Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh Canada

OK I'm American but "Oh Canada" freaking rocks. It makes sense. The Star Spangled Banner? not so much until you get to the last few lines that the majority of America is competent enough to sing. Not the point of this post, but we are saying au revoir to the Vancouver Olympics as I type.

Now I'm not one to give in to Facebook trends; you know, announcing the color of the bra I'm wearing or participating in doppelganger week (thank GOD that self-indulgence is over). But there was once a list of 25 Things going around that I unfortunately did give in to. I decided to polish it up a bit and shorten it to 20 Things about me that you were probably better off not knowing.

1. I have an awful, inappropriate, offensively sarcastic sense of humor. Most people aren't sure what to do with it...this usually alienates many and creates awkward situations.

2. I'm 5'11" flat. Why is this important you ask? Because many of you are running around saying I'm 6ft tall and I'd like to publicly announce that in fact, is a LIE.

3. My best friends call me Liz or Lizzie. It became an evolution of Melissa to Melisser to Melizzard to Lizard to Liz. Be glad you missed the awkward years of Lizard introductions.

4. I have this tendency to shorten every word possible until sentences become their own incoherent language. My sister and I believe we invented the world "obvy" about a decade ago.

5. I've been kicked out of a bar 3 times: once for underage, once for underage/excessive sloppiness and crying due to dropping my entire purse and cellphone into a toilet, and once for bringing in my own alcohol. (FYI I did NO such thing and had to be restrained from tackling the 5ft bartender chick who kicked me out)

6. I have just one tattoo on the back of my neck. Allegations have been made that it means "cheetos and cake" in Italian but really it says la vita e bella (life is beautiful) and I'd like to get more, if only to continue the disapproval of my parents.

7. My favorite show ever is That 70s Show, even after my mother pointed out that my dad looked exactly like Hyde in college, thus ruining my attraction to Danny Masterson for life.

8. I just shuffled my iPod and it went from Taylor Swift to Eminem to The Beatles to Celine Dion to Tchaikovsky to Death Cab to Michael Bolton to NSYNC to the Chipmunk Adventure theme song. I'm sorry.

9. I spent 8 years studying and playing the trumpet (band nerds and camp FTW) and subsequently learned the French horn, flute, and piano.

10. I can also sing! I performed in every elaborate musical production in high school including Footloose and West Side Story, and was also in a show choir at a performing arts school.

11. I spent half my life as a competitive swimmer and qualified for nationals in the 500 free in '01, '02, and '03. I narrowly missed double knee surgery and now have displaced knee caps, weak rotator cuffs, and tendonitis in my left wrist, but I will tell you I loved every minute of it.

12. My ideal Saturday is wearing a jersey, drinking beer, and yelling obscenities at a television screen in a bar. Doesn't matter which sport.

13. I'm Sicilian and pasta at Thanksgiving dinner is completely appropriate.

14. "Fuck" was probably the third word out of my life as a toddler. I don't know if that explains anything other than the fact that I have parents with sailor mouths. Who are Sicilian.

15. Augusten Burroughs and Chuck Klosterman are my favorite writers. We get each other (see item #1 on this list)

16. I work in book publishing and I couldn't see myself in any other career, at least not one with a bookshelf full of free books, or weird yet endearing coworkers.

17. I'm from the "Midwest" that is Ohio - I grew up with all four seasons, farms and Amish country not far away, cliche suburban schooling and Friday night football games and bonfires, 3 unsuccessful pro sports teams who still have my undying loyalty, camping, boating, hiking, and fishing, Cedar Point roller coasters, and the most genuine people you'll ever meet.

18. I have really weird eating habits, such as buying rolls of cookie dough purely for eating and not for baking, making PBJ sans bread and instead spooning the peanut butter and jelly straight into my mouth, and just recently my cubemate had the pleasure of witnessing me using a spoon to eat the remaining inch crumbs at the bottom of my Pringles can.

19. I can't think of one instance in which I resisted peer pressure, including starting this blog, drinking challenges, and eating random things off the floor.

20. Lastly, BACK to the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, I'll make a final note that I am completely 100% obsessed with the olympics, no matter the season (ok lie, summer has swimming so it's totes better than winter). I want to be there cheering and rubbing shoulders with athletes or volunteering or just waving an American flag. It's the most recurring epic event of our lives and if I could compete I would.

It also inspires me every two years to starting working out again as if I'm training for something. We'll see this year...I might just plan to train for some professional eating competition instead.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere

It’s Fat Tuesday and my participation isn’t even a question. See, alcohol has always been a constant in my life. A celebration of sorts. Ever present on family vacations, holidays, birthdays, at dinner, Catholic mass, and high school summer jobs, it was always an accessory. My parents didn’t lecture about the effects of alcohol because it wasn’t a taboo subject in our house.

Italians are always drinking wine at every family gathering and Catholics are always sipping the same juice – err blood – so what’s a sip here or there for a 10 year old? And wine coolers on the beach? Bartles and James loved sharing their deliciousness with a 13 year old. And a cold mug of Bud Lite during the Super Bowl is just waiting for a youngin’ to see if it tastes just like apple juice. FYI: biggest disappointment of my ENTIRE childhood.

This experimentation would soon lead me down a long road of a very happy and successful relationship with alcohol in every different form. But let it be known that I’m in no way required by law to use party plates or attend AA meetings. I use good judgment. Most of the time.

I followed the adage “study hard and party harder” all the way to Ohio University. With its beautiful rolling hills in middle-of-nowhere-southern Ohio and grand brick buildings and streets, it tops the charts on the Princeton Review’s Top Party Schools every year. Sophomore year in 2005 we ranked #2, but I’m not going to brag (WTF University of Wisconsin? NO ONE can even point your state out on a map). It was definitely 4 years of living in a bubble with 20,000 enthusiastic drinkers and miraculously escaping with minimal liver damage.

I believe it was all in preparation for New Orleans – January 2008 BCS National Championship game between LSU and Ohio State (it’s not really necessary to distinguish the fact that OSU and OU are 2 completely different schools, every Ohioan pretends to be a Buckeye at some point or another). 3 nights on Bourbon Street in the land of no laws, aka zero empty container laws set the ultimate bar for a heightened experience of intoxication. Oh you just got your drink but your friends want to head to the next bar? Why, we have to-go cups of course. A 2 foot tall Miller Lite bottle filled with 8 beers for $15? Done.

This is where Pat O’Brien’s enters the picture, bringing along with it the classic invention of The Hurricane. With that hourglass shape and tantalizing taste I knew I was in love. Because The Hurricane is the lovechild of alcohol and Mardi Gras. They let New Orleans raise it. And they let the world corrupt it. And they used it as a catalyst for bad decisions. As it would turn out, riding a mechanical bull in a dress would be one of those decisions.

What the hell is that drink made of you ask? I don’t know. I would imagine it’s equal parts punch, redness, fuckedupness, and shame. What I do know is that a bar in the East Village will be serving them today on the most holiest of alcohol-appreciation days, and it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Speak

Email threads and someecards. The staples of getting through a single workday for a group of friends who can wordlessly communicate inappropriate thoughts, profanity, and vulgarity without blinking one offended eye. We devoted an entire holiday (Thanksgiving 2008) and facebook album to the phrase "that's what she said" and risk serious HR involvement in our email topics on a daily basis. This gem of an email has been collecting dust far too long over the past year. You should probably get an idea of who you're dealing with...

From: Meg
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11:55 AM
To: Melissa.Presti; Amy; Julianne

From: Amy
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:17 PM
To: Meg; Presti, Melissa; Julianne
Subject: RE:

From: Presti, Melissa
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:22 PM
To: Amy; Meg; Julianne
Subject: RE:

From: Julianne
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:33 PM
To: Presti, Melissa; Amy; Meg
Subject: RE:

From: Presti, Melissa
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:41 PM
To: Julianne; Amy; Meg
Subject: RE:

From: Amy
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:50 PM
To: Presti, Melissa; Julianne; Meg
Subject: RE:

From: Meg
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 12:54 PM
To: Amy; Presti, Melissa; Julianne;
Subject: RE:

From: Julianne
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:04 PM
To: Meg; Amy; Presti, Melissa;
Subject: RE:

From: Presti, Melissa
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:13 PM
To: Julianne; Amy; Meg
Subject: RE:

From: Julianne
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:21 PM
To: Meg; Amy; Presti, Melissa; Subject: RE:

From: Presti, Melissa
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:40 PM
To: Julianne; Amy; Meg
Subject: RE:

From: Amy
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 1:43 PM
To: Presti, Melissa; Julianne; Meg
Subject: RE:

I feel better already and closer than ever to those 3 weirdos. We laughed, we cried, we were able to kill, well only 113 minutes of the day. BUT, lucky for us, someecards has the right words for every occasion. Whether you want to rip on a Superbowl winner, Toyota owner, co-worker, my Valentine's Day plans (see below), or create extremely awkward moments between friends, skip over the Hallmark for the Someecards.

Brought to you be

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Rain

We begin today after a great commute to work in which I allowed myself (my brain wasn’t working yet) to get caught in the doors of the 1 train – just my knee and the arm with my Dunkin Donuts coffee – because you know, sticking appendages in the closing doors will make them open back up like elevator doors. NOT.
With the help of some lovely NY citizens the doors were pried open long enough to release me and then the train left without me. 30 seconds later another train rolled up making me look like an even bigger idiot for not waiting to begin with. But no embarrassment here…people behind me were trying to get on too. Lesson learned? Not really. This will happen again.

Safely at my desk, the Superbowl lottery winners have begun to claim their prizes. I don't really understand why I would pay $5 per square on a grid with randomly assigned numbers to hopefully win some cash by chance. I'd sooner waste my bills on some nifty origami arrangements. And what we end up with is some VP making six figures who wins $50 and runs down the hallway screaming excitedly that she has a month's worth of Starbucks in her hand. Funny, I would have used my earnings to kick the thermostat up a few notches or I don't know, add some colorful nutrition to my carb-based diet of beige foods. We all have our priorities.

So Monday doesn't have the greatest start...what about this weekend? Well two splendid things happened really. One, I witnessed my soulmate warming up the audience before the taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In a matter of 30 minutes this man inappropriately addressed foreigners, death, the CW, gays, and pointed out a coke dealer in the fourth row. "You've got the good coke. I can tell. Like you used to be in a band but now you just 'manage'. You have that house in Florida but you never really use it. I get it." I'm glad I left work early for a "doctor's appointment" just to watch tourists get mocked and awkwardly laugh it off.

The second splendid event was meeting a guy who works with ROBOTS. Hands down most interesting conversation of my life. He's working on a car that will eventually drive itself. DRIVE ITSELF. Hoping one day they can be programmed to safely transport the intoxicated from the floor of the bar to their yard (there's no guarantee you'll actually make it inside your home). I still can't wrap my head around that one but I'm pretty sure only my grandkids or their grandkids will witness this magnificent contraption, and even then that's iffy - please see the post below. Who needs healthcare reform when we can have vehicular DDs?

The rambling ends here. I still can't tell if this week started off on a positive or negative note. But my boss is in London for the week, so, win?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Kids Are Alright

Well this seems somewhat irrelevant today because it references my sick day yesterday and stalking daycare children via webcam. But there were computer glitches so we'll deal. Yes, stalked/children/webcam were part of that sentence. So was "sick" but that is unrelated.

It was a typical Monday night - One Tree Hill, The Bachelor, and 4am googling of appendicitis (my hypochondria is brought to you by WebMD). No appendix removal required, but digestively too crippled (and tired from 4am googling) to put in an 8 hour day. So I did what anyone else would do - I logged onto the Creation Kingdom website with my sister's password to watch my 11 month old nephew at daycare from 3 different vantage points. I didn't mean to stalk the other kids, they were innocent bystanders. As it turns out, those kids are assholes. Poor Brody, not yet walking like the others, was left to his own devices. A bit of a loner. So I had no issue as I watched him remove a shoe and fire it at the nearest child's head. Although my java script runs the webcam a bit slow so I can't really clock his speed accurately.

This is where we enter some weird territory. It has been said that I will never have children, and it has also been said that I hate children. Neither is true. I'll break it down by percentage to give my soul more credit and my heart a little warmth. It goes like this: I'm 25% sure I'll have kids one day, 75% sure I'll like them, and 90% sure I won't like yours. That's not hatred, that's honesty.

See I like Brody, no, I love Brody, and what I love even more is that I can give him back to his owners at the end of the day. To think of the years I face with Brody handmade crap crafts and Brody's santa shop gifts and Brody's artistic rendering of his family which will closely resemble a lightswitch being swallowed by a ghostly cat (oh what that's supposed to be a house and the wind blowing the trees? YOU CAN'T DRAW WIND, GENIUS) will surely stop the ticking of this alleged biological clock I possess.

This guy has the right idea. Children have this natural ability to do things horribly wrong whether it's drawing, reading, singing, eating, playing, and it brings me joy. I will happily involve the failures of a child into everyday conversation and jokes just to put a smile on your/my face. It's not evil especially when my own sister, the mother of Brody, threw him into a snowbank for christsake. I mean she'll claim to this very day that they were "both making snow angels" but we both know that's not true. He is GLARING at her in this photo with a look that says "I will wait until after my bath to have an accident, subsequently vomit, and proceed to wake you every hour until 7am."
No thanks.