As Halle Berry said after winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball, “Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” Oscar Sunday is right around the corner, and this step-by-step guide will teach you how to make Hollywood’s biggest night your finest [ten] hour[s].
(Me and my friend Peter in Dolores Park. This photo was probably taken on, like, a Tuesday).
It’s easy to say I left my heart in San Francisco. My heart literally aches when I think about it – the air, the breeze, the palm trees, the sun, the hills, and the ocean. Nature is abundant and fun there. Here in Brooklyn (specifically North Brooklyn), nature is limited and often filled with cigarette butts and concrete.
In New York, you can only go to the park maybe five months out of the year. Otherwise, it’s just too damn cold. In NY, your life becomes your job, your hobby, drinking indoors, and becoming pale and plump. That isn’t to say I am a shut in – I love the outside world so much, I hate being around it when it’s not acting proper (i.e. sunny and 75-85 degrees).
But what I was lacking emotionally in San Francisco, I have totally made up for in New York. I’ve spent the last two years dating and living with a genuinely kind man who truly cares about me – something I couldn’t find within a 20 mile radius of the entire Bay Area. My boyfriend is a social worker, working towards becoming a licensed LCSW. Once he gets that, he is sort of stuck here, in a concrete jungle full of dreams, but very few trees. If he wanted to get licensed in California, he’d pretty much have to do everything all over again. So I am sort of stuck too. I love him, and he is more important to me than vistas and tan lines, but at the same time – ugh.
So, what is a girl to do? Well, I guess if I can’t move back to San Francisco, I need to bring San Francisco to us. Starting with filling our apartment with palm trees and bright colors and canvas paintings of Beyoncé.
I can handle the bright colors and Bey-art, but does anyone know anything about palm trees? We have 17ft ceilings, so we could get a pretty tall one – but what kind? There are so many! That is what this post is about!
10 things to do now so you have plans next Valentine's Day
Does this Valentine’s Day suck for you? Here are 10 things you can start doing TODAY to make sure you have some sort of plan next year*.
10. Get a new hobby. This will encourage you to spend less time thinking sad thoughts and more time meeting new people.
9. Consider your diet. I don’t mean to say you don’t look great, but seriously, what are you putting in your body? Too much or too little of anything is going to screw you up.
8. Talk to one stranger a day. The mailman, the bartender, the cab driver, or the dry cleaner – all fair game.
7. Wash your sheets. You never know!
6. Have dinner with your favorite couple and get real with them about their relationship. It helps if you bring/buy wine. Feel free to take notes.
5. Eat a hot dog in front of the MET. This isn’t just for New Yorkers, but for everyone!
4. One of my favorite dating/life bloggers is imboycrazy. She once said “pretend for some unforeseen reason you are going to The Academy Awards next year, and live your life as such”. I like that idea. Go forth.
3. Does your apartment smell weird? Invite someone you trust over to check.
2. Take care of your friends. Don’t just be drinking buddies, be life buddies.
1. Stop making excuses for not doing the things you want to do. SShhh, I don’t want to hear it anymore!
Okay, back to work!
*Honestly, I can’t guarantee any of these will really work. I’m not a therapist, I just live with one.
I am angry about the "Shit Girls Say About Money" Video Created by @LearnVest
I received this video in my inbox this morning from @Learnvest - a company that supposedly makes money off of helping women manage their cash. I’ve been thinking a lot about the “Shit __ Says” meme and what makes it okay vs. offensive, and this video came just in time.
Here is what makes most of the “Shit __ Says” videos okay:
-They are made by people making fun of themselves (shit new yorkers say, shit boston girls say, shit gay guys say, shit social workers say).
-They are made by people making fun of the people who usually say offensive things (shit white girls say to brown girls, shit white girls say to black girls, shit straight guys say to gay guys).
The two videos off the top of my head that don’t fall into this category are the original Shit Girls Say video and twitter handle, which was created by a man, and this one right here, the “Shit Girls Say About Money” video — which was created by a company that claims to help women.
I don’t like to preach too much on the internet, but I have to say (and thanks to my friend Peter for randomly IMing me about the video and straight up asking if it was offensive) this one pissed me off.
Have me and my girlfriends split $30 worth of wine on 3 credit cards? Yes. Have we spent money we didn’t have? Almost every day. Do we go out to eat and drink to celebrate the mundane? For sure. But I don’t think any of these choices makes us as stupid as this video would like people to believe. Have the people at LearnVest ever even heard of Independent Women? You earned that cash, you have the right to save it or spend it however you please!
But what I find really upsetting is that LearnVest hired male actors to portray foolish stereotypes of women. This is akin to Weight Watchers making a “shit fat people say” video and hiring skinny women to wear fat suits. We would all go nuts over that!
So I guess I am more or less writing a message to my female friends. This video is about men making fun of you because they think you are stupid. And LearnVest thinks you are stupid too. Their platform is all about shaming you into thinking you’re being irresponsible. You’re better off going to an accountant if you want some real cash-money advice. AND THAT IS MY TWO CENTS.
So I am training for a totally hypothetical 5k. I run on the treadmill at the gym because it is the least likely place for any of my under-employed ex-boyfriends to be at any given time. Also, I have been totally doing the running in a hoodie with the hoodie up style. My gym (the Greenpoint Y, no stalkers please!) is kept pretty warm, so most of the bodies are fairly naked. Me? I am like a celebrity trying to hide her identity or Eminem in any Eminem video/day of the week. Except not as shitty. God, Eminem sucks so hard. And I don’t do the hoodie thing because I am self-conscious, just FYI. I do it because it makes me feel mysterious and cool.
It’s 2008. I know you might be surprised that I am writing you. One, because I am a year and two, because you thought I was a year that was way behind you. It’s true, we have gone our separate ways – you have changed, and I have stayed mostly the same. BUT, I thought it might be nice of me to check in and see how you are doing with all this 2012 election coverage. I thought if anything, I might stir up some memories that trigger a response. To be honest, I am writing to tell you what is up.
So, I scanned your emails from January through November 2008. Don’t be mad! I am your past after all. So listen, in 2008 you were living in San Francisco. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten because you talk about it ALL THE TIME. You had a brunch boyfriend. Like, this guy you just went to brunch with (what was his deal anyway??) and you were generally political. It was so EASY to be political in San Francisco, remember? Especially in 2008!
We were all fantastically excited about George W. Bush no longer being president (we’re still excited about that) and even more so, we had Mr. Hope himself, Barack Obama, waiting in the wings. And since you were in California, you also had Proposition 8 on the ballot. You went to rallies and election parties. Remember when Obama beat Clinton? I know you felt weird about it because you really wanted a woman to be president. You were conversational and introspective, and you were excited about change. The city around you was not cynical or cold. There was the warm glow of promise everywhere. Also, a lot of people were high.
The last few months leading up to the election were bittersweet for you (I read your emails, remember?), but you powered through like the little 5’2 soldier you are. On November 4, 2008 you walked down to your voting place and cast your vote. It was exciting and made you buzz all over.
And then you began drinking (oh, you!). You went to the Castro with your friends. You went to Twin Peaks, and you guys were the youngest people there. In a way, that felt really important. A huge sign for Milk hung outside the theater. You saw it on opening night and Margret Cho gave the intro, remember? That’s a really cool memory, huh?
When Obama won, you took to the streets. A dance party erupted all through the Castro. Drag queens were dancing on a wooden stage they had constructed at the intersection of Market Street, cute boys were vogueing on top of cars, and you and your friends were openly swigging champagne like champs.
And then the music abruptly stopped, and one of the queens announced that though the left had been victorious, you had also lost the battle against Prop 8. Friends hugged who ever was nearest, old couples wiped tears from each other’s faces. This is the blessing and a curse of the cliché liberal situation: even when things are good, they are never good enough.
But you know, this was San Francisco, so you continued to dance. And you took this picture – you’ve been that happy since, but I don’t know if you had ever been that happy before. I like to think that this was a turning point for you – change was happening everywhere, and sometimes you just have to embrace and enjoy it. You really learned that in 2008.
So that is why I am writing you today. For the next 10 months, I am asking you to start paying attention, to remember your values and interests. Go to a political movie or a talk. Find out where Margret Cho is now and go see her. Make as many Dan Savage related Santorum jokes as possible. Use that genius boyfriend of yours to your advantage. Don’t worry about how little you know, or how lazy you feel in comparison to others– none of that actually matters when you are fighting for a cause you believe in.
Stop being just plain horrified of how racist, homophobic, and empathetically illiterate all the republican candidates are and instead do something about it. You now live in the city that birthed the Occupy Wall Street movement. And while it may feel like that movement went into hibernation for the winter, you still have all of those people around you – you just have to look for them.
Stop being such a chump and start getting interested again. If nothing else, because it makes you feel good – and as your past, I can tell you that is the most important thing. And when the victory hits, I bet you’ll have a city full of friends to dance with. And goddamn it girl, you love to dance!