you an idea of how hip this author is. The book is dull, the insights are slight and the prose style is irritating. I stumbled upon this book in a library jumble sale... The concept for the book is so lame that it really should have been contained within an article in a university publication or some staid periodical for an audience of dullards. It's out of print now, mercifully, and is already so dated feeling that it's doubtful it will ever see the light of day again, but just in case you find another copy lying around in a pile or see this author's name on another book (please, no) you have been warned!

Our first line of attack against this was to say it was not helpful a bunch of times. Then, Dave decided to fire back with his own review of the book. (keep in mind, he's also never read it)

Don't judge a book by its title
This book is perhaps the best thing to happen to the cinema since Godard, and the best thing to happen to American cinema since God saw fit to mix amino acid with soul. When Emerson wrote about a new American poet carrying on his legend, he was not prophesying Whitman, he was shouting loud to the reverberate hills the name of Vineberg. The structure of this book is flawless, its insights sublime, its witticisms sharp, and its footnotes helpful. I've heard in various circles challenges to the authors hipness. Hemingway was not hip my friends. Hemingway may have been hardcore, but he did not know the words to this Mitch Miller hit, or that bee bop and skat tune. Steven Vineberg is both hardcore and hip, having memorized the lyrics to Eminem's smooth rap anthem, "Lose Yourself." In fact, Steve Vineberg is Marshall Mathers. His hatred of such 80s classics as The Breakfast Club and Ghostbusters II brought him to a level of rage unseen in white rap since Ed Isser screamed to Jon Tobin, "No one can be as intense as me." You can see the influence of filth like Mannequin in his lyric, "You don't wanna mess with Vineberg, cuz Vineberg will tear you paper up." Seriously, though, Vineberg is a meticulous writer and the most discerning critic of our day. A coincidental acronym for this professorial entity is "never, beg invest," and I implore my Amazon brothers and Sisters to never beg, but invest your hard earned 2.94$ in this book and help unseat J.K. Rowling. By the way, Vineberg likes Cuaron, the director of HP3, and he is my choice to direct HP7, "Harry Potter and the search for Macdougal's last paper."

Michnya and I then gave it a bunch of high marks and also emailed it to all of our friends, who also got a kick out of it. Then Michnya and Dave graduated, Dave fell off the face of the earth, but Michnya and I kept the buffoonery alive.

When I reread this page, I discovered that two years after Dave's review, someone else decided to take it into their own hands and also review this book. I'm also guessing that they've never read it, either.

How does one sum up a man and his work? (by Marshall Mathers III)
The Iroquois believe that before man walked the earth there was a great tribe of sky people who lived without worry or pain on a floating island. One day Sky Woman became pregnant with twins and was pushed by her murderous husband from their happy island home. Instead of plummeting to her death she was caught by birds and carried to safety. There was no land for her so they sprinkled earth on the back of a turtle and placed Sky Woman there.
Sky Woman gave birth to two healthy boys. She named her first son Sapling and he made all that is good and right in the world. He made the trees green and heavy with fruit. He made the waters cool and potable and he filled them up with a bounty of fish. Sky Woman's other son represented all that was dark in the world. He made the rivers flow away and turned the fruit to rot. He salted the earth where he walked and burned the forests to ash. He was the unmaker, the despoiler, the scourge and bane. He was VINEBERG and VINEBERG he remains. He'd like two of the Lucky Millions scratch-offs, please.

VINEBERG is going to climb Everest just to steal George Mallory's corpse. VINEBERG watches NASCAR for the crashes. VINEBERG forgot to leave off the pickles and he has hidden the complaint box. VINEBERG is a first responder. He's going to press his ear to your face and listen to your eyes glaze over. VINEBERG is going to taste your tears.
When the tempest crashes against the lighthouse and the beacon leads the ships aground, VINEBERG will be there riding on his trusty octopus Mephisto. VINEBERG is preoccupied with knitting. VINEBERG can fly but he prefers to travel as an airborne pathogen from host to host. VINEBERG is mutating the avian flu because he likes chickens better than you. VINEBERG loves kudzu, enough to marry it.

There are only two certain things in life: death and VINEBERG, taxes can take a hike. VINEBERG invented hide and seek to lure unattended children into abandoned refrigerators. VINEBERG wore a yarmulke when he traveled through time and beat up teenage Hitler. VINEBERG is digging up a pet cemetery and calling UPS with your address. The Chinese keep crickets as pets and VINEBERG keeps the Chinese as pets. VINEBERG has forbidden dancing on the weekend. VINEBERG is anaerobic.

VINEBERG is running a fraudulent cancer wig program to make sweaters for rich German eccentrics. VINEBERG is using Comic Sans. VINEBERG is opening the attachment. VINEBERG is entrusting a Nigerian with your banking information. VINEBERG just said "LOL" out loud just because he knows you hate it. VINEBERG is framing an expired gift certificate from Burger King. VINEBERG just blamed it on the dog.
VINBERG is sewing dolphin fins to amputees at Walter Reed. Don't blame VINEBERG, he voted for LaRouche. VINEBERG'S car is made entirely out of magnetic ribbons. VINEBERG supports the troops but not the war. VINEBERG is issuing a fatwah.

We would all die alone if it weren't for VINEBERG. VINEBERG is rowing you across the River of Death on your journey to the Kingdom of the West. VINEBERG is weighing your heart in the Hall of Osiris. VINEBERG knows a shortcut across the Lake of Fire. VINEBERG isn't telling. VINEBERG will be confronting his baby mama on Jerry Springer. VINEBERG just threw a baseball game because a terminally ill kid's final wish was that he win. VINEBERG is turning state's evidence.

VINEBERG is not permitted to live within 500 meters of a uranium centrifugal isotope sluice. VINEBERG is selling loose nukes to Syria. VINEBERG just bought up the world's stockpile of tungsten. He's building something, but no one is sure what.

VINEBERG is the sole financier of the hemp lobby. VINEBERG knows his rope. VINEBERG is handing out the brown acid. VINEBERG is having an old-fashioned freak out.

Behind the black door he toils and works. Flashes of welding and mechanical jerks. Ozone stink fills the hall and pounding hammers shake the wall. The loops of cable spill out like hair but no one knows what he's building in there. One day the door is open, the serpents come and the seals are broken. He has fused himself to his creation. The rising tide of blood drowns the coast and the skies are filled with fire. VINEBERG rises up on three mechanical legs and howls at the coruscating light that burns down the stars. He is god and betrayer, the unmaker, the despoiler, the scourge and bane. He is the end and the beginning and he is looking for a great deal on rust proofing.

I had to stop reading this review halfway, since I was crying I was laughing so hard. I also feel I should explain all the references to Eminem. So Spring 2003, Steve had the cast of Cyrano de Bergerac over to his house for a party after a show, and someone put on Lose Yourself. Steve then went on to sing every lyric of this song to the CD, and the cast circled around him while he did it like it was a high school dance. One of the most memorable moments from college, to be sure.

This may only be funny to a small handful of people, but I find all this absolutely hilarious.

Just call me DJ Lanj

I got two turntables and a microphone... and some awesome 70's hair.

As we all know, I am a giant music fan/snob. So my friend Crystal sent me an email what feels like months ago telling me about this program online she wanted me to try out called This website kind of lets you play your own radio dj and post your own songs to listen to for free from a library of millions of songs on the website, and other people who use the service can give you props or comment or re-share.

I've been doing it about a week, and so far I'm liking it. While it will NEVER replace a real radio station (there's something about an editorial voice and a voice altogether that I miss), it's nice to be able to listen to songs that have been in my head or are a little obscure while I'm at work. I've been posting songs from people like The Polyphonic Spree, Plastic Bertrand, and The Boy Least Likely. And bands that may be unsigned, like Thick As Thieves which I have sung the praises of in earlier posts, have songs on this site, so they get a listenership.

It's also cool to see what my friends are listening to and get recommendations from that. And I've had theme days, too. I am going to a Shins show in May, so I decided to "blip" a Shins-A-Day.

The site has some limitations. You can't mix up the order of songs, and it will only play that "page" of songs, so if you have a song on another page of your playlist, you need to click to that page or just re-blip that song so it's current. And not every song by every artist will be on this page. Also, some songs seem to expire, so you click on it to share and it's unavailable. The mixing I don't mind, because then that'd be like getting iTunes for free. And we don't need another form of the media industry going to hell right now. (I'll probably post on the Globe crisis at a later date)

Definitely an interesting site to check out if you like music, and want to listen to certain songs or share your interests with other music fans/snobs. And if you want to follow me on that site, my DJ name is lanj.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

All I can say is....


Seriously. Way to get it done, Vermont. I am so pleased and thrilled.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wearing a big cardigan or plaid flannel today in honor

I heard this the other day, and it blew my mind. Today it's been 15 years since Kurt Cobain killed himself. As this is one of the first big pop culture things I remember very well, this blows my mind. Erin and I were remembering this last night.

I was almost 10, and we were being babysat by Becky Russell, and she wanted to watch MTV all day because she was so horrified and in shocked. I knew who Kurt Cobain was, having heard his songs many times before (remember, Mum did not have shitty tasty in music, so we grew up appreciating good music) so the sadness of this and the loss musically was felt. I think this was also the first time I heard of someone killing himself, which I found added another layer of tragedy to this. The boys, being 8 and almost 6, didn't get it quite as much. This day also marked the first time we watched MTV, probably to the chagrin of my Mum since we were pretty much strictly PBS kids and MTV is most definitely not PBS.

Just writing "I was almost 10" blows my mind, since I remember this so well. It also shows that if you want a more informed perspective on this all, I am not the blog to read, since I was a little kid 15 years ago. I often wonder what would have happened to Cobain, especially since both David Grohl and Krist Novoselic have gone onto really great things and have been working steadily since.

Anyways, I will leave you with some Nirvana for this day. I probably could post MTV news from 1994, but as with the other appreciations I've posted in the past few months, I want to focus on his music and not his end. If you do want to do some remembering about the coverage, though, I recommend going to the WFNX website and finding the special Julie Kramer and Troy Smith did on Kurt's death. I re-listened to it recently, and it's very good.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stacy Got Mortified

You may remember a few months ago I promoted the website for Get Mortified, which is a national show for adults to read their diaries, poems, stories, and show artwork and other things they made when they were kids. It's hilarious.

Well, I found out recently that my pal Stacy would be getting mortified in the Boston chapter of this. Loving a good awkward time, I headed to see her at Mottley's in Boston.

The show runs two hours, and showcased nine people. Mostly diaries, but there was also a guy who read his poetry from high school that got published in the high school's literary journal. The girls mainly talked about having crushes on boys and wondering why no one would date them. It's funny hearing about how boy-crazy or desperate people were and looking at them now. This particularly rang true at the guy who said he was into death metal and had long hair... but transformed into a very cute, normal-looking guy with short hair and an Edward Gorey shirt.

Stacy went near the end, and read from her journal. She talked about how much she loved her friend Jesse, how mean girls were, had some "deep" conversations, and talked about how much she loves and related to Dawson's Creek. It was very funny.

At the end, I said hi and told her how much she loved it. She told me that they're now having shows on a monthly basis in Boston, so they may be having more in. This made me excited, since I'd see friends again here. Also... I have a book of notes I wrote to Jess when we were in middle school, and this pretty exists as my journal. We pretended we were spies and had secret names for our crushes. I may need to drag it out and see if it's mortified-appropriate.

I will say this: this show sold out well before the show, so if you're interested in seeing another one in the coming months, BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE. The house was packed.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm glad I haven't had a sad montage about me yet...

I'm still plugging away in Canada project hell, after almost killing me last week, when I decided to stop by NPR and read some news. Apparently, I should be going to to read news, since my best pal Erin was a finalist for the cartoon caption contest (that'll be a post tomorrow), so go her! But for today, this article had me laughing. If you've even watched one episode of ER or Grey's, you know exactly what they're talking about.

Also, as this is the last night of ER, I just want to give this program a shout out. Spent many a Thursday night in high school watching this and swooning over Carter and Greene. So while you guys jumped the shark when... oh I don't know, the helicopter and when Carter got a conscience and went to Africa... I think you were an important show that affected a lot of other programs. So thanks so much for entertaining my awkward lack of friends who go out on week nights years.

Ten Surprisingly Common Causes Of Death In TV Hospitals
by Linda Holmes

Tonight is the end of ER. The end of an era, the end of the machine that made George Clooney famous, and the end of a fifteen-season run that was good for at least seven seasons. The show is presumably dying of pure fatigue, but how do the patients die? Let's take a look at the ways TV-hospital patients die that other people usually don't.

Heroism. Countless television hospital patients die of heroism every year. One minute, they are valiantly trying to save a cat, dog, old person, flower bed, bicycle, or lottery ticket, and the next, they are lying in a hospital bed while the monitors sing their mournful "eeeeeeeep" in the background. Worse yet, heroism often results in a slow expiration one hospital bed over from someone who is unafflicted with heroism -- say, a terrible bigot or someone unattractive -- who is going to live. These deaths are referred to in the literature as deaths by heroism with ironic complications.

Falling helicopters. As far as we know, there has been one death by falling helicopter in the history of hospital shows, and it took place on ER. But it would seem that, relative to the total number of casualties in ER history, even this likely overrepresents the prevalence of being crushed by a falling helicopter as a cause of death. The greater statistical anomaly, however, is that this happened to Dr. "Rocket" Romano, who had lost an arm to a helicopter blade only a season before he died of having an entire helicopter fall directly on him. You know how some people are unlucky at cards? He was unlucky at helicopters.

A terrible secret. Particularly on House, it is common for patients to die of A Terrible Secret. In many cases, the Terrible Secret is not life-threatening in itself, but the efforts to conceal the Terrible Secret cause the patient to die of something innocuous. For instance, if you conceal your penicillin allergy in the course of concealing the details of the way your penicillin allergy was discovered, you risk dying of A Terrible Secret.

Redemption. ER was particularly fond of having patients die of acute redemption. If you are admitted to the hospital as a wretched misanthrope but, during your stay, you meet a perky, freckled moppet who is keeping a sunny outlook on life, and if the moppet convinces you to become a better person, and you finally thank the hospital staff profusely for all they have done for you, you are showing telltale signs that you will soon die of redemption.

Career aspirations/creative differences. If you are a featured performer on a drama taking place in a TV hospital, your health may be endangered by your impending departure from the cast. This is how Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) died of brain cancer on ER, and it is also what has given Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) metastatic melanoma on Grey's Anatomy. Beware the termination of your contract.

A physician who does not love life. Selecting your physician is an important part of anyone's care, and a TV-hospital patient must be careful not to choose a physician who is unappreciative of some aspect of his or her life, particularly a romantic partner. There is a good chance that you will wind up teaching the TV doctor something about all that he or she has to be grateful for, and you will probably do so by dying. And you will probably die alone, because the lesson is more effective that way.

Announcing what time it is. Many times, a TV-hospital patient is on the operating table, and he's alive (which you can tell by the way everyone is pounding on his chest and/or shocking him with electricity, which they clearly wouldn't do if he were deceased), and then someone says, "Call it," and someone else says, "10:38," and before you know it, you're dead. What's that about? If necessary, have the clocks removed prior to any serious medical procedure.

Old age complicated by quirkiness. The old and colorful live short lives at the TV hospital. Senior citizens admitted thereto must beware of marching to the beats of their own drummers, extolling the virtues of drinking or cigars, or flirting with young doctors. This kind of upbeat attitude combined with years of experience out in the world most often leads to dying peacefully in your sleep.

Fame deficits. Suppose the medical drama begins. You are yourself, and you are not famous, but you are brought in as a result of a terrible accident in which the other person brought into the hospital is, let's say, James Woods. Here, I grab you by the lapels and tell you: You are going to die. There are two of you only so that one of you can die in order to underscore the seriousness of the situation, and it's not going to be James Woods. This is why many safety experts recommend against standing on outdoor scaffolding with celebrities.

Sad montages. TV-hospital patients must learn to advocate for themselves, and should protest if they discover that surgery is to be performed as part of a montage accompanied by a song where the string section is prominently featured or where the only instrument in evidence is the piano.


Also, I realize many female actors were on this show and their careers were big there... but this is my blog, and today, it's all about the Eye Candy. Maybe you should get your own blog to post photos of Maura Tierney and Laura Innes.