pushing20

maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller

5.30.2005

Too Much TV

HSG (11:58:36 PM): hey
HSG(11:58:38 PM): what's up?
bex (12:01:51 AM): nothing at all
HSG12:02:22 AM): daily show reruns and whatever's on vh1 kind of night?
bex (12:03:02 AM): pretty much
HSG(12:04:43 AM): i continue to recommend animal planet
bex (12:06:59 AM): let's see what's on...
bex (12:07:09 AM): ok i have no idea what number it is
HSG (12:08:19 AM): that's no excuse, you have a guide button. you press it all the time. you've mastered the ability to search the guide and continue to watch your show at the same time.
bex (12:08:43 AM): well that's definitely true
bex (12:08:45 AM): here it is
bex (12:09:02 AM): 86
bex (12:09:11 AM): "the planet's funniest animmals"
HSG(12:09:20 AM): oh that show blows
bex (12:09:25 AM): oh god
HSG (12:09:42 AM): get rid of mario lopez
HSG (12:09:50 AM): it's just sad
bex (12:10:07 AM): you know what else is sad?
HSG (12:10:42 AM): pigs named "squeal o'neal" jumping through hoops?
bex (12:10:57 AM): no (though...yeah.)
bex (12:11:11 AM): the fact that you know who the host of "america's funniest animals" is
HSG(12:12:00 AM): oh shut up, so do you
HSG (12:12:24 AM): once you turn on animal planet once and see ac slater talking to dog owners about dog tricks, you never forget it
HSG (12:12:46 AM): ...it's not like i watch the show
bex (12:12:52 AM): mmmmmmhm

5.29.2005

As if I needed more reasons why I didn't want to live in LA...

I saw Crash with my mother the other night, and it made me realize something: LA, despite being home of the entertainment industry, is portrayed as the worst place ever on the silver screen.



Overall, I thught Crash was a really good movie. It examined race tensions and class structures in Los Angeles. A bit heavyhanded at times, but unexpectedly powerful performances by Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, and (to my complete shock) Ludacris made it worth the $10.75. (Side note: theater owners are criminal for charging that much. End rant. Exhale.) Despite (or becasue of) the powerful performances, I left the theater believing that LA was this racially segregated hellhole, plagued by so many social ills I'm shocked it doesn't curl up and die. Plus, it made the LAPD look like racist assholes. Becuase I guess we haven't had a new reason to hate the LAPD in a while.

It got me thinking about other instances of LA in the movies. First thing that came to mind was Collateral.

There's a great example of fine, upstanding Angelenos.

Magnolia
? Boogie Nights? Almost enough to make you lose faith in the possiblity of human happiness.

Interested in dismal views of the future? Check out the Los Angeles-set Terminator and Blade Runner .

Training Day gives us yet another glowing appraisal of the LAPD, just in case the memory of Rodney King has faded.

For god's sake, even Pretty Woman, a generally fun movie that I watch pretty much every time it's on cable (which is basically twice a week) is about a prostitute, for fuck's sake.

5.27.2005

Being Still like a Vegetable, Laying Like Broccoli

I am doing as Julia Roberts suggested in Pretty Woman.

I've spent the last day and a half sprawled out on the couch watching TV, catching up on everything the DVR has saved for me since the last time I was home. I'll start working soon, hopefully join the gym tomorrow, but for now, sitting here feels pretty damn good.

About three hours after I got back from Williamstown on Tuesday I had to be at a dinner with 25 friends of my family. In fact, all of the families met nine years ago when we all went on a trip to Israel. All good people, but all crazy Jews--certainly a high-energy group. Definitely not the place I wanted to be after very little sleep in the last week or so. Plus, when I get back to the city from school I tend to get very overwhelmed-- I need a quiet day or two to readjust to city life.

So I walk in to the dinner (which was held in a private room at a nice Italian place in midtown) with my brother and poor, poor Krystle, a friend from school to whom I had offered a place to crash before she flew home Wednesday and then I somehow sucked her in to going to this event. I saw my parents for the first time in a month and a half, and what was the first thing they said?

"Bex, you look like you need a drink. Go get one and then we'll talk."

God bless Grey Goose. Dinner wasn't half as painful as I'd feared it would be.

And now, back to my TV marathon. I've watched like six episodes of The L Word today (fyi: Showtime on Demand is ruining my life), plus like 6 other hours of television. I think I'm turning into asparagus.

5.24.2005

huh.

All the comfy stuff is gone from my bed. The memory-foam pad, the quilted matteress cover, cozy duvet, most of the pillows. All packed away in self-storage. All I've got now is a fitted sheet, a pillow, and my extra blanket. Stuff I can stick in at the last minute.

I'm lying here doing my regular nighttime thing (laptop sitting on my belly, one last e-mail and news check, a little conversation with HSG...), and it seems like everything is echoing against the cinderblock walls that were covered all year.

Posters? Safely in their cardboard tube. Clothes? Suitcased. TV? DVD player? Rugs? Lamps? All packed away tight. All the drawers are empty. Closet too.

It's a strange feeling, knowing that the place I've called home for the last 10 months is about to be someone else's home. Where my pirate flag used to hang, someone might put (shudder) that stupid Animal House poster every college guy seems to have. The bathroom that the Dish and I shared might not have a stereo--and the people who shower there might not sing.

I'm looking forward to this summer and then coming back for my junior year, but right now, what would feel just perfect would be to be curled up in my bed with all my pillows and over-sized comforter, not knowing that everything is about to change.

5.22.2005

iTunes Anxiety

The "Top 25 Most Played" smartplaylist on iTunes really messes with my head.

I'm at least a little bit from the school that believes that what you like is nearly as important as what you are like (tm, High Fidelity), so the appearance of, say, The Get Up Kids on my most-played list is troubling on an existential level.

Now, contrary to my last statement, I am not a music snob. Movie snob? Probably. TV snob? Abso-fucking-lutely. But for all of those I think there's a place for "junk food": stuff you love but is terrible for you. I mean, let's be frank: listening to Britney is like eating Cheetos. Seems totally perfect at the time, but afterwards, you're all "huh. I just ate an entire bag of Cheetos/listened to all of "Hit Me Baby One More Time". I should never, ever admit that to anyone. And I should probably go to the gym."

My top 25 is mostly acceptable. My tastes are fairly diverse, so nothing has like 65 plays in the last year. My top is 29 (Howie Day's "Collide" and Guster's "Either Way"). No jazz is represented on the list because I rotate my collection too much. Some songs are underrepreseted because like more than one version. Example: I love Bush's "Glycerine" (shut up, it came out at the exact right moment in my life and shhhh.), and the combined number of times I've listened to the version off Sixteen Stone and the live at MTV Spring Break (acoustic) add up to 20, far more than Death Cab's "Lack of Color" (16 plays), or Guster's "Fa Fa Fa Fa" (14), which I don't even like that much. Individually, Neither "Glycerine" makes the list, even though combined they are right there with the Smashing Pumpkins' "Today" (21).

Sometimes I look at the list and get totally freaked out that, like, Toad the Wet Sprocket is up there, so I listen to Queen's "Under Pressure" (which, by the way, is the best song for finals EVER) three times in a row to get Toad to go away. Also, I think I like "Under Pressure" better than "Bicycle", which was already on the list, so a little manipulation of the list might be in order there.

Another example of the "Glycerine" problem: Dave Matthews' "Proudest Monkey" made the list (16), but "Crash in to Me" and "Satellite" did not. Three versions of each of those babies, adding up to 20 and 15 times apiece. Individually, each has a pitiful 5-10. There is no justice in iTunes.

So I write all this to say: please don't judge me by my Top 25 Most Played. It's given me such a headache already.

5.21.2005

No more pencils, no more books...

Whew.

All done with finals.

I can't believe I'm halfway done with college. I don't have my grades yet, but I'm comofortable assuming that I'm passing all my classes. I had a great semester-- good profs, interesting classes, a successful rugby season.

Tomorrow I'll go through the very strange process of packing up my room, taking down my posters and emptying the shelves until it looks like every other cinder-block dorm room on campus. But for now, I'm just going to sit here and feel good.

T-minus 12 Hours...

Less than 12 hours til my chem final. Having a bit of a nutty.

Will feel much better when this is all over (in 13hrs 41 minutes, but who's counting?).

5.19.2005

Blocked

Having some issues with writer's block over here.

I've been writing my American Studies paper since about 11AM. I got through the first five pages before lunch. Since lunch? It's been like pulling friggin' teeth. It's takein me four hours to write three pages.

So eight pages down, three or four to go. This sucks.

That oughta be worth an extra half a grade on my paper

Or, "How Being a C-SPAN Nerd Finally Paid Off".

As I've mentioned before, I watch C-SPAN. Nerdy? Maybe. I like to call it a healthy interest in government. Potato, Potahto.

Yesterday (and today, and for however long it goes on) was fairly exciting in the Senate-- it's Judge Priscilla Owen's confirmation hearing, but what it really is is the culmination of the debate over the "nuclear option". Exciting stuff, so I woke up early yesterday to watch some of the debate before I headed to the library.

A few hours later I went to Professor Mellow's office to hand in my final poli sci paper, which incidentally was on how the filibuster affects presidential power and accountability. I mentioned to her that I had been watching it and the debate was pretty exciting, and I sat down and talked to her and another prof for a while aobut what was going on, and more generally about how I probably watch too much C-SPAN.

I told my prof that Senator Leahy (D-VT) essentially made the points that I had made in my paper, so if she wanted to just watch that when it was re-run yesterday evening I could just hang on to my paper.

I think she'll read it anyway.


(The stuff going on right now on the floor of the Senate is really exciting, and if anyone out there is interested they should turn on C-SPAN2 or go to c-span.org and watch it live. God, I'm such a parliamentary procedure nerd.)

5.16.2005

Well, that's three hours of my life that I'll never get back...

I just spent three hours watching the Bachelor with some girls that live on my floor.

Three. Hours.

I'm just going to have to live with the fact that even though I have twenty pages of writing due this week, I chose to sit there and watch Charlie "not as cute as Jerry" O'Connell and Chris "my other job is hosting Designers' Challenge on HGTV" Harrison.

He ended up with Sarah, if you were wondering (...which you weren't, because noone with half a brain watches this show).

Occifer!

As I wrote last week, this past Saturday my rugby club held our annual elections. It's a long, drunken process further complicated by the fact that it is held about nine hours after the end of our Spring banquet (a beer-soaked bonfire, complete with roast pig on a spit...) ends. 9am Saturday morning thirty or so hungover college students file sit down and start drinking again, if only to make the intense headaches subside. We're all-stars, I know.


the bonfire

Rugby is a strange sport. This is true in a thousand ways, but the way I'm thinking about right now is this: chugging a beer is considered a punishment (i.e. if you're talking when something important is happening, our chief can tell us to finish our beers), and beer is also a reward-- our trophy bowl comes filled with beer, and when you get an award you drink it down. Paradox much?


izzi drinking her trophy

Anyway. Elections.

So I sat there nibbling a bagel, chewing each bite for like fifteen minutes until my stomach agreed to keep it down, sipping my mimosa (quickly followed by beer, once those ran out).


junior, marilyn, and myself at elections

Elections officially start. President elected, line and scrum captains elected. fine. Here comes the fun part: I was nominated for the next SIX positions, and LOST THEM ALL. I got the seventh thing I was nominated for. Not an awesome feeling.

When I started to get upset around loss #4 or 5 my friend Beth came over and talked to me. She was great, assuring me that I'd be an officer, that everyone knew I was really committed to the club, all good stuff. I'll miss Beth a lot next year (she's graduating), and it really made me feel sorry that we hadn't been closer friends while she was still on campus. Oh well...

In the end though I was elected to the position of Head Advisor, which puts me in charge of recruiting freshmen and getting them to stay in the club next year. I'm getting excited about it, especially since we had our incoming/outgoing officer dinner last night (drunk pictures and tales to come later...suffice it to say that we went through 2.5 handles of Cuervo between nineteen of us. gross? maybe. absurd? definitely.)

5.11.2005

So THIS is why I go to school here...

What with my dorm being invaded by mice and bats, the spectacularly unpredictable weather, and the feeling that I've eaten in each of the 5 local restaurants about 8000 times, it's easy to forget why I chose to go to school in the country.


72 degrees and sunny, today was made for college viewbooks. Classes were held outside on picnic tables under trees. People were throwing actual frisbees. The faint smell of almost-blooming lilacs mixed with freshly-cut grass made it hard not to smile as I squinted my eyes into the perfectly blue sky. Maybe not perfectly blue, but the only clouds were hand-drawn fluffy, Jet-Puffed above the Science Quad.



Granted, I spent half the day in the lab and half the day writing in the library, but the walk between my dorm and the library could not have been lovelier. After four months of grey winter, the mountains rising above campus are finally looking less spiny, more Bob Ross-esque (happy trees, people. keep up.).

In two weeks I'll be headed back to the City. Anyone who knows me knows that there is nowhere I feel more at home than New York. But you know what? I'm gonna miss my little town in the Berkshires.

5.10.2005

I think Presidential elections are simpler than this...

This weekend marked the official end of the spring rugby season, with our last game Saturday morning, and then our bi-annual tea party that night.

Now, when I say "tea party", you might think off a bunch of young ladies sipping Earl Grey, resting flowered teacups on saucers. Well, there is no English Breakfast at our tea parties.

Our tea isn't grown in China. Rather, the recipe comes from Long Island. And the only rule is that you have to "double fist" with a purple plastic cup of tea and a clear plastic cup of beer. Wonder why? Well, I think the reason has something to do with our tea recipe, which includes like five handles of liquor and a few liters of Coke(real, not Diet), all mixed together in a 5-gallon Gatorade cooler. Gotta love college-- the only time in your life that 30 smart young women (no guys in sight) will get all dressed up to barbecue and get completely ripped. It's a fun tradition.

This weekend we have our last two rugby events of the year: Spring banquet (bonfire with the men's rugby team, complete shitshow from what I remember from last year...I threw up in my friend Chris's sink. Lovely evening.), and then Awards & Elections, which takes place this coming Saturday morning, when we will still be drunk from banquet the night before.

Rugby elections, like any elections, are quite political. Just imagine 40 girls, all either drunk, hungover, or somewhere in between, getting completely worked up about things that frankly don't matter that much. It's important that our club has responsible people running it since it's a club team and thus entirely student-run, but the amount of intense debate (at least last year, my first on the team) is astounding.

The process goes something like this:
- Last week our current club president sent out an e-mail to all rising juniors and seniors asking us what positions we want.
- This week there is some politicking going on...this year's officers feeling out who they want to succeed them, prospective officers circling to see what position they might be nominated for.
-Saturday morning each current officer will nominate the person they want to succeed them, then anyone can nominate other people. Anyone nominated for a particular position then leaves the building, probably with a few drinks to pass the time.
- We sit and talk about those people, debating who will do a better job. This can take up to an hour or so for the "big" positions on the team (prez, captains).
-We vote. Candidates are brought back in, winner is announced.
-Rinse and Repeat for every officer position (there are about 10).

So yeah. I am in the middle of dealing with all this crap right now. It's dumb, but you gotta play the game, you know?

5.06.2005

WARNING: i'm drunker than you right now.

So here's the birthday-in(-drunk)-progress post.

I am 20! my mother has called about 12 times to wich me a happy happy, as has my father, grandparents, aunts, my two bestest pals from home, my brother-- just everyone. Also lots of warm wishes via IM from people I haven't seen in a million years. Feels great to hear from everyone.

My room is full of huge, floaty, helium-filled balloons, care of my awesome friends. Just when I think I am sooo ready to go home for the summer, they do awesome things like fill my room with balloons and give me a terribly happy birthday. You know you're lucky when you love all your friends so much you don't know which ones you want to be with, you know? I'm very lucky, and very loved.

IN the grand tradition of my rugby team, our team chief brought me one of those teeny bottles of Jose Cuervo. So I downed that like the pro that I am (I got props for taking it so well...yay for starting early and knowing how to take a fucking shot). And then since it was our last practice of the year, we did a little celebrating afterwards.



So in closing, on this 20th anniversary of my birth, I feel just incredibly lucky and happy and not just a little bit drunk. Here's to another 20!





(also? Mets are up 6-1 in the 4th. YEAH.)

5.05.2005

Here we are, a month in to baseball season. Mets are 14-14, just barely hanging on to .500. As I've written before, I've been a Mets fan all my life and plan to stay that way till I die, so my criticisms are all out of love.

But here's what I've noticed this year:

I feel like every (well, almost every) game they play is a blowout. You just never know if it's gonna be the Mets slugging in 5 runs in the 4th inning, or if they're gonna be the guys with two hits and 4 errors for the game.

I guess it more or less correlates with the pitcher-- when Pedro pitches, the Mets are gonna blow the other guys out. But more generally, this is a rediculously unpredictable team. For example: just when you think Jae Seo and Victor Diaz suck so much they couldn't possibly suck anymore...they prove that theory, and stop sucking so much.

Cliff Floyd, somehow, has been the only constant on this team. The guy just completely earns his paycheck, every freakin' day. Piazza has been almost as consistent: the guy can't hit a ball to save his life. Everyone knows he's a shitty catcher, but we love him because he's a slugger, right? Yeah, a slugger with a .198 batting average. Great.

Oh, and Braden Looper? I hate you almost as much as I hated Armando Benitez. Think about that.




ps. I TURN 20 TOMORROW. how 'bout that?

5.02.2005

Never thought I'd say it,

but Laura Bush? Is FUNNY. Or at least has a great speechwriting staff. Frankly, I don't care which. She totally brought it the other night at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

The speech, apparently penned by Landon Parvin, poked fun at Barbara Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and most importantly, President Bush. Now, I'm as ardent a Democrat as you will find, but I give whoever decided that the First Lady should make fun of everyone a lot of credit. It was a great way to soften up the president, and it was executed brilliantly.

Here are a few of my favorite lines:

"George always says that he's delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He's usually in bed by now. I'm not kidding. I said to him the other day, George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later."

"George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw. Which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well."

"The amazing thing is that George and I were just meant to be. I was a librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George."

Lots more available here and here.

I still disagree with just about everything on the President's agenda, but I can recognize a clever political move when I see one. Two thumbs up to the First Lady.

For today, anyway. Tomorrow? All bets are off.