Holy Shit, I Love You!

​For the past couple of days, I’ve been feeling like the internet was this megaphone for the terminally stupid.

Facebook inspired this ire….because, well…it’s Facebook. ​

I came across someone who genuinely believed that Ato Essandoh (D’Artagnan in D’jango) was actually torn apart by dogs and killed because Leonardo DiCaprio willed it so (apparently, dude is super method) and because racism.

I don’t deny that the US has issues when it comes to race, but dude – fucking really? This? Just…no.

(For the record, Essandoh is fine and just starred that show Elementary on CBS. If you’re working in close proximity with Lucy Liu, I’m gonna go ahead and say you’re doing alright.)

Then, I came across a former acquaintance whose entire life philosophy seems to be a pastiche of bumper sticker wisdom, conspiracy theory paranoia and pseudo-intellectual bullshit about seeking the capital T truth.

​​
You wanna handle this one for me, Jean-Ralphio?

jeanralphio

Thanks, bro.

Internet is my boyfriend and I hate when we fight but this morning, we made up and now, we’re back to good again.

So, here’s a bunch of stuff I love (holy shit) and I hope you love it too:

This story about Howard’s Fried Chicken in Chicago. The food sounds great but the exchange between cashier and client just kills me:

Cashier: I have an order for six chicken dinners!
Customer: That’s for me.
Cashier: Is that for here or to go?
Customer: Excuse me? You think I’m going to sit here and eat six chicken dinners by myself?
Cashier: Bitch, I don’t know your life!

This incredible Spanish guitar cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It which makes me wanna run away to Spain and hang out in the sunshine while drinking tinto de verano. ​

This post from The Pigeon Gazette ​which features a number of my weaknesses – p​uns, cute animation and Lil’ Jon.

This comic about a mermaid and a unicorn falling in love.

Bar Amo Super Nachos ​which seem to be c​reated with love, scientific precision and pomegranate seeds.

24 Hours in Nashville with Alex Thomopolous which is a great start because I’ve been banging the drum about visiting Nashville for a while now and this just added to the cacophony. I’m hoping to visit over the holidays, listen to lots of live music and eat a shocking amount of biscuits.

These images of the Hotel Nord Pinus in Tangier, Morocco because I want to go to there so badly. Guys, I’ve had the most vicious wanderlust lately.

​This picture of astronaut Leland Melvin and his two rescue dogs.

This video of a Shibu Inu swimming. So, the love of my life is a Shiba Inu and watching this video fills me with such pride that I can’t refrain from babytalking to the screen – “You’re doing it, little pumpkin! You’re swimming! Who’s a pretty girl? Who’s a little mermaid?” It’s ridiculous but I kinda don’t care because dogs are the best of all things.

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50 Reasons To Love America Or, Holy Shit I Love You: The Stars and Stripes Edition

Today, America turns 237 and I have but one thing to say – Holy Shit, I Love You.

And here are fifty reasons why.

1. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I love the fact that Americans don’t ask for perfection but continually strive towards it as if every day is a promise to be a little better than the day before.

2. Heterogeneity. When I was in college, this bubble-headed girl asked me what I was. When I replied, “English,” she responded with, “You don’t look English.” That chapped me a little. I mean, what does an English person look like? Then, it got me thinking about what an American looks like and I realized that there is no answer to that question. There is no idealized portrait of an American for we are straight. We are gay. We are transgendered. We are black. We are white. We are various shades of brown. Some of us were born here and some of us came here from far-flung lands. And yet – we are all American. There’s something really beautiful about that.

3. Pixar’s ability to break your heart (if you didn’t sob hysterically during the first ten minutes of Up, there’s a strong likelihood that you are a serial killer) and heal it better than new within the span of two hours.

4. Dan Marino – also known as the right arm of God Himself, the promise of Ryan Tannehill, Don Shula, JT, Zach Thomas and the 1976 Miami Dolphins. Keep poppin’ that champagne, boys.

5. The smell of the Atlantic Ocean.

6. Sesame Street. I still count to 12 using the cadence I learned on this show.

7. The silver-lined cynicism of Charles Bukowski, the black tar noir of Raymond Chandler, the lush lyricism of Jack Kerouac and Walt Whitman, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway will break your fucking heart and the way Rob Sheffield writes as if we’re best friends, hanging out and just shooting the breeze about music.

8. Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

nighthawks

9. Diners – open all night, buzzing with neon and cup after endless cup of strong coffee served in thick ceramic mugs by a waitress who calls you ‘hon.’

10. Bruce Springsteen – a man whose words I believe in so much and hold so dear, I want them indelibly inked upon my flesh.

bruce

11. Christmas lights on palm trees.

12. The Federal Highway Act of 1956 which made the United States of America a little more united.

13. Drinking an ice-cold Bluecoat and Tonic with a lot of lime on a balmy summer afternoon and feeling civilized once again.

14. The look on Neil Armstrong’s face after he walked on the moon.

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15. Blue jeans, white tees, aviators and Chuck Taylors.

16. Joss Whedon, Bill Hicks, Tina Fey, Matt Taibbi, Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ken Burns, Mel Brooks, Bill Simmons, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Dave Grohl and Aaron Sorkin – tellers of stories and truths.

17. Public libraries and the wrath of public librarians when it comes to fighting against banning books.

18. Singing Sabotage by the Beastie Boys really loudly in the car.

19. Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

20. “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.” Badlands by Bruce Springsteen.

21. The view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge.

22. Free refills.

23 The stars on the Stars and Stripes. That is excellent design work. Thanks, Betsy Ross!

24. The Rock. His quads are bigger than my entire body and his Instagram is my new favorite thing ever.

25. American Thighs. The Veruca Salt album and pretty much any lady with some luscious curves.

26. The fact that you can totally get a quesadilla at Chipotle if you ask for it. Dudes, it’s so good. The cheese gets all gooey and when you dip in guacamole, there’s this like, two second moment where you swear you’re gonna pass out from happiness.

27. The National Park Service.

28. Policemen, Firefighters, Paramedics and anyone who runs towards the danger instead of away from it.

29. The implicit understanding that all sandwiches are to be served with some sort of potato-based side.

30. Ron Livingston. Particularly the fact that he’s going to be in the new season of Boardwalk Empire. Can we please take a second to appreciate the fact that I get to see this man dressed up 1920s style?

He pops up around the 0.14 second mark, winks and then I pretty much black out because I legit cannot handle how handsome this man is.

31. The Grand Canyon, sequoia and banyan trees, Hawaiian volcanoes, amber waves of grain and the majesty of purple mountains.

32. Southern men who call you ‘honey’ and ‘darlin” and ‘sugar.’

33. Coach and Mrs. Coach. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose y’all.

thetaylors

34. Thug Kitchen. Because I eat like I give multiple fucks.

35. The first ever ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon.

36. Anthony Bourdain, Julia Child, Jose Garces and David Chang.

37. Appalachian bluegrass + zydeco + SoCal punk rock + Southern rock + Chicago blues + Chicano rock + Miami bass

38. NASA

39. Senator Robert Kennedy. Senator Patrick Leahy. Senator Al Franken. Mayor Cory Booker. State Senator Wendy Davis. Senator Elizabeth Warren. President Barack Obama.

40. HBO.

41. Marshall Raylan Givens

raylan

42. The Goddamn Batman.

43. Axel Foley. Particularly his laugh.

44. Fender Strats and gold-top Gibson guitars.

45. Thanksgiving. It’s the greatest day of the year – you get together with the people you love, you eat so well, you express genuine gratitude for your life and there’s football. And possibly a nap. It’s perfect.

46. Photobooth pictures

photobooth

47. The Great American Roadtrip – open windows, loud music and blue skies for miles.

48. Calvin and Hobbes

c&h

49. My parents and my sister who, after twenty years, are finally Americans.

50. Americans. A vast majority of whom are kind, decent people eager to share their stories and hear yours. People who are always down to grab a bite. People who are quick to laugh. People with a sense of ingrained unabashed optimism because tomorrow is another chance.

Happy 4th of July. Be happy, be safe and remember – if you use Miracle Whip instead of mayo, you’re a jerk and the Founding Fathers hate you.

Holy Shit, I Love You!

I know. I know.

Lately, this has become less a blog and more a list of things I love (holy shit). But that makes sense because I’ve always talked in “boy list language” as my boy, Rob Sheffield puts it.

Me and the boys at Championship Vinyl would get along really well…until they realized that I have quasi-terrible taste in music and kicked me out of the store.

Anyway – holy shit, I love:

– Vegan BLTs. OB-sessed. Like I’ve been thinking about them for weeks and if you made me one right now? I might just make out with you.

I went to Darbster a couple of months ago and l prison-ate this:

I KNOW.

Bacon purists gonna scoff and haters gonna hate but trust me – this was a pretty legit sandwich.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, prison-eating is basically guarding your meal while simultaneous wolfing it down as if you haven’t eaten in three days.

It’s attractive.

My sister is coming down for a concert in two weeks and the plan is to make tempeh BLTs with arugula, good multigrain bread, avocado and chipotle mayo. I am so stoked.

Oh my GOD. We could put fried green tomatoes in it!

HOLY SHIT.

You know, the fact that I don’t weight 500lbs is nothing short of a goddamn miracle.

– This past weekend, I ate Brussels Sprouts. I went to English State School — the land over overboiled, over-salted vegetables that usually smell like someone’s feet. Brussels Sprouts and cooked cabbage? Yeah, I’ll pass.

But I devoured a shocking amount of pan-crisped Brussels Sprouts with olive oil, lemon and honey.

So to the amazing chefs at Cut 432 in Delray – holy shit, I love you! Who would have thought a vegetarian could eat so well at a steakhouse?

Goop. My girl gp consistently kills it. Haters back and to the left, to the left. I totally want to hang out with Gwyneth (and her friend Jose Andres) and cook delicious food while Chris Martin plays piano.

There is only one thing that I can think of that would be better — Mindy Kaling’s version of goop for girls who like sparkly things and cheese fries and pop music. I’d wanna hang out with her (and her BFF BJ Novak) and cook something decidedly non-vegan while singing Madonna songs into a whisk microphone.

– You know what’s even better than the Rains of Castamere episode of Game of Thrones? NOT having your soul sucked out of you, Dementor-style. You know what’s even better than that? Retta liveblogging the episode via Twitter.

June 4, 2013

Clementine Von Radics who is one of my new favorite poets because she writes things like this:

I know
you and I
are not about poems or
other sentimental bullshit
but I have to tell you
even the way
you drink your coffee
knocks me the fuck out.

That’s kinda perfect.

You Just Gotta Keep on Livin’, Man. L-I-V-I-N Or, Holy Shit, I Love You!

Did you know there is a whole world out there not connected to the internet?

It’s filled with ponies and Cuban coffee and drag queens and giant skillets of food that you can eat and that’s where I’ve been lately. Hanging out, following the advice of Wooderson and just L-I-VI-N’, man.

And I’ve loved it, but I kinda sorta missed this place so I’m back with tales of the real world and how much I loved it (holy shit!).

In the past couple of months, I:

Saw The Black Crowes and Gary Clark Jr.
Was caught in a torrential downpour.
Got muddier than I’ve ever been in my life.
Made new friends who let us into the tent to shield us from the rain and more new friends who let us up to the front so we could see the Crowes up close in all their blues-rock glory.

sunfest

Walked barefoot on the 70 yard line at Dolphins Stadium.
Listened to John Denney read Clifford the Big Red Dog to small children and experienced ALL the feelings.
Met TD the Dolphin. He was sweaty.

finsfest

Spent my birthday with some of the greatest people in the world.
Drank bluecoat while wearing a tiara.
Had breakfast with drag queens the next morning.

birthday

Celebrated with one of my best friends as she graduated from law school.
Ate a skillet filled with deliciousness in the form of potatoes, eggs, artichoke hearts, spinach, sundried tomatoes and mushrooms.
Realized that the best thing about having two best friends who are lawyers is EVERYTHING.

danagrad

Spent quality time with my sister eating ALL the food and watching Parenthood (dudes, it’s so good. I mean, Max is the worst but every now and then – they reference Friday Night Lights and my heart just fills up like a balloon).

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Spent quality time with Biffle eating ALL the food and making this face a lot. Like all the time a lot. Of all of the pictures ever taken of us, this is the most representative of our relationship.

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As much as I love to cuddle up on the couch and spent some quality time with Netflix, I kinda love verbing it up and can’t wait to see what adventures Summer 2013 will bring.

Holy Shit! I Love You!

It’s been a while, so let’s dust off this old chestnut, shall we?

Starbucks Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte

rooibos

I grew up in a tea-drinking family – I learned how to make a good cup of chai when I was seven and my grandfather used to drink multiple cups a day – but I was never a big tea drinker. I gravitated more towards coffee because dear God, is anything more redolent of the bodily emissions of angels than a good cup of coffee?

But a girl gets tired of skinny blonde mistos and wants a little something different. Especially when it’s bitingly cold outside. So, I ordered a vanilla rooibos tea latte and was rewarded with a hug in a cup. A warm, sweet creamy kiss of vanilla and cinnamon that pulls double duty by warming your hands. It’s kinda perfect and I’m sure I’ll be running out to buy an aerolatte so I can make it at home.

John Frieda Hair Dye Foam

I dyed my hair last weekend.

haircollage

It went from every shade between black and honey blonde to a dark brown with cherry cola highlights….even though the box said Medium Golden Brown.

Huh. Right then…

The dyeing process was a bit of an ordeal as I spent about 45 minutes yelling in the bathroom:

“What the….Black gloves? Jesus, am I dyeing my hair or working at a black site?”
“Oh my God. Why isn’t my hair foaming up like the woman on the box? Now I know how Marcel felt. Foam, damn it! Foam!”
I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine…

Almost thirty and I still haven’t mastered the art of basic female maintenance.

So, even though my hair is considerably darker than anticipated, I actually really like it…and this will last for about two months at which point, I’ll decide, “Hey, you know what would be great? Annoying blonde highlights that are hell to maintain!”

Beastie Boys

beastie

I forget how much I love the Beastie Boys until I hear them and then, it comes rushing back to me – holy shit, has this always sounded so good?

However, I’ll admit that the first time I heard the Beastie Boys – I was utterly confused.
Dudes, how is this hip hop?
These are three skinny white boys who look like they belong in a 70s cop show (my first exposure was the Sabotage video).
Hip hop isn’t like this.
It’s like this and like that and like this and uh.

But it stuck with me. Because the Beasties continually redefined the boundaries of music. Yeah, you could take that funky drummer and give him back to James or you could stir fry him in your wok and make something even more delicious. Also, there isn’t isn’t a more joyous noise to make unto the Lord than screaming out, “NO! SLEEP! ‘TIL BROOKLYNNNNNN!” at the top of your lungs. Try it the next time you’re driving. You’ll see.

$20 Pocket Feeling Or, Holy Shit, I Love You Or, Dude. Stop Saying Things.

I got that $20 Pocket Feeling the other day.

Wait.
Wow.
That sounds really wrong.

Let me explain.

You know that feeling you get when you grab a jacket and find $20 in the pocket? It’s your money but you get excited about it anyway because hey! Free money!

That feeling.

I grabbed a random mix I made months ago, popped it into my CD player (what, dudes? I’m old-school….and for a really long time, I thought I lost my iPod, Little Big Bird so I had to start making mixes because the only thing worth listening to on the radio is NPR and Morning Edition doesn’t play music…but you know what’s amazing? The music section of the NPR website. You guys should check it out. Seriously, Tiny Desk Concerts is one of my favorite things ever) and the jaunty opening bassline of The Replacements’ Can’t Hardly Wait filled the car.

Immediately, my hips start to shimmy and I yell out, “Holy shit! I love this song!”

I forgot how good The Replacements are.

I can’t believe I forgot how good The Replacements are.

And how good this song is. Dudes, there’s a horn section. And Alex Chilton plays guitar on it. What more could a girl want?

Rediscovering this song put me in an excellent mood for the rest of the day.

This happens to me every now and then.

I’ll rediscover something I love – pears+blue cheese or Edward Hopper or the Go Fish episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which, admittedly, is actually a pretty crap episode but whatever. Swim Team Xander) – and it’ll spin me a little.

As much as I dig the discovery of new experiences, there’s something to be said about falling back in love with the old.

There’s something really comforting about it, too. Knowing that if you love something – like really love it in that grab-with-both-hands kinda way – it never really leaves you.

It’s always there, hanging out until you rediscover it and then, you get the chance to fall in love all over again.

Holy Shit! I Love You: The True Romance Edition

I’ve never been big on the romantic comedies.

They have their place in the pantheon and there is nothing wrong with watching The Notebook while folding laundry on a Sunday afternoon (he builds her a house! What more do you want, Rachel McAdams?! Baby Goose builds you a house!) but if I’m looking for a love story? Like a real love story? I’m going to with True Romance every time.

Directed by the late Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, True Romance is a 100% glurge-free love story. Violent and whip-smart, sexy and brutal, really well-written with a killer soundtrack and just so cool, so cool, so cool.

If you haven’t seen True Romance yet, this is what you’re going to do:

You are gonna grab someone you love. It doesn’t have to be your significant other. Grab your best friend, your sister, your dog or even your mom if she’s kind of a bad-ass and doesn’t mind a movie filled with profanity (225 instances of the word ‘fuck’ and its derivatives) and 21 deaths.

You’re gonna grab popcorn, pizza (the good stuff from the mom-and-pop joint) and beer (or a very large, very cold gin and tonic), turn down the lights, turn up the sound and watch the shit out of this movie.

You’re gonna marvel at how cool Christian Slater was and how you kinda sorta always wanted a boyfriend like Clarence Worley who would fanboy the fuck out about comic books and rock those bad-ass Elvis sunglasses and climb on a stack of phonebooks to kiss you.

You’re going to quote and re-quote the lines (“”I didn’t know it was white boy day” “Don’t condescend me, man…”), you’re going to fall in love with the prettiest soundtrack Hans Zimmer ever wrote and you’re going to gasp at just how many now-famous actors you recognize from this film.

And when the smoke clears and the end credits roll, you’re going to realize that no romantic comedy will ever be enough after this.

No matter what you watch, no-one will be as in love or as cool as Clarence and Alabama.

As always, Pajiba says it better than I ever could. Check out their review here.

Rest in Peace, Tony Scott. Thank you for True Romance and Beverly Hills Cop II. Both have factored into my life in a big way and I could not be more appreciative.