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Pull it together

Lately I've been in a horrible mood. I'm stressed out because I'm moving, and I haven't been entirely happy with my job. But I'm going to try to make it a great day today. In honor of that, here are 5 things I'm grateful for this morning:

1) Free tea and coffee in the break room

2) Having a team who is always ready and willing to help with whatever comes up

3) The doorman at my new building being super nice to me this morning even though I was a total mess in the parking lot

4) Having made some progress over the weekend in packing up my apartment

5) Tim Horton's coming to NYC

Harry Potter

I'm pretty behind the times - although I own all of the Harry Potter books, I've only read the first one and half of the second. And although I own all the Harry Potter movies, I had only watched the first one until today. I just watched the second and am in the middle of the third right now. Is it bad if I think Harry Potter is hot starting in movie number 3?

When I was studying at Oxford, I was staying at Somerville college, but we went to one of the other colleges to check it out - Christ Church. And at the time, we went into the dining hall of Christ Church because that's where they filmed the dining hall scenes in Harry Potter. It's pretty cool to see it on film.

I'm hoping to get caught up with the movies so that I can either see the new one in theaters or at least when it comes out on Netflix.

A Charlie Brown-Scrubs Christmas

An oldie, but a goodie! Enjoy:

Dec. 3rd, 2008

At the end of every day, write down five things that have made you happy or appreciative that day; not necessarily big things, even small ones count.

1) Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks
2) Figuring out something at work that was really upsetting me yesterday - actually, not only figuring it out, but fixing it!
3) Having dinner with my sister
4) Blistex
5) My new sweater from the Gap keeping me warm

I may be back?

So I checked out my old homepage today, and I had a login link to my LiveJournal. It made me wish I was still writing in here, not only because my posts were fun, but also because unlike my other blog, the posts here are actually about me and my life. So I'm considering coming back to LJ.

It's a ridiculous idea to try to keep three blogs plus Twitter. But I'm thinking of potentially consolidating The Televisionista and Mad Street Cred, since I never write in The Televisionista anyway. Plus, I don't see LJ as a blog as much as a... well... journal.

I'm at work right now, coming off a great day at work on Friday. Today is slow but actually quite productive. I'm getting a jump start on a creative brief, which is something I never do. We have a meeting with a client at 1, and I'm kind of excited about it. I don't know why - maybe it's all the caffeine.

So I had a date on Friday - let's just say it was really really great, and I'm hoping for another date soon.

I'll post again later I think, LJ is feeling like home to me.

To Sir, with Love

Tonight I went to Bryant Park for the weekly Monday night movie. This week it was To Sir, with Love. It's a 1967 classic starring Sidney Poitier, and it's about an inner-city high school with white troublemaker students and a black teacher. I guess that makes it a bit of a reversal, compared to modern movies.

We didn't really watch much of the actual movie. Jeanne fell asleep, then Steph and I chatted through a lot of the rest of it. (Yeah, I know, don't worry, I get annoyed when people talk through movies too. But a '60s movie projected onto a big screen in a park in the middle of midtown Manhattan isn't exactly a quiet setting.) But from what I did see, I think Michelle Pfeiffer is in it, and then they teach the at-risk youth to respect each other and that basketball isn't the only way out of the "ghetto." Then (interspersed with scenes of the kids' abusive-slash-neglectful parents in run-down apartments, of course), the teachers show the students that they, too, can write fictional masterpieces and even learn to ballroom dance. But in the end the kids end up teaching the teachers a thing or two themselves. ;-)

In all seriousness though, it seems like To Sir With Love was the original in this oft-repeated, oft-mocked genre. Maybe I should have payed more attention at Bryant Park.

The real reason for my entry is to say that watching a movie on the lawn in Bryant Park is definitely as cool as I thought it would be. If you live in NYC or are ever in NYC on a Monday night in the summer, you've got to go. It's a NY experience that shouldn't be missed. Don't forget to bring a bottle of wine.

Oh, also, I much prefer Natalie Merchant's remake of the song "To Sir With Love" over Lulu's version. Just putting that out there.

"Let's make it a dance..."

Just watch it. No explanation needed. (Except that, yes, this was an actual commercial.) I don't know about you, but if I lived in Montgomery, I'd definitely get my furniture here... after all, it IS just like a mini-mall...

This is our theme song at work. Can you think of anything better?!

Harmony: Only for straights??

This morning during my daily browse of (p.s. if you don't read Slate, you should), I wandered over to one of my favorite sections, the Ad Report Card. They reviewed the new commercials, which actually have caught my attention even during DVR zip-throughs. They all end with a big red stamp on the screen that reads "Rejected." The ads claim that Chemistry's competitor has rejected over one million applicants.

Apparently there's one ad I hadn't seen before. It's in the "Rejected" series of Chemistry ads, but it's targeted toward the gay audience. I never thought about it before (I guess partly because I've never used these kinds of websites), but I guess eHarmony has a strict heterosexual policy. Homosexuals need not apply. Watch the ad here. (It's very clever.)

What I also learned from Slate is that eHarmony was founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, an evangelical Christian tied to the ultra-conservative Focus on the Family franchise. Yikes. I had no idea.

Last month, a gay woman from California filed a suit against eHarmony claiming discrimination. Warren's justification for the eHarmony policy, and his stubborn defense of it in the face of any criticism whatsoever, shouldn't be a surprise. That's Focus on the Family's game. But I still can't believe it. Listen to his interview on NPR's Fresh Air, and see what you think.

First of all, am I the only person who had no idea that eHarmony was so religious? Read Warren's article about eHarmony's mission. I honestly had no idea. I also had no idea that the original marketing plan was targeted to Christians (including the words "Christian values") and that eHarmony's goal is to create marriages. Have I just not been paying attention? How did I miss this??

Secondly, Warren's comments about gay love and gay marriage are just offensive. Even just the fact that he differentiates between gay love and love. As if gay applicants are some kind of alien life form to whom research about love doesn't apply. Gay people can't be in love? Sigh. I won't even get in to any of this, but... it's offensive. And he's completely unapologetic. I can't stand it.

I'm getting too disheartened to write anymore. But the moral of my story is... 1) please don't be hateful, and 2) if you ever sign up for a dating place like this, never choose eHarmony.

As much as I'd like to stay away from writing reviews of any sort (sorry, it's a backlash from getting a master's in criticism), it is a good way to get back into the writing-for-fun mindset. So I'm doing it anyway. Just briefly. And I wouldn't call this a critique as much as a plug.

A few weeks ago, I was debating whether I should see the musical 110 in the Shade. Some of my friends had said it wasn't that great and that I should go see Spring Awakening instead. So two weeks ago I saw Spring Awakening, and tonight I saw 110 in the Shade. Here's my verdict: see BOTH of them. They're fabulous. Here's why.

Everyone keeps saying Spring Awakening is like a complete, polished version of Rent, if Jonathan Larson hadn't died before he finished it. I agree with that. The music is very contemporary -- contemporary as in 2007-ish, not '90s music like Rent. The story is set in 1890s Germany, with costumes and sets to match, but the language and the lyrics and the electric-guitar-laden music is strikingly modern (think Green Day, Dashboard Confessional, Fall Out Boy, etc.). (P.S. The music is by Duncan Sheik, of "Barely Breathing" fame, but I promise the music is not '90s-ish. It's excellent.) The show is about sex and violence and death and growing up, and how the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's pretty artsy, and you have to be ready for a) lots of sex and talk about sex, and b) the cognitive disconnect between the set/costumes/setting and the music/language/themes. Trust me. They're doing it on purpose. The writers didn't think people used slang like "it's the bitch of living" and "we've all got our junk, and my junk is you" in 1890s Germany. Go with it. You'll figure it out by the end of Act One. Wanna hear some of the music? Check out the video below of the cast's performance at the 2007 Tony Awards of a medley of songs from Spring Awakening, including "Mama Who Bore Me," "The Bitch of Living" and "Totally Fucked."

110 in the Shade is a much more old-fashioned musical, but you can't beat the stellar acting and the emotional punch this show delivers. I think I cried 4 times. Honestly. Audra McDonald is just amazing. And the performance at the Tonys didn't do the show justice, since it was taken out of context. It's a kind of Music Man-type plot... you know, traveling swindler comes to town and shakes things up. But there's a twist at the end. It really is so moving. Go see it.

Okay, that's my theater rundown for the night. I'm going to try to post every day, so stay tuned, blog readers.


Okay, I turn 24 today (it's 1 am, so I can say "today"), and I'm working at a normal job that requires me to wake up at 6:30 am. What I mean is, I need to go to bed. But I just thought I'd let all my readers (Ben) know that I'm going to start blogging again. Especially now that I know how to use html and affiliate links and all that cool stuff, thanks to my new job. You can check out the latest fruits of my labor at Paris Hilton FAQs. Anyway, hopefully I'll blog about something more meaningful later, but for now... I'm excited to be turning 24 -- because I love the show 24. How lame is that.

(beep. beep. beep. beep. beep.)

Oh, also, I love the movie Closer, which I was reminded of tonight. So I offer a few quotes from the movie, for your enjoyment:

Alice: You still fancy me?
Dan: ... Of course.
Alice: You're lying. I've been you.

Anna: Why is the sex so important?
Larry: Because I'm a fucking caveman!

Dan: You think love is simple. You think the heart is like a diagram!
Larry: Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, covered in blood! Go fuck yourself! You writer! You liar!

Dan: At six, we stand round the computer and read the next day's page, make final changes, put in a few euphemisms to amuse ourselves...
Alice: Such as?
Dan: "He was a convivial fellow" - meaning he was an alcoholic. "He valued his privacy" - gay. "He enjoyed his privacy" - raging queen.
Alice: What would my euphemism be?
Dan: She was... disarming.
Alice: That's not a euphemism.
Dan: Yes, it is.

Alice: It's a lie. It's a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and... all the glittering assholes who appreciate Art say it's beautiful 'cause that's what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone... But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so... the exhibition is reassuring, which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.

Dan: You love her like a dog loves its owner.
Larry: And the owner loves the dog for so doing.
Dan: You'll hurt her. You'll never forgive her.
Larry: Of course I'll forgive her. I have forgiven her. Without forgiveness we're savages. You're drowning.