Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank Gelato It's Friday

Today, on Gelato Friday (mmm, I'm really craving something cold and creamy), I would like to address several topics:

1. I want Oprah to stop with Twitter, talking about her Tweeple, and beaming in viewers in via Skype. Sure, I've Skyped here and there, but that's because I'm on a budget and I wanted to communicate with my sister Liv in Italy (that is, before the Italian police asked to see her nonexistent work visa and politely invited her to exit the country). But anyway, I know Oprah is not on a budget. I'd much rather see her take a question from an actual audience member being filmed from a flattering angle than listen to her shout across the room at a blurry image of a poorly-lit Barbara from Rhode Island or Monica from Idaho.

2. I am fascinated by an item called a fascinator, which is what I plan to wear on my head to the Kentucky Derby next weekend. It's something like a cross between a headband and a hat (see above: SJP in a particularly elaborate example). I hope my (yet to be procured) fascinator will add Drama!, Flair!, and furthermore, Height!, to my ensemble. FASCINATOR. Don't you just love that word? I learned it from my sister Claire.

3. It has been one full week since I spoke to my teacher friend Tim's first-grade class at the Walt Disney magnet school on career day. I told them about how I write stories for magazines, and I tried to outline the process of getting from an idea to an interview to a photo shoot to words on a page. All they really wanted to do, however, was play with my late-90s model mini cassette recorder, which still held the previous week's interview with Mary Poppins (the musical) star Ashley Brown (whom I claimed was the real Mary Poppins). Regardless, I enjoyed the feeling that for a moment I might be molding young minds. I also enjoyed reviewing the students' recent homework assignments on the bulletin board, especially the paper which noted: "If I could be a butterfly for a day, I would fly to Pizza Hut and eat cheese pizza." Well said.

(My favorite number from Mary Poppins: "Step In Time")

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ina Is My Martha

Because affectionately referring to my girlfriends as "heifers" doesn't come naturally to me, I don't think I could ever be BFFs with Paula Deen. (Though nothing entertains me more than gazing in the mirror and intoning in my most extravagant twang: "Guess what I'm fixin' t' do now, ya'll? I'm fixin' t' wrap this bacon 'round these chilled mac 'n cheese squares, an' then I'm goin' deep fry 'em, ya'll.") I can't connect with Martha Stewart, either, because as much as her bad-girl tendencies and sinister flower arranging demonstrations intrigue me, I don't do Arts & Craps. But if there's one TV homemaker who makes me want to move into a cottage and start growing my own asparagus ASAP, it's Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I never watched her much when I was immersed in the, um, corporate world, but these days I'm 100% enamored with her popped-collar denim shirts, her soothing approach to egg-cracking, her trips to the market to buy lamb shoulders from butchers who adore her and her rotating cast of non-threatening dinner guests. No one else on the Food Network can touch her for pure legitimacy, pure quality, pure comfort--and that, I have decided, is the catchword of the moment.

I was not comforted, however, when I awoke this morning to the grating scream of a giant wood chipper in the alley behind my building on Mohawk Street. I was not comforted when I heard my next-door neighbor puking through the wall (and, directly after the puking, watching an adult video at top volume). I was not comforted when I got into my car and listened to Eminem's Crack the Bottle (the fully explicit version), a tune with which I can hardly bring myself to sing along. I was not comforted when I discovered via various beauty blogs that I might die from the formaldehyde-laced Brazilian hair straightening treatment I received on Thursday. And, though I'm very much looking forward to this evening's VIP Chippendales performance at the Horseshoe Casino, I don't expect banana hammocks would score high on Ina's comfort meter. Oh well. Tomorrow is Easter, a good day for fresh starts.

P.S. More wholesomely, have you ever communicated with a real live Uncanny Nanny using the most modern of technologies? I have:

Whilst waiting in the lobby of the Cadillac Palace Theatre last night to interview Broadway star Ashley Brown in her dressing room, pre-performance:

Jeff: Who're you texting?
Me: The girl I'm interviewing.
Jeff: You're texting Mary Poppins?
Me: Yes. I'm texting Mary Poppins.