My view of Foo in San Diego last year. One of these days I’ll get a big girl camera.
Ann Curry leaving the Today Show has made me quite sad this week. I grew up watching Katie Couric and had a girl-crush on Mer Ver, and as they each departed, Ann Curry was always there making everything okay. I’m sure this Savannah chick is cool and all, but she’s got some big Choo’s to fill.
I was lucky enough to work at NBC for five plus years and it’s still my part-time home. Part of those five years were spent Kenneth-ing it up in the page program, and anyone who has worn that blue suit is probably feeling the same way as me right now. You develop an inexplicable attachment to all NBC shows and all NBC talent. These people aren’t just talking heads on television. They’re the people you share the elevator with, run into at lunch, and give at least four speeches a day about while leading visitors around on studio tours.
If I were to revise the page manual, I would start it off by saying, “The Today Show is bank. Learn everything you can about it because it’s always been the top-rated morning show for a reason and everyone who works there is pretty freaking awesome.” As I wrote this, I would think about the production staff, the stagehands, the talent, but most of all Ann Curry.
In the midst of Matt Lauer travelling the world and telling celebs how it is, Hoda and Kathie Lee drinking their way through the TGI Fridays cocktail menu, and a slew of lifestyle pieces, Ann Curry was always there holding it down with the news. Her segments might have been brief, but she always brought an air of legitimacy and professionalism to the table that made all the other parts work. And she carried this with her when she took over as anchor. For me, she was the heart and the glue of Today and also responsible for one of my favorite jokes on 30 Rock of all time.
TRACY MORGAN (to the NBC psychiatrist)
“Who’s crazier? Me or Ann Curry?”
Ann Curry is badass and I will never stop looking up to her. She and all the other news women out there deserve admiration and respect for all the work they do. Ann stands out amongst the pack, and I’ll miss seeing her every morning as I straighten my hair.
I might not be crazier than Ann Curry, but I’m definitely crazy about her.
This preview of Band of Horse’s new song “Dumpster World” just slayed me. First it’s folk rock, then it’s rock rock, but all throughout it’s amazing. Check it:
I didn’t have any cake on my birthday. I had a celebratory pinkberry, which was quite delicious, however not the same thing. Now before you congratulate me on committing to my diet hardcore enough to skip one of the bestest birthday traditions, you should know that cake did happen. It happened the day after. And it was good.
I’m at a new phase in my weight loss. In this phase, it’s no longer about completely restricting and just saying “no.” It’s now about letting myself indulge in things, while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, once I pop, I can’t stop, and I’m always one chip away from finishing the whole bag. So I’ve worked out a little system.
If I want something bad enough, I go out and get the best version of it. A one time isolated event of junk food eating that can’t carry into any other moment but the present. Pizza means a trip to Artichoke or Bleecker Street, ice cream cravings– Emack and Bolio’s, and on the odd chance I want a burger, I’m going to Shake Shack. Also, there’s a waiting process involved. The same way I force myself to wait 20 minutes to figure out if I’m still hungry after a meal, I try hold out to see if I can first mentally get over my appetite for diet destruction. This could be a week, a month, a few hours, a fortnight but in the case of my birthday, I only had to wait a day.
I was out with co-workers and kept getting texts from my roommate Staci about when I was coming home. This isn’t normal, but it’s not totally crazy either, so I didn’t think anything of it. When I finally did get back to the apartment, Staci and Marlo were waiting for me with this:
A birthday cake. And not just any birthday cake. THE birthday cake birthday cake from Momofuku Milk Bar. I’ve wanted this cake for two years and over the course of that time, during any trip to Milk Bar, one could hear me pointedly gushing to anyone who would listen that “that cake is all I ever want for my birthday.” Now, while a bunch of strangers never came through, my roommates did. And let me tell you, the cake was worth the weight. Pun definitely intended.
Decadent and sweet, it tasted like Katy Perry’s video for “California Girls.” The frosting on top was a little cream-cheesy and was covered in crushed cake truffles, encasing layer after layer of vanilla cake, sprinkles, and more of the amazing icing on the inside. If I had to hold out to eat my birthday treat, I held out for the best. And sharing it with some of my favorite people made it taste that much better.
So in the words of Janet Jackson, when it comes to treats, “let’s wait awhile.” Cause indulging isn’t entirely about eating the forbidden fruit, it’s the experience that makes it special.
Lately I’ve been listening to lyrics more than usual. I’ve found some artists take a very straightforward, open approach with their writing, while others seem to produce cagey poetry married to song. I’ve been really digging “Anything We Want” off of Fiona Apple’s new album “The Idler Wheel” as it doesn’t quite fit into either of those categories. The lyrics are both candid and cryptic and only made stronger by the Dirty Projectors-esque music perfectly layered behind them. See for yourself.
My cheeks were reflecting the longest wavelength
My fan was folded up and grazin’ my forehead
And I kept touching my neck to guide your eye to where I wanted
You to kiss when we find some time alone
My scars were reflecting the mist in your headlights
I looked like a neon zebra shakin’ rain off of stripes
And the rivulets had you riveted to the places that I wanted you to
Kiss me when we find some time alone
And then we can do anything we want
We started out sippin’ the water
And now we try to swallow the wave
And we try not to let those bastards get us down
Oh, we don’t worry anymore
Cuz we know when the guff comes we get brave
After all look around it’s happening it’s happening
It’s happening now
Let’s pretend we’re 8 years old playin’ hookey
I’ll draw on the wall and you can play UFC rookie
Then we’ll grow up and take our clothes off
And you remind me that I wanted you to kiss me
When we find some time alone
And then we can do anything we want
One of the many perks of being the birthday girl is when you don’t have any singles for the jukebox, everyone nearby gives you all the ones they got. While Staci or Dan or whoever were kick ass enough to stack the box with Foo Fighters in the beginning of the my birthday party, I was ready to take it from there. The closest I’ll ever be to a stripper is gleefully holding a pile of crumbled ones in my hand as I victoriously strutted across the bar to play some tunes. Instead of peeling down to only a layer of funderwear, I cued up the following tracks. Bow chic a wow wow. KROQ or The End, if you ever need a programmer, you know who to call.
Now, without further adieu, my birthday playist:
“On a Plain” Nirvana
“Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns N’ Roses
“Lonely Boy” Black Keys
“The Middle” Jimmy Eat World
“Don’t Do Me Like That” Tom Petty
“No Sleep Till Brooklyn” Beastie Boys
“Sunday Morning” No Doubt
“Interstate Love Song” Stone Temple Pilots
“About a Girl” Nirvana
“Rope” Foo Fighters
Check out my high tech magic skills by listening to the playlist here. Enjoy!
I’m a simple girl. As far as I know, I don’t possess this feminine mystique that you read about in all those books with horse-riding, perfectly-moisturized men on the cover. I like certain things a whole lot, and when I don’t my face gives it all away. This makes it easy for my friends to do nice things for me, however sometimes I don’t know who to give credit to.
Something happened at my birthday party last year that was this year cemented as a tradition. Someone stacked the jukebox making sure the Foo Fighters played all night. It was one of the highlights of my party and after a year of my friend Dan denying that he is the culprit, I still don’t know who it was that filled my night with Foo.
This past weekend at my party, I kept an eye out for Dan. If he planned on being a repeat best birthday gift offender, I was going to catch him in the act. But, I wasn’t able to live out my fantasy of being a rock and roll Sherlock Holmes because the Foo started playing before Dan even got there.
This person got me good. They started with my two all-time favorites, “This is a Call” and “These Days,” back to back. The only person who would know to choose these songs is the person who has to constantly hear me listening to and playing them on my guitar. So when I was spotted my roommate Staci trying to be sly in the jukebox’s general direction, I wasn’t surprised.
A solid mix of tracks from In Your Honor, There is Nothing Left to Lose, and Echos filled the night and I felt good knowing I had solved the birthday mystery. All clues pointed to Staci. Furthermore, Staci is the one that claimed to have seen Dan hanging by the jukebox last year. She hasn’t officially admitted to being the box stacker, but Staci threw out the Dan red herring AND was spotted in the act. There is no other possible conclusion.
So maybe I am rock and roll’s Sherlock Holmes after all.
Yesterday was my birthday and I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of kind words and well wishes. Thanks to everyone for making it such a special day. You guys rock.
Some of my friends took their loving to the digital age and I couldn’t help but share. One of the pictures is from last year, but whatever.
An Inside Joke from Stickles:
A creative effort from a former intern:
And a work of art from Claspy:
You guys are amazing. Thanks again.
Finishing a good book is one of those things that makes you both happy and sad at the same time. It’s kind of like an encore at a kick ass concert. You’re stoked to get a little bit more, but it signals the end of a great experience. Similarly, reading “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran” by Rob Sheffield has been and for a couple more pages still will be a great experience.
In the book, Sheffield catalogues his life through music and in each chapter expounds upon a single song specific to that time. “Talking to Girls…” has made me laugh out loud in public, mostly around strangers and cry, also in public around strangers, and I am very much not looking forward to it ending. Although, the public humiliation is something I’m okay with letting go.
Please read this book. Not only will it make you nostalgic, but it’s a great read while at the same time being educational. I learned “Cassingle” is the name of some of the things I owned growing up. So that’s cool. And so is Rob Sheffield. And so is “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran.”
One of the songs Sheffield covers is “Crazy for You” by Madonna. This song triggers a series of memories for me also. Here’s my humble attempt to write something similar to what you’d find in “Talking to Girls…” If you don’t like it, we can treat it like most things that occurred in the early 90′s– like it never happened.
* * *
MADONNA “CRAZY FOR YOU”
It was the early nineties. I’m unsure of the year. I’m unsure of the year because at that point my family had moved four times and I hadn’t yet reached the age of ten. All I know for sure is that we lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I feel like it must have been early into our tenure there because the only furniture in what would eventually be my dad’s office was a desk, a dog crate, and our computer. The computer is considered furniture because the internet was in its early stages and all the computer could really do was help you play solitare and type things. The printer paper still had the holes on the side you had to rip off. I’m surprised we even had a computer at all.
I like to lie to people and say that my first CD was Green Day’s “Dookie.” And that’s not true for a couple reasons. One, because it was a cassette. And two, I owned an actual Compact Disc before that. I justify my lie because “Dookie” was the first album I ever acquired by choice. I forced my mom to drive me to Wal Mart AND pay for it, and I remember her waking me up the next day by saying “Good morning my little punk rocker,” as she gently rubbed my shoulder.
In reality, my first CD was “The Immaculate Collection” by Madonna and that’s the honest to g-o-d truth. My grandmother was the coolest person to ever walk this Earth, which I know is a bold statement considering Dave Grohl exists. However she made even my favorite rock star look like a potential character in Revenge of the Nerds. Grandma worked for the JCC Thrift Store in West Palm Beach, Florida, and as a senior ranking senior citizen in the store’s staff, she had first pick at all the donated goods that came in. She got Tommy Hilfiger polos, fake Chanel purses, and a gold Cadillac that my family nicknamed the “pimp-mobile.” She also for some reason got me this CD, and I wasn’t sure what to do with it when it came in the mail.
Luckily, my dad had the wherewithal to install a CD Rom drive into our furniture like computer. CD’s were a new invention and while we could play cassettes pretty much anywhere, the computer was the only place that could reveal the contents of those shiny silver disks. I’m not even sure I knew Madonna existed before getting her album, but if you install a CD Rom drive, CD’s will come, so upon opening my grandma’s package, I marched its contents straight up the stairs and didn’t stop marching until pushing play. What can I say, I was a kid who liked to march.
To this day, I could most likely sing “The Immaculate Collection” to you start to finish while performing all the dances younger than ten year old me choreographed in my father’s soon to be office. If I didn’t know who Madonna was pre-CD, I definitely did after. I drew moles on my face, wore outfits involving poodle skirts and leotards, and learned how to vogue. But more clearly than anything, I remember the first time I really heard the song “Crazy for You.”
At first, “Crazy for You” was the weird slow song I always wanted to skip in order to get back to the fun pop dance times. My older sister, Ilana, however was blessed with more patience than I’ll ever have, and cemented the fact that I’d never again skip over that song. She joined me one day at the CD Rom drive and pointed out that when a way-more experienced Madonna sings “two by two their bodies become one,” she might be talking about people having sex, or as my friends and I called it, “making cotton candy.”
After this discovery, Ilana and I listened to “Crazy for You” on repeat for a good couple of hours. We giggled every time she sang the scandalous lyrics, and knowing the true meaning made me feel like a real grownup. A real grownup who referred to sex as cotton candy and wore poodle skirts recreationally.
Eventually, my dad’s office became an actual office and my parents bought me a little stereo for my room. I made full use out of its ability to play CDs and slowly expanded my collection. And while I might not be sure of the exact time all this happened, I am sure that listening in my bedroom never measured up to listening on the computer. And for the record, even though I’m kind of an adult now, I still giggle every time I hear “Crazy for You.”