Monday, October 31, 2011

Climate Change like Crazy

As a resident of the Northeast, I'm used to a certain amount of weird weather.  Sure, you can start the day sunny and 70 and end up with a hail storm.  Rain storms pass through seemingly from nowhere, soaking everything for 5 minutes and then disappearing.  My years spent in LA didn't make me as hypersensitive to any weather as you might think, though it is nice to see forecast after forecast predicting partly cloudy and high in the 70s ad infinitum.
But if you've been paying attention these past few months, you have to admit that the weather has gotten ridiculous.  If the term Global Warming throws you off because it doesn't always seem that warm, then just admit that the climate is not what it used to be.  As evidence, here is a highlight reel from the past four months in the New York area.
In late July, we suffered an extreme heat wave.  The temperatures were in the 100s for the better part of a week, made all the worse by the high degrees of humidity.  On one of the worst days, I refused to make the descent into the hellish subways and instead walked to a bus stop, taking a break every block inside an air conditioned store to cool and dry off before continuing on.  When I made it to the bus stop, I waited inside a nearby Duane Reade until the bus pulled up.  Clearly my experience could have been worse as over 20 people died from the heat that week. 
By comparison, August seemed mild.  However toward the end of the month, things took a turn.  Within one week, we experienced an earthquake and a hurricane.  Now, the earthquake actually hit in Virginia with a magnitude of 5.8, which is pretty large for the region.  Southern Californians would have yawned and gone on with their day, but on the east coast, people were pretty freaked out.  What we felt in New York was a minor tremor, but for people not used to the ground swaying, which you feel more the higher up in a building you are, it was a major event.  In my office, it prompted heated debates about whether the proper protocol is the stand in a doorway or to hide under your desk like in Cold War Air Raid drills.  (In case you are curious, the latter is now the preferred protocol) 
Some days later, the warnings poured in about the approach of Hurricane Irene, one of the rare tropical storms actually maintaining strength as it approached the northeast.  I remember Hurricane Bob, and boarding up the windows and all the men going out with their chainsaws to clear the road afterwards.  But it was 1991 and I was young enough that I just sat inside reading until the storm passed.  This time, it was a flurry of activity, everyone go buy water and canned foods, and fill your gas tanks for your generators, and get out the flashlights.  I went out to CT the night before the impending doom of the great storm and took care of these errands.  I also filled lamps with kerosene and pots with water.  The storm itself didn't really get going until late into the night, but then it ripped through, leaving our house without power for week afterwards.  Trees were torn up and toppled onto power lines and streets flooded, though in our area nothing compared to the damage done in New Jersey and Vermont.  For New Yorkers, it was a lot of alarm for not a lot of actual catastrophe.  There were some power outages, the trains and subways stopped running for a while, but no major damage was done. 
As Fall began, the Northeast began to put itself back together.  The weather was mild, remaining pretty warm through most of October, and the leaves changed slowly without frost hurrying their transformation along.
And then, Halloween weekend, we get this snow storm.  The idea of snow this early in the season isn't entirely unheard of, though usually at this point you would expect a light dusting, not even sticking to the ground in most places.  With the temperatures for the day staying above freezing, most of us expected nothing more than an unpleasant wintry mix that would result in slush.  We did not anticipate 5-6 inches of very wet, very heavy snow piling up everywhere.  Once again, I ventured out to CT, but because of Friday Halloween celebrations, I went out on Saturday in the thick of it.  A train ride that normally takes me a little over an hour to get to my home town instead lasted for over two and a half hours, at the end of which I couldn't even get all the way to my town as service on that line was suspended.  My parents came out to pick me up, winding through various routes to find where the roads were still clear and passable.  By the time we got back home, my travel time was over five hours.  The main cause of the excessive damage was that the heavy wet snow stuck to the leaf laden branches, weighing them down until they broke off all over the place, on streets, power lines, houses, cars, train tracks, etc.  My family was lucky, and, for maybe the first time in a storm ever, didn't lose power; aside from several down trees, our property is fine.  But over 800,000 people in CT did lose power, with no clear dates of when it will be restored, all the more dangerous for the sudden cold snap.  This was actually a record setting storm, according to ABC News: “The record for snow in October for New York City is .8 inches set on Oct. 30, 1925,” said senior meteorologist Paul Walker.
When you start talking about Historic and Record Breaking weather, you have to admit that there is something unusual going on with the climate. 
So going into the end of the year, we are looking at more extreme weather, nudged on by La Nina and the Arctic Oscillation.  Sometimes I can't help thinking that people with their end of the world survival caves and cellars might be on to something.

Good luck, friends.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trick or Treat?

So Halloween is a little over a week away, and I feel unspirited this year. I really like Halloween, I like dressing up, eating candy, our big work Halloween party, mostly cheesy scary movies, the whole thing. Not to mention yummy pumpkin flavor treats (have you had the pumpkin spice scones at Starbucks? They are almost worth the price). Yet somehow this year, I haven't gotten into the spooktacular zone. I haven't bought a costume, though I have an idea, I haven't been to any haunted houses/hayrides or Halloween: Part 27 type movies, and there are no dangerous bowls of candy sitting around the office, free to take all you want. Something is very wrong here.

So how do I make things right, in a good, scary, is that guy dressed like a clown just jumping the gun or is he really psychotic, kind of way?

My first idea is that I need to go see the re-release of Ghostbusters in theaters.  The movie is a classic, the ghosts didn't even scare me when I saw it in the 80s for the first time, but are still more believable villains than in many current horror movies, and come on, Bill Murray. I don't know whose brilliant idea it was to bring this back, but I really should take advantage, cause I ain't afraid of no ghosts (except after seeing Paranormal Activity, that scared the crap out of me).

Next up, I just found Trader Joe's new pumpkin bread and muffin mix, and I think i really should make some delicious treats, which I can bring in to help fill the void of there being no candy dishes out and about. But seriously, I could go for a twix or a kit-kat. Oh, those white chocolate kit-kats, those are awesome. Or the Hershey's cookies and cream bars, those rock. Not to mention skittles and reece's pieces. I may have to make a run to the vending machine.

So I guess after all of the candy and muffins I have in mind, I'll have to plan a costume accordingly (as in no midriff baring slutty anything this year.  Except possibly slutty pumpkin).  But store windows around the city are telling me that zombies are the way to go this year.  What's great about that is you can be zombie anything.  It's the ultimate easy costume, you can wear anything and add some makeup, and bam, you're a zombie.  Seriously, a simple Google search will show you that nothing is off limits, there are no specific rules.  Granted, it's not a very attractive look, it may not be a good way to pick someone up at the bar on Halloween, but my own experience is that the same way your costume goes into the back of the closet as soon as the holiday is over, anything that happens in Halloween is best left hidden away in the dark.  So bringing the scary back to your costume instead of to your morning after is really the better way to go. 

So do I feel more spirited now...not yet, but hopefully soon.  Where's a flash mob Thriller reenactment when you need one?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fincher's Dragon Tattoo

I just discovered the gloriously cryptic Mouth-Taped-Shut site with updates on the making of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -American version, as well as other Fincher-isms.  Love it.  And the rumor is that the behind-the-scenes shots are provided by Fincher himself, so even better.  Here is a trailer for the movie, in theaters in December, which looks awesome. 

I admit that I was initially skeptical about remaking the Swedish version, which was good, though lacked a fair amount of exposition, and cut the second tier characters (Erika Berger notably) down to almost nothing.  On the other hand, when Daniel Craig plays Mikael, his appeal to women of all stations and ages makes more sense than it did in the original.  But seeing that David Fincher craftsmanship, those haunting close ups of otherwise benign objects, the sweeping shots of the house and the woods, I can see the potential this new adaptation holds. 
As I mention, Daniel Craig plays our journalist and amateur detective hero, Mikael Blomkvist.  And as our leading lady of vengeance and no mercy, Lisbeth Salander, we have Roony Mara, a thankfully almost unknown indy actress who we can see in the role without picturing every other role we remember her from.  I really liked Lisbeth in the Swedish version, tiny and tatted up, but I am curious to see what this new actress can do.  Among the rest of the cast, Christopher Plummer is always a treat, and Stellan Skarsgard (father of my favorite vampire portrayer, Alexander Skarrsgard), who is eerie in his own right, should bring the right air of actual Swedish to the mix. 
As though the director and cast weren't enough to excite us about this movie, the soundtrack Trent Reznor.  I have to say, I never feel the need to rewatch The Social Network, but I bought the soundtrack because of how good he is at setting a mood. 
Also amazeballs: rumors of a Fight Club musical, because Fincher and Palahniuk together are just that awesome.  Because if they can do it with Silence of the Lambs, why the hell not?  I see a whole song and dance number for "His name is Robert Paulson."  Also eerie background voices singing "You are not your khakis."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ready to Spit Nails

I don't usually get political here, but I read something yesterday that so infuriated me that I have no choice but to react verbally.

There are new proposed amendments to health care reform that include covering the cost of women's health care, including birth control without co-pay, counseling about sexually transmitted diseases, screenings for HIV, screenings for cervical cancer, abuse counseling, etc. Of course this has become a bi-partisan issue, as liberals and conservatives cannot agree on anything involving how much involvement government has in the way women use their bodies. There are, of course, much greater implications here, since we are dealing with the prevention of diseases and of unwanted pregnancies.

The way that conservative commentator Sandy Rios went off about this reform recently, comparing the coverage of women's preventative and follow-up care to covering manicures made me want to literally beat some sense into her. And by the way, I could get 5 manicures for the cost of one pack of my OCPs (clearly not the point, but I could go off about this for hours.) Also, my nail salon has never offered me counseling of any kind. I have caught athlete's foot from the pedicure baths though, so maybe they should be more aware of disease prevention.

She also asserted that women should not have the option of consequence-free sex, the way that men do. You know, because we are an inferior, weaker sex and all. It's much better to encourage your daughters and granddaughters to have teenage pregnancies and rely on you to raise the children they don't yet have the independence, financial stability, maturity, or wisdom to raise themselves, than to encourage them to simply be responsible for themselves by having safe sex should they choose to have it. No, wait, that's completely reversed from logic.

But Sandy wasn't the only one to react in completely offensive and derogatory ways. Congressman Steve King also decided to speak in gross exaggeration with inflammatory remarks about how providing free birth control targeted the poor, and if the poor no longer reproduced at their current rate, they would cease to exist. In fact, if people didn't have any unplanned pregnancies, the human race would die out! You know, because over-population isn't a problem for us. And being poor is a genetic condition passed down to children like hair color. I'm sure poor families who had less children wouldn't have a greater opportunity to pay off their debts and actually make their way out of poverty. The world is not at a loss for people struggling from economic burdens, nor is the US. The lower class will not simply die out because they are provided options. Way to write a horror story, Steve King.
You'll notice the only issue these people are pouncing on is that of access to safe sex options. They are condemning a much larger package (one that notably includes disease prevention information and screening, and help with dealing with domestic abuse or rape) because their moral compasses expect all unmarried women to abstain from sex, period. Nevermind the reality of the situation, nor the fact that not everyone can be expected to have the same set of values. In a study conducted in 2008, 36% of women aged 20–44 are single, and nine in 10 single women are sexually experienced. Obviously these numbers are changing all the time, but generally speaking, about 90% of unmarried adult women are sexually active, and therefore ought to have easy access to birth control and information about safe sexual practices. Again, these are women over 20 years old, not teenagers. They have every right to choose how they want to use their bodies and how they want to live their lives. And considering how much more controversial the issue of abortion is, denying women the option of birth control, or the morning-after pill should something go wrong, is condemning them to have to make a much more difficult decision.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The State of the Printed Word

I don't typically write about my job, and I won't go into specifics, but the fact is that it's a nerve-wracking time to be in the publishing industry.  The past couple of weeks have feature many closed-door conversations, which I've witness from the outside, sometimes overhearing yelling, sometimes watching someone virtually run out of an office afterwards.  And sometimes the doors are left ajar and I am able to glean a little more. 
Basically, the triad of the recession, the ebook revolution, and Borders collapsing has sent the world of print books into a bit of a tailspin.  We aren't down and out yet, but we are bleeding.  Sometimes we bleed in the form of layoffs, sometimes just financially, and sometimes more bookstores are brought down as collateral damage. 
Since the economy took a dive back in 2008, all businesses have taken a hit, and publishing is no exception.  While you might think the newly unemployed would have a lot more time to spend reading, it seems that buying books is not a priority for those updating their resumes and counting how long they have left on unemployment benefits.  Impulse buying in every market has dropped, books included.

It was 2010 when ebooks really began to make an impact.  Between the Kindle, the Nook, and the IPad, plus many other devices, people are finding it easy and convenient to download their reading materials all onto one portable tablet and leave the paperbacks behind.  More than any other genre, Romance readers have come to appreciate the anonymity ebooks provide their reading choices.  There are far less mass market books being bought every month as digital book readers take over the niche.

And the long slow death of the book store giant that is Borders has finally been declared.  While we all hung on to hopes that someone would buy them out and continue to sell the merchandise, no such savior arose.  Books-A-Million plans to buy a number of stores, and so some book selling will continue through that account, but a lot of stores, their employees, and their inventory are simply defunct.  Along with them go all of the publishing house reps who sold to the chain.  And as one of the strongest sellers of mass market books, this compounds the problem that ebooks brings to the format. 
So now we all huddle in our cubes, trying to avoid shrapnel from the fall out, and hoping that independent stores will rise again in the void left by the demise of the book selling giant, and that people will always want the experiencing of holding a book in their hands, turning its pages, and getting lost in the printed words.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Books to check out

It's been a while since I posted any book reviews, but trust me, I have been reading constantly.  A lot of what I've been reading either isn't out yet, or isn't available in paperback, but that shouldn't stop you from taking note of it, or finding it in hardcover or ebook (no seriously, please keep buying physical books!). 
Those Across the River (on sale 9/6/11) is a mystery with a fantastical bent.  You don't have to be into werewolf books to read it, because the setting, characters, and mystery are compelling enough on their own, but that element is also present for those who like a dose of un-reality.  It is a fast read, set in Georgia in a slow-moving town in the period between world wars.  Everyone is dirt poor, very Christian, and afraid to remain in the woods across the river after dark.  It doesn't take long to figure out what they are afraid of, even if they aren't sure what it is.  Quick and entertaining, this is a fun book.

The Magician King (on sale 8/9/11) is the sequel to last year's triumphant original, The Magicians.  You absolutely do need to read the first book first, as the second picks up right where we left off, assuming you already know these characters and their history.  For those not familiar, these are magical books for a non-Harry Potter audience, which isn't to say that you can't enjoy both, as an adult (not suitable for children).  Here, the magicians curse and drink and fornicate while mastering complicated spells and using them to gain fortune and other earthly rewards.  This second book is divided between the stories of two characters: Quentin, the title character we followed through magic school in the first book, and Julia, his high school friend who I had all but forgotten by the end of the first book, and had to refresh my memory about. The story in the "present" is Quentin's, in which Julia plays a role, as the magicians travel all across Fillory, their magical kingdom ala Narnia, and beyond on a quest. The other story is that of Julia's past, what happened to her while Quentin was off at Brakebills earning a first class magical education. I found the story of her struggle to learn magic at any cost more intriguing, but that may be my taste for the sadistic side of life in literature.  Once again, the end is left open for a sequel.

On a completely different note, You Deserve Nothing (on sale 8/30/11) is a poignant and thoughtful book, told from three intertwining points of view. Set in Paris and revolving around a teacher and two students at the ISF, a school for Americans whose parents are stationed in France, you are wrapped in a feeling of being out of place. Most of the students don't speak French, and there is a Lost in Translation kind of aura to it.

Will, a divorced teacher in his early 30s, wants badly to inspire his students, though he himself is uninspired. Marie, a girl of about 17, is used to living in the shadow of her best friend and worst enemy, Ariel, and wants to be seen and loved by someone on her own merits. And Gilad wants to fit in somewhere, wants to be Parisian and to please his favorite teacher and to have the courage to stand up to his father.
As Will's class studies existentialism, all of these characters find that they have to compromise in a world unsuited to idealists and dreamers.

If you haven't already heard about A Discovery of Witches (currently available, or on sale in paperback 12/27/11), get on it!  Yes, their are witches, vampires, and daemons, but their are also wonderfully detailed descriptions, eccentric and endearing characters, and an underlying commentary on prejudice and bigotry.  I don't know one person who hasn't enjoyed this book, including those who don't tend toward fantasy.  It's a story of clashing fantastical factions, of history, and of the forbidden romance between a witch and a vampire.  I dare you not to like it.  We are all salivating for the sequel. 

The Death Instinct (available now, or in paperback 1/3/12) does not have a single magical or fantastical creature.  It is a compelling historical novel, propelled by strong characters and a central mystery. The book opens with the first terrorist attack on American soil: a bombing on Wall Street in 1920. The country is in a post-war dysphoria, heightened by prohibition, and eager to elect a new president in the first election after granting women’s suffrage. Against this backdrop, New York Police Captain Littlemore and his friend Dr. Younger attempt to piece together how this bombing was planned. But Dr. Younger has another mystery to solve: who is out to get his friend (and love interest) Collette Rousseau, a Frenchwoman he met during the war and brought back to the States, along with her mute little brother, Luc. Rubenfeld also treats us to period cameos by Freud and Marie Curie.  This book held my interest and had me trying to keep up with Littlemore’s instincts, while hoping for Younger and Collette to finally get together.  I highly recommend this one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sense that should be more common

There are a lot of things that we assume everyone knows. 2+2=4, the capital of the US is Washington DC, 1 cup of liquid is 8ozs, etc. If I've already lost you, time to do a little studying. But there are plenty of other little lessons you learn not from school but from life itself. Recently, I've noticed that some people seem to have missed out on these things.

For instance, walking in to work the other day, I saw a girl who had not cut the stitch that held the kick pleat of her skirt together. For those who are unaware, stores stitch up kick pleats so that they will fold more neatly and they won't be ripped when people try the skirts on. They also stitch up the pockets on jackets often, to keep people from putting anything gross (like a tissue or gum) inside of them. These are threads that are meant to be cut when you buy the garment and take it home. Don't worry: the rest of the piece of clothing will not unravel when you cut these threads.
Every year there are 4 months with 30 days and 7 months with 31 days. The only month that changes is February, which is usually 28 days, but every four years, is 29.
George Washington's white horse was in fact white.

There are 50 states in the USA, and 48 are contiguous. This does not mean that if you were born in one of the other 2, you are not a US citizen (ahem, tea-baggers).

On an airplane, you are supposed to turn off your cell phone, or at least put it in "airplane mode." This is not so much to prevent equipment malfunctions and keep the plane from crashing as it is to prevent your fellow passengers from using the phone to beat you to death for talking loudly about personal matters in a confined space. The same can be applied to elevators, buses, and trains. You don't have to turn your phone off, just let it go to voicemail, or quickly explain that you will call the person back when you are alone. The moral of this one is simple: Don't be a dick.

Not all firemen are attractive. Not all military men are gentlemen. Equally, not all flight attendants are attractive and not all librarians are lady-like.

If someone comes up to you on the street or in a lobby and asks if you want to take a Stress Test, the answer is no. This is code for being inducted into Scientology. (click link for South Park hilarity)

When buying a gift, you are meant to think of what the recipient wants, not what you would want if you were them, because you are not them. Don't think, if I were an 8 year old, I'd really want a pogo stick. It's 2011, 8 year olds don't even know what those are. There is no shame in A- asking someone what they want (or a close friend, significant other, etc), or B- using a gift guide. There are a lot out there: Amazon,, plus lots of special interest ones and even more Holiday special ones. And if the gift is for a wedding, that is what the registry is for! Trust me (as someone who likes gifts but has never organized a wedding), people do spend time picking out what they want just so you won't have to. If you are a close friend and have something sentimental you know they will love, by all means go with your instincts. Most of the time, it's safest to stick to wish lists.

A Shirley Temple is alcohol-free. A Shirley Temple Black is not.

A greenhouse is made of glass, therefore is clear, not green.

Chuck Norris is a real person.

Contrary to popular belief, the sidewalk is not yours alone. You do have to leave space for other people to pass by you and your friends or significant other or dog. On a similar note, when your dog leaves something behind on the sidewalk, it is your responsibility to pick it up. No one wants to step in it because you think it's gross or you already used your baggy. This is what you signed up for when you got a dog in an urban area. (Also your responsibility: making sure the toilet flushes all the way after you use it).

The plural of cul de sac is culs de sac. Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. And for the love of books, please learn the difference between there, their, and they're.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Saved by the Bell...and then what?

Like many of us who "came of age" in the 90's, I was and still am a devoted fan of Saved by the Bell. Tell me you don't stop when flipping through channels to sit down and watch a full half hour of mindless teenage fun in Bayside. I wanted to be Kelly Kapowski in high school, I wanted to date Zack Morris, and do Time Outs and go to UCLA and the whole thing.

I think as far as teen idols go, it was a fairly decent cast to attach myself to. They weren't running around doing drugs (except Jesse's Speed addiction) or getting drunk or having sex (the soundtrack did the whooo thing anytime someone kissed). They did get into their own share of trouble, cutting classes, sneaking out to go dancing at The Attic with fake IDs, coming up with get rich quick schemes that always proved Screech wasn't as smart as you'd expect a science geek to be (the pasta sauce, the zit cream, etc).

A few years ago, I was living in LA (living out my SBTB dreams in grad school), and I ran into Dennis "Mr. Belding" Haskins at a karaoke bar. I got his autograph, though he was already surrounded by a number of adoring fans. That show is gold, even for the uptight principal.

And then today I saw an announcement for an event Elizabeth "Jessie" Berkley is doing for her new book, Ask Elizabeth (tonight, 7-9 at Dylan's Candy Bar, NYC), and I had to wonder, what are all of our old fantasy friends up to these days?

Since I started with them, first Mr. Belding. While he had a rough time shaking this character (and had to suffer through the travesty that was The New Class), he has finally come to terms with it's place in propelling him to household name status, and embraced the Belding. Currently, he tours colleges, as "Mr. Belding on Campus," reminiscing about his days on the show, and giving inspirational speeches about career and goals. According to his website, he's also hoping to be nominated for the next season of Dancing with the Stars. Good luck, Belding.

As for Miss Jessie Spano, She is obviously promoting her new book at the moment, which went on sale March 22. I'm proud to say she has come a long way from Show Girls, and is now focused, with her book and the MTV reality show planned to coincide with it, on helping out young girls with the drama of adolescence, and trying to give them positive influences and images (essentially the anti-Show Girls approach, way closer to the PSA episodes of SBTB). In fact, it sounds a lot like What Would Jessie Do come to life, for all those girls who are So Excited and So Sacred!!!!

And what about sometimes boyfriend AC Slater? You'd be hard pressed to say you haven't seen Mario Lopez around in the past few years. He has been a host on Extra, he has Danced with the Stars, he's had his own reality show in VH1, Saved by the Baby, and had a New York Times bestselling book, Extra Lean (which he's followed with Extra Lean Family). Oh Albert Clifford, you've come so far from your days of wrestling and dancing in really high wasted pants while bickering with Jesse and dueling Zack for Kelly.

Speaking of Kelly Kapowski, what happened to her after she left Bayside for Beverly Hills? She spent a while doing small roles in TV movies and TV appearances, but it seems her life has come together. She is a main character on the show White Collar, on which she plays supportive wife Elizabeth Burke (anyone else think that's awfully close to Jessie's real name?). Additionally, she is happily married and recently had a baby girl. She's still a SoCal girl and finally dropped the Amber from her name, making her simply Tiffani Thiessen.

And the third of our trio of girl friends on the show, Lisa Turtle? She may be the cast member who strayed the furthest from public view after the show. In fact, she's the hardest to find out anything about. I can tell you that she had a music career for a while, first with a group called Third Degree, and then as a solo artist. She is married and has a child, and co owns a production company with her brother. I was also surprised to learn that Lark too has a book out, entitles Reciprocity, a romantic thriller that I'm not completely convinced is actually by our Lark Voorhies, despite the assertion on her "official" website (which has an About Me section copied from Wikipedia).

So on to her eternal admirer, Screech Powers. Well here is one cast member we've heard more about that we would like. He languished with Belding on The New Class, and then fell into ruin. He went broke and started begging people to give him money, he leaked a sex tape of himself on to the Internet (can you think of anyone you would less want to watch?), published a tell all book (rejected by US publishers, released by Canadians), and did a stint on Celebrity Fit Club. He did everything he could to shake the Screech image, but in the end, you just want to smack him the way Lisa always did.

And of course, our favorite star, Zack Morris. I need a moment to sigh and bat my eyes as I think about him...Okay. What isn't there to say about Mark-Paul Gosselaar? He has had a few successful series and many bit parts on TV since leaving Bayside, notably NYPD-Blue and Raising the Bar. He's a car racing enthusiast, has competed and won in cycling races, and preformed off Broadway. He also has two kids and just last year got divorced (not from Kelly, don't worry). He is also the main impetuous for Jimmy Fallon's campaign for a SBTB reunion, which would be AMAZING.

Ok, Tiger fans, it's time to say goodbye to our favorite high school cast. Let's go hit the Maxx!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Little Things

Ok, I know I have been reticent of late, or just plain lazy, but I'm back. And the main reason is because of a stranger who brightens my days a little bit and made me want to write about her, and possibly a few other Springtime things.

Most of the heavily trafficked New York City subway stops have people handing out the Metro and AM New York each morning. At the Bleecker Street subway stop for the past month or so, there has been one woman distributing paper with a few cheery lines to the passersby all morning long. She has an adjective for every day, from "Manic Monday" through "Terrific Thursday" and finally, "Fabulous, Feel-good, Freedom Friday" to cap off the week. Along with this, she will throw in a headline, or some other content to make you smile. This week, she gave a count down to the beginning of spring one day, and to the beginning of the baseball season another, accompanied by, "and if you're a Mets fan you know that stands for My Entire Team Sucks!"
As I walk by her on my way to work, I can't help but smile. You know some of these mornings, it's been damn cold out there. You know plenty of people walk right by ignoring her. You know some days she has someone stinking and begging for change sitting right next to her. But every day she is there, she is cheerful, and she makes my morning a little better.

And while it's been a little tough getting up that extra hour early this week for Daylight Savings Time, it has actually started to get a bit warmer, and the sun has been making an appearance, lasting late into the day, and I can feel the difference it makes. I walked home from work yesterday, which I haven't done in the past couple months, and it was nice to just enjoy the (I won't say fresh, that'd be a stretch) air, and hopefully soak in a little vitamin D.

Also doesn't hurt that I had a great weekend out of the city, including getting a pretty bouquet of flowers, making some yummy fondue, and enjoying some quality couch time while watching The Wire.

Hopefully spring really has arrived and will be a warm, sweet, season.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!